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Today the spectacular growth rates of Russia's economy in 1999 and
2000 have slowed considerably. The slowdown in the world economy and
the large decline in world oil prices now threaten growth even more.
As growth contracts in Russia, it is inevitable that government
budgets will become tighter. It is likely that local and regional
budgets will be most affected. This means that some ambitious plans
for small business promotion will be threatened by lack of funding.
The ups and downs of the general economic climate must, however, not
be taken as reason to abandon all efforts to promote small business.
What is most important is that governments at all levels draw up plans
on the basis of realistic assessments of the economic future and that
they commit themselves to implement those plans over the longer term.