The Roscongress Foundation hosted an online conference titled Regional Support Measures for Businesses During Epidemiological Isolation. The event was co-organized together with The Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) and supported by EY.
The conference brought together representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, administrations of Samara and Belgorod regions, Krasnodar territory, the city of Moscow and Moscow region, as well as business community representatives. The participants discussed federal support measures and regional experience in helping businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Alexander Ivlev, CIS Managing Partner, EY; Foreign Participant Coordinator, Foreign Investment Advisory Council (FIAC) in Russia believes the choice of support measures must be informed by the fundamental global tendencies, such as protectionism growth, oil prices decrease, currency exchange rate volatility, and the spread of coronavirus.
«Businesses today face new challenges and the governments primary task is to make sure businesses can remain successful, or at times simply survive. Among the instruments mentioned I would single out tax breaks, stimulation packages for real estate owners, various credit options, and unique local solutions in particular regions,» he mentioned.
In April, the Government of the Russian Federation designed a plan to overcome the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic through supporting integral enterprises and businesses, preventing bankruptcies, and supporting the population income level (full document is available in the Roscongress Information and Analytical System).
According to Nikita Kuznetsov, Director, Domestic Trade Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation one should not expect a speedy recovery once the virus-related limitations are over. «We are staring into the face of grave changes in consumer behavior and we expect the economy to shift accordingly,» Mr. Kuznetsov elaborated.
Regional government representatives shared their practices in support businesses that include tax and financial breaks, refinancing programmes, expanding the list of industries qualifying for regional support, partial reopening of retail once the sanitary situation allows it, and employment support. Vadim Khromov, Deputy Chairman, Moscow Region Government shared their regional experience in working together with the banks in expanding banking products that allows bypassing standard procedures and help entrepreneurs on a case by case basis.
Representatives of the business community talked about their experiences. Alexey Grigoriev, Head of Moscow Representative Office, METRO AG talked about the need to unify the rules concerning mobility permits, control thereof, and strengthen interdepartmental communication that concerns them. Vitaly Bogachenko, Corporate Affairs Director, LafargeHolcim called upon the regional governments to remember about the entire supply chain when making a decision to shut down a particular industry branch. He also pointed out that it could be useful to organize a unified call-centre on doing business during a pandemic where entrepreneurs could address their questions.