The Russian State Statistics Committee, or Goskomstat, plans to hold a census of private entrepreneurs in 2003, Oleg Rybak, deputy chairman of Goskomstat, told the press conference Wednesday. According to him, private entrepreneurs in Russia, who are not legal entities, number approximately 4,500,000, what with the indicator increased by 10 percent over the past six months. The Goskomstat spokesman believes that the census of private entrepreneurs will be no less important than the census of small businesses held by Goskomstat this year. According to Rybak, the latest census revealed certain interesting trends. Thus, the ratio of renovation of small businesses' fixed assets in 2000 was equal to 20 percent against 5 percent at medium-sized and large businesses, which corresponds to the developed countries' standards. A major part of investment (57 percent) in small businesses was channelled for buying machines and equipment, while this share for Russia as a whole was less than 36 percent, which also testifies to market-oriented structure of small businesses, Rybak believes. According to him, labour efficiency and returns on assets of small enterprises turned out to be 1.5-2-fold higher than in industry as a whole. "The census returns made us to review the conception of average number of small businesses. If an enterprise is officially recognised as small one if it employs 100 people, then, actually, 70 percent of small businesses employ from 5 to 10 people.
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