On the meeting’s agenda were implementation of the National Technology Initiative and the National Investment Climate Rating in the country’s regions.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today, we will discuss the results of your work and discuss the projects you are putting forward and the plans you have outlined for the coming period. This includes the medium-term Work Strategy you have drafted.
These four years have not been in vain of course. Over this time, you established and developed the agency, but you also pursued quite active work. Overall, I think you would agree with me that it was not in vain that you came together and carried out this work. There are tangible results to show for it. Most important of all is that you have succeeded in bringing together a team of talented and active people: businesspeople, experts, members of public organisations. The Agency for Strategic Initiatives has put together a genuine development team. I think this gives us a good and powerful resource for resolving the complex, large-scale and, most importantly, very important tasks that our country and economy face today.
Which areas of work do I see as most important today?
Above all, the agency must continue maintaining a balance between supporting specific projects and taking part in resolving systemic issues in economic and social development. We agreed right from the start that the agency would work along these principles.
The National Entrepreneurial Initiative’s work follows the same logic. You have helped people to overcome administrative barriers and problems that come up, and, based on this work, you have submitted amendments to the law and changed the business environment in the interests of the entire business community.
The National Regional Investment Climate Rating is a key indicator of the changes taking place. We are beginning this work now and I think that there is a real need for it. We see what is happening in various regions and see that the gap is very wide. We need, of course, to identify best practice and help to spread it.
We know the figures. As part of the work on preparing the rating, more than 200,000 experts and businesspeople took part voluntarily in the surveys conducted. This provides us with a solid cross-section of these groups and suggests that the conclusions will be objective.
I would like therefore to hear from you on the work to develop this national investment climate rating overall. What stage is the work at now, and when will the final results be ready?
Next, in my Address to the Federal Assembly, as you know, I proposed carrying out the National Technology Initiative. Its purpose is to give Russia the conditions needed for developing the most promising sectors, sectors that will play a key part in the next decade or two. We agreed that the agency would involve scientists, business community representatives, and young researchers in this work.
Together with the development institutions, the agency was also asked to develop a mechanism for supporting companies in the non-raw materials sectors. This was one of the subjects we discussed at the Delovaya Rossiya business forum yesterday. Our business colleagues proposed establishing so-called investment lifts and creating additional instruments to support non-raw materials exports. As you know, the Government is making the necessary decisions now and is developing these instruments. I know that the agency is working in this area too, together with the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Having qualified personnel is one of the most important conditions for developing new sectors and for economic growth in general. This is something we also discussed yesterday. The forum had a special session on this issue, giving everyone the chance to specifically address this matter.
I note that the agency has already carried out some very important initiatives in professional education. Helping to organise national skills competitions in the various trades is one of these initiatives. We discussed this at the meeting with Government members earlier today. We are now seeing our own champions emerge, and they are very talented young people, which is very good to see.
I think we need to review the various initiatives in this area and build an integral system for professional training, taking the best international practice into account. Let’s discuss these proposals too.
Of course, talking about human resource development, we also need to look to the future, think 20 or more years ahead. This is why I think it is so important to develop additional education and provide support for talented children. I am referring here to additional educational opportunities for pre-school and school age children. I would like to hear your proposals on the role the business community can play in this area and what additional support is needed from the authorities. Of course, the agency should also play a bigger role in this area too.
Let’s discuss these matters now.