Dmitry Medvedev appoints Russian and foreign investors’ ombudsmen

MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass World Service) – Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev appointed on Tuesday deputy presidential envoys in eight federal districts investment ombudsmen and explained to them their new duties. The newly appointed investor rights experts will not only assist entrepreneurs in solving their problems but will also fight system administrative barriers.

A day earlier, in Sochi, Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to grant a status of investment ombudsmen to seven deputies of presidential envoys in federal districts and to the deputy presidential envoy in the Central Federal District, the RBC daily writes. The president’s idea is that the ombudsmen should become a liaison between the businesses and executive power in the regions, who quite often speak different languages. The ombudsmen will be involved not only in translation from a business language into that of officials and back, but will overcome system administrative barriers, which are the biggest “scarecrows” for investors.

The ombudsmen’s responsibilities turned out to be quite vast, the Kommersant writes. As the president put it, they will be able to “approach heads of regions and municipalities” to solve system problems locally. If a problem requires involvement of the federal government, the president will point at drawbacks to the government himself, and following it the government will undertake certain measures in accordance with reports from the ombudsmen. “There should not be delays in this work,” Dmitry Medvedev said stressing that the ombudsmen should work “without excessive bureaucracy” and avoid what used to be called in the Soviet times local “extremes.” The ombudsmen will report about investors’ problems in the regions, including those in relations with local authorities, to the presidential administration, to First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and to Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina.

Investment ombudsmen in the federal districts start looking into local situations, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports. In some places, their services have been required not only by private businesses, but even by major state-owned companies. Besides, on Wednesday, Igor Shuvalov, presented to the president a report and new suggestions from the cabinet on privatization of state assets. In his words, the president approved the government’s fresh initiatives, he said.

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