President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Vorobyov, what is the current situation?
Governor of Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyov: Let me give you my report. In terms of the economy, we had decent results in Moscow Region, and it is good to see that the results for the first quarter of 2017 remain stable.
Our budget has increased by 19 percent, and we have a 15-percent increase for the consolidated budget, which includes the municipal budgets. This has made it possible for us to carry out the programme set out in the May 2012 executive orders.
Last year, we planned to raise wages in accordance with the roadmap, not just for teachers and doctors, but also for junior medical personnel, nurses and junior kindergarten teachers.
Junior kindergarten teachers will get a wage increase of 70 percent this year. This is much needed but we were not in a position to be able to do it earlier.
We are putting great emphasis on job creation. We still have many people commuting to Moscow to work and so it is our task to create high productive jobs in the Moscow Region.
This year, we are expanding the Dubna special economic zone by 30 hectares because we have run out of room for production facilities there. Seven companies will open this year and construction is beginning on 17 new facilities in Dubna.
I note the strategically important decision that you supported on building the bridge. The problem was that part of the city, including the special economic zone, was effectively cut off. Now that this support has come, work is actively underway on the bridge’s construction.
Vladimir Putin: What is the total financing involved?
Andrei Vorobyov: Around 10 billion rubles. The federal budget is helping us, and the builders are working conscientiously. I hope that we will have the bridge complete and ready to use in 2019.
Then there is the issue of schools working in two shifts. This was an issue you raised in your Address [to the Federal Assembly]. This is a serious problem for our region because the region is growing and the population increases by around 100,000 every year.
We will build 230 schools over the next 4–4.5 years. This is an unprecedented high figure. We have already built another 350 kindergartens. This is a big programme that we are doing our best to implement.
At the meeting [on developing physical culture and sport] in Kazan, Vladimir Petrov [well-known hockey player and twice Olympic champion], who recently left us, proposed to you the construction of a hockey school in Krasnogorsk.
We are carrying out this instruction and the construction works will begin this year. We will open a children’s sports school in Krasnogorsk with seating for 1,000 people and two ice arenas.
Krasnogorsk does not yet have any such facility and there is no doubt that it will be much used. I hope to complete this project over the next 18 months-2 years, and will open this school named in Vladimir Petrov’s honour.
I can also report that we are now completing construction of perinatal centres, which was undertaken as part of the federal programme.
Vladimir Putin: Where are they?
Andrei Vorobyov: We are building two centres under the federal programme.
Vladimir Putin: In Naro-Fominsk?
Andrei Vorobyov: In Naro-Fominsk and in Kolomna. These are two cutting-edge perinatal centres. We will build more such centres in Sergiyev Posad and in Shchyolkovo.
This will make it possible to dramatically reduce infant mortality rates. We hope, or rather we will bring these perinatal centres into operation very soon.
Another issue on which you gave us support, do you remember, I showed you the letter from Mercedes about their plans to open a plant?
Vladimir Putin: Yes.
Andrei Vorobyov: They will start this summer at a site in the Yesipovo Industrial Park. This is not far from Khimki, between Khimki and Solnechnogorsk.
Mercedes plans to start producing the first cars there in the first half of 2019. They have plans to produce four models there. We hope this project will be carried out.
What is important is that we are adapting a professional college for these needs. The future workers will need to be completely familiar with robotics technology, and I think that everything will be of a worthy level in this area too.
Vladimir Putin: There has been an increase?
Andrei Vorobyov: Yes, agriculture is growing. The government programme ensures support for capital expenses such as structures covering the cultivation area and milk production (the federal programme covers 35 percent of capital expenses (CAPEX)). We opened a farm last year.
It is welcome that TH True Milk started operation this year. This is a Vietnamese company that plans to invest several hundred million dollars – I’m being careful in what I say – in the Moscow Region’s territory.
We have allocated 4,000 hectares and the Vietnamese investor wants to build several big dairy farms to continue their milk production business. There is big interest.
We have regional programmes for producing different types of mushrooms, for example, and there are various Vietnamese types too. We are supporting these projects at the regional level.
Vladimir Putin: This sounds very realistic. We have good examples of investment in agriculture by partners from China and the Asia-Pacific region.
Andrei Vorobyov: Yes, this is for sure. We have Chinese investors too. They are investing in pork production, and we are working together with them too.