Pirelli Chairman and CEO Marco Trochetti Provera (retranslated): Mr President,
We are celebrating the fifth anniversary of our partnership with Rostec, as well as our commercial partnership with Rosneft. This is not the easiest time, but nevertheless, our two factories continue operating at full capacity, at 100 percent.
The products we are unable to sell in Russia, we can send out for export. We are currently developing a trade network with Rosneft. We have already invested 450 million euro into the Russian economy and intend to continue doing so in the future.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I am very happy to see you.
I know that Pirelli is working actively in our market, investing, as you have just said. It is good to hear about your plans to increase this investment activity.
We are aware of the IMF and the World Bank forecasts of a slowdown in the global economy’s growth: this also concerns developing markets, including Russia. Other factors include a decline in demand and, as a result, the need for energy resources. But we are very calm about this, because we know that this will pass – it cannot be any other way, it is inevitable.
Today’s more difficult situation pushes us towards diversifying the economy and this is actually good; it even has more upsides than downsides. We will conduct a very measured budget policy and Russia’s economy will maintain good development potential.
I want to state directly that we will not stray from the liberal course of our currency regulation. As far as investors are concerned, that means we are not going to limit the flow of capital or foreign currency returns in any way.
We will certainly maintain a measured social policy, upholding stability in this sphere. But we will aim towards a healthy macroeconomic situation, continuing to target inflation and, of course, we will maintain a low budget deficit and soon progress to a zero deficit and then to a surplus.
The Central Bank and the Government are working closely together. Recently, we have observed a growth in gold and currency reserves, and we also maintain a high level of Government reserve funds. All this allows us to expect the situation in the Russian economy to remain stable. In spite of the well-known drop in internal demand, we will work on ensuring it increases and becomes a significant factor in assuring high economic development rates.
Naturally, we will also work with partners like yourself, with investors with whom we have a long track record of successful cooperation. We hope and are confident that success awaits us on this joint path. We will do everything to help you and provide you with administrative support.
Marco Tronchetti Provera: Today, we have several coinciding happy events in Russia. We have signed an agreement with Bernie Ecclestone: over the next four years, we will be the only suppliers for Formula One. Thus, we will essentially surpass Michelin in competition, which we are very happy about.
Vladimir Putin: Bernie is a unique individual. Just today, I was talking with him about the possibility of holding new races in Sochi. He painted such a colourful picture that we decided we’ll certainly do it, with your participation.
Marco Tronchetti Provera: Absolutely! Right you are. We always win.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent.