President Dmitry Medvedev has supported the idea of a special fund that
would allow the government to finance companies directly. Until recently, the main
lending vehicles were state-owned banks and the Bank for Development (VEB). The
new fund would support core companies, most likely company-cities.
At the same time, the United Russia party has created the Industrials and
Entrepreneurs Commission (IEC) that would lobby for corporate interests and be a
stage for discussing anti-crisis measures, tax amendments, etc. The Commission will be headed by Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE). The initial list of IEC members includes about thirty large Russian corporates and banks.
Expert View: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the idea of direct government
support to corporates during the television programme 'A Talk with Vladimir Putin'. Initially, the proposal sounded more like government help to the defence
sector and strategic state-owned corporates.
However, we might see two new institutions: one lobbying for business interests
and the other distributing state funds.