In particular, the meeting addressed the readiness of housing and utilities infrastructure for the winter period and a method for rapidly launching a project financing mechanism.
In addition, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov spoke about his participation in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
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Excerpts from transcript of meeting with Government members
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: On October 10–11, Mr Siluanov together with the Central Bank Governor visited Washington to take part in the discussion on the world economy and the stability of the financial system within the framework of the G20 meeting. Could you say a few words about that, please?
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov: Thank you, Mr President.
Yes, last week there was a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to discuss issues pertaining to the global economy. It was stated that the forecast for the development of the global economy should be adjusted downward by a 0.1 percentage point this year to 3.3 percent, and by 0.2 percentage points in 2015 to 3.8 percent.
The slowdown in economic growth is predicted to affect both developing countries with developing markets and the Eurozone and Japan. Non-economic factors had their effect as well, such as tensions in the Middle East and the Ebola epidemic. The reduction in trade that we are observing has had a clear effect on the decline of economic growth rates.
Despite all this, the Australian Presidency initiative to achieve an additional 2 percent in economic growth rates over the next five years remains on the agenda. For this purpose, it is envisaged to stimulate infrastructure through investment.
A proposal was made at the meeting of finance ministers to create a so-called global infrastructure centre that would include an information resource of sorts, information on infrastructure projects that the G20 states will be implementing, including those carried out through public private partnerships. This would be a place where you could see these projects. Investors who mainly have the resources nowadays, but refrain from investing due to risks, could choose a project they would like to invest in.
It is important that here we will be able to compare the costs of various projects. The centre will use the best practices and corresponding technical standards for attracting private and public funding to implement infrastructure projects. It will also apply the best technical regulation practices.
We also have to prepare such proposals and to be ready as of 2015 to submit applications and proposals for the operation of this centre. The proposals will be considered at the summit in Brisbane, Mr President.
I would also like to draw my colleagues’ attention to the fact that Ms Nabiullina [Central Bank Governor] and I held meetings with investors. They are interested in Russia, they showed an interest in our budget policy, including how we intend to comply with our commitments and execute the budget given the lower oil prices and how we integrated into the budget our new commitments that arose due to the reunification with Crimea and Sevastopol, the implementation of new projects and so forth. We provided answers to all these questions.
Investors also showed an interest in our monetary policy, spoke for a more flexible ruble exchange rate and were interested in both ruble and hard currency liquidity.
Together with Ms Nabiullina, we answered all their questions. We consider this practice very positive. Whenever we attend events of this kind, we try to meet with investors who are interested in operating in Russia.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Thank you very much.