Moscow, 30 October 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing an international business forum in Moscow today, expressed optimism about his country's reforms and said Russia was now one of the world's most promising economies for foreign investors. Addressing more than 300 Russian and foreign investors at a conference organized by the Swiss-based World Economic Forum, Putin said Russia had made bold moves to liberalize its economy and would continue to reform in hopes of fully integrating into the global marketplace.
"Our country is a promising economy and a vast market of the future. It has always offered big opportunities. We know that these opportunities have been limited by rather serious risks. It is our task to reduce those risks to the minimum."
Putin said the government would push for tax laws to be further simplified, the judiciary to be reformed and the banking sector to be restructured to provide the proper underpinnings for a well-functioning economy.
Putin said Russia was working hard to join the World Trade Organization, but he emphasized that Moscow would only seek to join if it was granted equal conditions.