By late August executive authorities should agree on an updated standard for promotion of competition in Russian provinces. The standard is being implemented in increasingly more regions across the country.
There is a constantly growing interest in promoting competition and assessing its efficiency. To a large extent this interest has been piqued by the recently published national rating of investment climate in Russian regions and the rating of competition and competitive environments in the regions in 2014.
Assessing the results of the introduction of the competition promotion standard is another way to try and understand how effective regional authorities have been at their job. However, unlike other ratings, this assessment looks not at the general situation with competition in the markets of goods and services in various regions, but rather at how effective the regional governments have been in promoting competition.
The Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation has been tasked with making the assessment. “We are currently developing a methodology for the assessment,” the expert of the Department for Competition Policy of the Analytical Center Ksenia Sukhorukova explained. “The findings of the analysis we are carrying out will be passed on to the Ministry for Economic Development and will be taken into account by the various ministries as they assess how effective regional heads have been in fostering conditions conducive to competition and entrepreneurial activities.” Data for 2015 will be ready in May-June of next year and from then on, the assessment will be carried out on an annual basis, Ms. Sukhorukova explained.
The implementation of the competition promotion standard will allow regional heads and local governments to identify key obstacles to the development of competition in their local markets. Having assessed the situation in this manner they will be able to implement measures to minimize administrative barriers, foster a healthy competitive environment in their regions, and take corrective actions aimed at ensuring the best possible conditions for doing business in the regions and maintaining a dialogue with the local entrepreneurs. Experts believe that the introduction of the standard and consistent implementation of measures to promote competition can help make regional markets more attractive for Russian and foreign investors.
It should be reminded that the Competition Promotion Standard was developed in 2014 on instructions of the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Igor Shuvalov. The standard was first tested in Tatarstan, Khabarovsk Krai, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Ulyanovsk oblasts and in Saint Petersburg. During that period a number of other regions joined the program on their own initiative. Since 2014 the Analytical Center for the Russian Government has been actively providing information support regional governments on how to introduce the standard and in February 2015, the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation was tasked with analyzing and assessing the results of the Competition Promotion Standard’s introduction in Russian regions.