'Holding the 50th congress of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Russia gives us a unique opportunity to acquaint the world with the successes and prospects of Russian business,' said President Vladimir Putin in his welcome note to participants in the congress, which was officially opened today in St. Petersburg.
The President's welcome note went on to say that in recent years the role of international NGOs has increased, and that they have become active participants in economic, social and political processes. He cited the work of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs as an example of this.
The Presidential Plenipotentiary for the North-West Federal Region's deputy, Lyubov Sovershaeva, noted in turn that the congress is taking place during an important time for Russia, when reforms are being carried out and administrative barriers which impede the development of business are being lowered. The North-West region, which contains 10% of the country's territory and 10% of its population, is playing an important role in Russia's reforms, Sovershaeva stressed. What is more, it is the only region in Russia which shares a border with the EU, which is why the development of business in general, and female business in particular, has great potential.
The congress began on Saturday. On Monday round-table discussions were held on the problems of developing tourism, the work of foreign companies, and attracting foreign investment into the Russian economy. Around 600 woman entrepreneurs from 55 countries are taking part in the forum. It ends tomorrow, on September 19.