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Irina Hakamada, chairwoman of the Russian State Committee for Support of Small Business, on Thursday called for a new fund to support Russian small and medium-size firms.Speaking to reporters at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo, she stressed the need to create a financing mechanism to help nurture small and medium-size companies. Hakamada, who is here on a four-day visit for a series of talks with Japanese government officials, said Japan suggested utilizing existing mechanisms — the European Bank of Recovery Development and the Export-Import Bank of Japan — for that purpose.However, she added that those funds are primarily for large-scale businesses. Thus, she said, it will probably be necessary to create a new section within the existing mechanisms or a completely new organization to meet the specific needs of small and medium-size enterprises.

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