Today, Vladimir Putin asked businessmen what they think about the work of public authorities. Heads of the biggest companies and industry associations gathered in the Kremlin for a meeting with the President.
Aleksey Petrov reports.
A meeting with the business circles in the Aleksandrovsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. The interior seems to remind that business projects are a matter of public concern.
Vladimir Putin: “As per tradition, we gather together on the eve of the New Year. This time in such a beautiful interior, a royal interior indeed. But that was the right thing to do because we wanted to create a good atmosphere favorable for you, and at the same time an atmosphere that would encourage us to achieve a good combined result”.
This talk was also meant to sum up this year’s results. The key indicators make it clear that, despite all the pressure, the economy is stable.
Vladimir Putin: “The economic situation is satisfactory. The macroeconomic situation remains stable. Inflation and unemployment remain at low levels. The exchange rate of our national currency is also stable. Overall, all of these are good prerequisites for achieving greater results that can be demonstrated on this basis”.
Before the meeting started, its participants talked in the lobby. Some drank tea; some, like the head of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina, examined documents.
A wish tree was erected in the Malachite Foyer. Each decoration is a card with someone’s dream written on it. The businessmen also try to not miss the chance to help children in need.
– Yelena Pashnina dreams of a powerful computer. She’s from Stavropol Krai. First, you’ll have to call the hotline, 8-800, and they’ll give you all the instructions. They’ll give you the number of the dreamer’s representative and tell you how to give the gift.
– Okay, I’ll call them.
– Will you make it come true?
– I think I will.
Everybody is clearly in a good mood.
Andrey Kostin, president of VTB Bank: “Heads of the largest industrial companies are gathered here. They all feel fine. Of course, we have to accelerate growth, but I think that social projects will help us do it in the next couple of years”.
Alisher Usmanov, founder of USM Holdings: “I have a feeling that business itself is starting to play a more significant role in social development, and more people are starting to realize it. It’s already a good result. I think that next year, like the president said, the business climate will be one of the authorities’ top priority tasks. Let’s hope so”.
Next year’s key task is economic growth. It depends a lot on the coordination between the state and business.
Vladimir Putin: “The positive growth of GDP remains, but the rate of growth is, of course, unsatisfactory. We’re working on the business climate, that’s also well known. We’re doing it together with you, basically. We’re actively working on the realization of plans for the so-called “regulatory guillotine”. I hope we’ll be able to solve these issues by the end of the year”.
The regulatory guillotine is one of the most relevant topics for business. There are ten of thousands of specifications, many of which are outdated. Facilities should be inspected using up-to-date methods, including remote ones.
Alexander Dyukov, CEO of Gazprom Neft: “A very important task is the large-scale development of a remote control system. There’s a system of sensors in facilities that remotely collect information. If this system gets amplified with algorithms developed using artificial intelligence, it will help us to solve the serious issues of analysis and prediction”.
Economic effectiveness is crucial in the face of pressure from abroad, which, however, doesn’t scare captains of industry.
Gennady Timchenko, the owner of the Volga Group: “I think it’s okay, we’ll manage. The West has already imposed sanctions against us. There are now a lot of people who are certainly conducting import substitution. That’s a lot of really big enterprises, and I think it also provides great support for our industry as well”.
Judging by the businessmen’s mood, next year will have even more of such enterprises that rely on Russian technologies. The President’s meeting with the heads of the biggest companies and banks makes it clear that the opinion of business is extremely important to the state. The prospects of the most important infrastructure projects depend on the state of the business climate. That means the development of the entire country.
Aleksey Petrov, Nikolay Zakharov, Viktor Vinogradov, and Alexander Feoktistov, Vesti.