A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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The Happy Economy: Public Initiatives for Regional Development
3 September 2021
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russian regions have a huge potential for tourism development

Russia’s unique potential lies in the almost untouched nature of the Far East — Irina Lindberg, Head of Green Economy Development Department, Amur Branch, World Fund Nature.

There is a strong potential for tourism, there are types of tourism that require virtually no investment. I already spoke about Alaska: for example, diamond mines that used to be abandoned now bring huge amounts of money. It is an enormous tourism industry; they spend USD 2.5 million per year on promotion attracting millions of people. No need to mention the northern lights — Ruslan Novikov, General Director, Argumenty I Facty.

Young people stay if the region develops creative industries

The tourist industry has a lot to offer to small and medium-sized companies and often provides the first job for the youth. This is a strong reason to keep the youth where they are, not only in large cities as Vladivostok, but also in remote territories. There are villages and towns where young people stay because they see how tourism starts developing, new interesting products are emerging, new companies are formed. They stay there and arrange unusual tours, create new sights, creative museums, begin producing something interesting — Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm).

All businesses state that they follow the principles of corporate and social responsibility, it is a trend. We are collecting young socially significant initiatives and small foundations, we choose those who receive no other support — Antonina Priezzheva, Head of HR and Administrative Directorate, Gazprom-Media.

We count on the development of creative industries rather than the materials sector. Two years ago, the first IT park in the Far East was opened, and this initiative has been expanded to all municipal districts – 14 IT centres were created in republic’s regions — Maya Danilova, Minister of Economy, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).

ISSUES
Lack of support for local initiatives on regional and municipal levels

The time has come to build a space of trust. On municipal and regional levels, some agencies are made to work with non-profits. For them, non-profits are dead load. And officials push away influencers that could contribute to the development of the territory — Veronika Sipacheva, President, Energy of Participation Fund; Coordination, Association of Youth Governments of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

Cinema is one of the most powerful tools for promotion of territories. The Far East has a lot of problems with cinema. It is really expensive for film crews to fly to this region, and they need a strong motivation to go there — Fedor Scherbakov, General Director, Lenfilm Film Studio.

Lack of tourist infrastructure

In the Far Eastern regions, tourist attractions can be located 300–400 kilometres away from the starting point. This is uncomfortable for the tourist, because, according to studies and international standards, every 1.5–2 hours on the road, that is, every 60–100 kilometres, there should be a place to stop and have a rest. Ideally, it should be integrated into the concept of the trip and offer opportunities to learn about that place — Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm).

We all are talking about high levels of tourist interest in the Far East, Primorye, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, Yakutia. But if we double the tourist flow, the airport operation will be disrupted. The airport infrastructure cannot comfortably handle such number of tourists without delays, crowds and overlaps — Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm).

Lack of creative ideas for promotion of regions

I do not know a single case in Russia when the image of a region or of people was approached through the reputation of this region. They could suggest a programme called, for example, ‘We are not the most hardcore city in the country’ or ‘We are a nondrinking village — Ruslan Novikov, General Director, Argumenty I Facty.

Gastronomy is an integral part of the image of the Far East, but it is underused. It is not only about food tourism, but also about the economy and many other spheres — Tatiana Zarechneva, Project Manager Pacific Russia Food Lab.

SOLUTIONS
Involve not only organizations, but also regular people and their ideas

In order to build a space of trust, we need to offer more opportunities for individuals, so that the absence of a registered organization is not a hindrance for involvement and support of the initiative. It is true that it is easier to interact with organizations, it is safer from the point of view of effectiveness and efficiency, but we should look at the situation from an individual’s viewpoint. And after the implementation of the project, the individual will decide if they need an organization — Veronika Sipacheva, President, Energy of Participation Fund; Coordination, Association of Youth Governments of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

We need to sit down and talk to people and listen to what they say. All communities have their representatives that are willing to talk to the authorities. There were a lot of attempts, but they did not result in any tangible outcomes — Roman Karmanov, Chief Executive Officer, Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

Create an environment that is infused with unique regional features and can be interesting for tourists

We should create a comfortable tourist city centre, an architecturally cohesive convenient space for at least a three-hour walk with stops for tea, coffee or a local beverage — Elena Lysenkova, Deputy Head, Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm).

We need to give a try to small projects. One of non-profits, a cultural organization, wrote a grant for opening a national costume atelier. Today it is the best ethno workshop in Transbaikal Territory — Irina Levkovich, Minister of Culture of the Trans-Baikal Territory.

Use grants that can help fulfil lifetime dreams to keep people

People are becoming motivated to live here, and we give creative people [the opportunity] to get funds to make their dreams come true. Now any creative person who has an idea can apply, convince experts and get a serious sum of money to fulfil their dreams. A person is engaged in creative activities that can be expanded, and when certain resources are obtained, it turns into a lifetime project — Roman Karmanov, Chief Executive Officer, Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS