Participants in the event included heads of federal ministries and agencies, regional leaders, representatives of Russia’s biggest business associations, and owners and CEOs of the country’s leading companies.
Delovaya Rossiya is a union of employers, mostly engaged in the non-raw materials and processing sectors of the economy, in sectors such as machine building, construction, light industry, agriculture, financial services, information technology and others.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends,
The idea of creating an organisation of dynamic medium-sized companies, Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia), was advanced at a meeting with business people 15 years ago, on October 16, 2001. The constituent assembly was held the following day, on October 17.
Over the 15 years since then, you have proved that the non-resource businesses are the main driver of the country’s long-term economic development.
Starting from scratch as very small companies, you have made great progress. Today, your companies can no longer be described as medium-sized, for they have grown into effective, competitive and often large companies. Here are a few examples. The Delovaya Rossiya companies have nearly a million employees in high added value industries and pay over 100 billion rubles in taxes to various budgets every year. The export ambitions of our businesses keep growing. The Delovaya Rossiya companies export their products to over 120 countries around the world, and this is not the limit because their potential is far from exhausted.
I am convinced that Russian non-resource companies will eventually take the leading positions in the future markets that are associated with new technologies.
This is why I expect good results from the Technology Development Agency, which has been created at your initiative, and hope that you will contribute to the implementation of the National Technology Initiative. Advanced Russian research will enhance the competitiveness of our companies, while the creation of added value chains will strengthen partner relations between Russian and foreign companies.
It should be said that contacts between business communities play a major role in boosting Russia’s cooperation with other countries. I would like to use this opportunity to thank Delovaya Rossiya for its major contribution to the development of business diplomacy.
One more important thing I want to say is that business reputation is again becoming a vital asset for Russian companies. I see this as a revival of historical traditions and an element of public respect, which is growing thanks to your charity projects and important enlightenment and social initiatives.
Russian business has proved its reliability and patriotism. For many of you, it is not just personal achievement that matters. Although, of course, it is very important, but the opportunity to work for Russia’s benefit is also highly valuable. It is no coincidence that successful and accomplished entrepreneurs have become a driving force of major transformations. Let me remind you that it was at the Delovaya Rossiya congress five years ago that we launched the National Entrepreneurial Initiative. Along with other business associations, with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives, we managed to eliminate many administrative barriers and change legislative and managerial approaches. By the way, there are more and more people at the federal and regional levels who understand and hear demands of businesses and work with them directly.
I would like the authorities, including law enforcement agencies, to further extend the dialogue, cooperation with the business community. You know that at the federal level we started a working group to monitor and analyse the legislative and regulatory compliance practices in business. I also count on efficient partnership between regional officials and businesses in building a favourable business environment locally.
To achieve this goal, every region is starting special project management offices. I propose that at the next State Council Presidium meeting we review cooperation between regional administrations and businesses and see what additional decisions are necessary in order to ensure consistently high quality of the business environment across the country.
Friends, our meetings have become regular. Our open dialogue helps us deal with many problems, because feedback from the business community helps us adopt policy decisions promptly and efficiently.
It is important that we have a shared understanding of national priorities and a shared approach based on giving business as much freedom as possible. As I have said, this is the best answer to any external restrictions and the only possible way to improve public prosperity. We have stabilised the national economy, but our goal is much more challenging: sustainable growth. To attain it, we must find new instruments and enhance the effectiveness of support measures.
Therefore, I suggest that we discuss in detail ways to guarantee export support, increase the accessibility of loans and improve relations between private businesses and state-owned companies. I want you to know that I see our meeting today as a vital stage in drafting the Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly. Colleagues, I hope to hear your recommendations and advice.
Before we start our discussion, I would like to congratulate you on the 15th anniversary of Delovaya Rossiya. I sincerely wish success to you and to Russian business as a whole.