Regional Policy in the Context of Russia’s Spatial Development
The regions demonstrate economic conditions conducive to implementing national projects
I would like to thank the governors’ teams that allow us to say that we have a very strong, solid outset to start implementing national projects in 2019 and the following fiscal years. We repeated the success of fiscal years in the 2000s; almost all of the Russian regions enjoyed a positive trend in the rate of tax revenue growth. This means that the economic processes that take place in the Russian regions had fairly good results — Leonid Gornin, Member of the Supervisory Board, Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation.
The strategy highlighted 12 macro-regions, then each region got its definition. These are promising regions, these are geostrategic regions. But the main point is, the key goal in the coming years is to get rid of the differences in socio-economic development and living standards between different regions as soon as possible — Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.
Competence level of engineering companies is insufficient
As for the current work, over the past years we have largely lost our skills and, firstly, we need to talk about engineering, because the engineering companies that are present on the market today — and a good project is 80% of success — there are almost none left. That Soviet school of engineering which we had, which then became Russian school — unfortunately, the 1990s took their toll on it and even in the 2000s it kept being ruined. Therefore, when we talk about strong engineering institutes, organizations that can work on serious projects today — such organizations can be counted on fingers of two hands — Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Construction, Housing, and Utilities of the Russian Federation.
Problems with attracting project financing
The most important thing that we are talking about is project financing; the banks will certainly complicate the process: banks are conservative institutions, we will have to deal with it, it will be a difficult task. We have set the terms, criteria, order, it must be maintained everywhere, and it must be strict — Rustam Minnikhanov, Head of the Republic of Tatarstan.
A key challenge is establishing a new coordinate system and understanding the indicators for reaching national goals. What do we need to make it happen? Personnel, for sure. That was discussed in detail today — Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
Guaranteed stable terms for investors
A very important point that worries the investors is the whether the introduction of new standards affects the investment contracts that have already been signed in those areas that are present, whether the promises that the regions made to their investors are going to be broken because of the new rules — Ivan Fedotov, Director, Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).
Considering the specifics of territories while implementing the national projects
Today we must consider the characteristics of each region. Each one has its own programme. The way it was done before was very wrong, when the federal programmes were simply handed down and in no way considered the regional ones. So, any project, even if we look at those 12 national ones, someone needs to build a school, but I, for instance, need 40 schools, as we have a good birth rate in the region. But other regions do not necessarily need them, they have other problems, and their schools stay empty — Sergey Zhvachkin, Acting Governor of Tomsk Region.
We start to actively discuss the horizontal level of the national projects related to specific territories. We are talking about rural areas, we are talking about cities, we are talking about compulsory accounting for the demographic projections when deciding on the locations for certain facilities, we are talking about economic specialization. So, the horizontal level is the basis for success — Maxim Oreshkin, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
Optimizing authority of regional governments
The first important area of work is significant concentration of efforts to optimize authority of the regions. For many years we have been working on optimizing the burden on small and medium-sized businesses, optimizing control and regulation, introducing procedures that do not allow new damaging regulations that increase costs. As for the regions, such work remained out of our reach. <...> It is important to discuss how to create a mechanism that would prevent new powers from emerging, rather than how to optimize the existing ones — Vadim Zhivulin, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.
The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS