30.09.2016 — The Russian Public Health System is Inefficient in Its Money Use

Russia has been placed the last (the 55th) in the international rankings in terms of public health systems. At the same time, the Government provides sufficient funding for normal functioning of the public medical insurance program. The experts believe that corruption in the medical sphere is the leading cause of such inefficiency.

Apart from Russia, the following countries are among the top 5 worst public health systems: Brazil, Azerbaijan, Columbia and Jordan.

We remind that the Federal Antimonopoly Service has recently managed to identify a massive pharmaceutical cartel in Russia. Public health is one of the most anti-competitive spheres in Russia, and no significant reforms were introduced over the previous years. However, it is possible that international rankings will coerce the Russian Government into implementing changes aimed at improving the effectiveness of fund-spending in the public health sphere.

29.09.2016 — Russian Tourists are Back to Turkey

After the charter flights to Turkey were resumed, Turkey has regained its status of a leading tourist destination for Russian people. Having achieved such a success within a month, Turkey plans to return to the pre-crisis figures by March 2017.

We remind that in November, 2015 a prohibition to sell tourist packages to Turkey was enacted. In January, 2016 a number of other prohibitions relating to Turkish businesses in Russia were implemented. In particular, a general prohibition to employ citizens of the Turkish Republic was enacted. However, at the beginning of the summer the politicians of both countries managed to reduce the political tensions, which led to the gradual lifting of the sanctions. It is very much likely that both the economic and political relations between Russia and Turkey will soon return to their pre-crisis state.

28.09.2016 — Chinese Yuan Has Become One of the IMF Reserve Currencies

Starting from October 1, 2016, Chinese Yuan has been included into the list of the IMF’s reserve currencies, along with USD, Euro, Yen and British pounds. According to the experts, inclusion of Yuan into the IMF’s reserve currencies is an important milestone in the transformation of Yuan into a global currency.

The executive board of the IMF took the decision to recognize Yuan as a reserve currency back in 2015. However, to implement the decision China has had to undertake a number of reforms, aiming to bring the national currency into compliance with IMF requirements.

Therefore, recognition of Yuan as one of the IMF’s reserve currencies will not only increase the international investors’ interest in Yuan, but will also contribute towards the globalization of the Chinese financial system and loosen the rigid fixation of Yuan exchange rate.

27.09.2016 — WEF Rankings: Russia is Becoming More Competitive Each Year

Russia has for the fourth year in a row improved its position in the index of competitiveness prepared by the World economic forum (WEF). Russia currently holds the 43th place, having improved its previous result by 2 positions by improving the quality of education and business environment as well as by eliminating some administrative barriers.

Apart from that, Russia has achieved significant progress in the diversification of the economy, gradually decreasing the country’s dependency on energy resources and focusing on innovative technology instead. Certain progress was also achieved in the fight against corruption, which, however, still remains a serious issue for businesses.

The leaders of the new WEF index are Switzerland, Singapore and the US. The top 10 countries in terms of competitiveness include the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland and the UK.

26.09.2016 — Small Businesses Will Cover the Budget Gaps

In order to provide for the state budget, the Ministry of Finance proposed to increase the financial burden on small businesses by altering the coefficient used for the calculation of the unified tax paid by small businesses. The Ministry expects that such an alteration will provide the municipal budgets with 14 billion rubles.

We remind that at the end of 2014 due to economic hardships the President of Russia announced a four-year moratorium on altering the economic conditions for business. However, the Ministry of Finances believes that the proposed increase will not increase actual tax burdens. The unified tax paid by small businesses does not depend on the income, while the market prices are on the increase. Therefore, the increase of the payable unified tax will merely reflect the new economic reality.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Economic Development, which is responsible for determining the applicable deflation coefficient, this proposal was not coordinated with it. Public discussions of the proposal are continuing at the web portal of legal acts.