President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
We met in July at the Strategic Initiatives Forum and discussed results and new projects. I remember how the discussion proceeded at the time: We addressed areas of further activity. On this point, I would like to note that it is of paramount importance to achieve concrete, tangible results next year, primarily in the fields that we discussed: the business climate in the regions, the development of vocational education programmes and, of course, support for initiatives in the social sphere.
In my Address to the Federal Assembly, which I hope you saw, I asked you, together with the Civic Chamber, to support the development of volunteerism, socially oriented non-profit organisations. It is important to remove impediments to the development of the volunteer movement and define the format for cooperation between volunteers, non-profits and the state. It is certainly necessary to help those who want to undertake projects in the social sphere and promote important environmental protection initiatives, especially considering that, as you know, we have declared next year the Year of the Environment.
And another thing. At the July forum, several interesting projects for people with disabilities were presented. Today, naturally, I would like to hear how this work is moving along, what problems you are encountering and what plans there are in this area.
Within the framework of the National Technology Initiative, you are already working on developing what is known as end-to-end technology that will shape all spheres of life in the near future. This includes robotics, new energy sources, and so on. You know all about it.
The Address also mentioned the launch of a programme to develop a digital economy. I would like to ask the Agency to act as a platform for organising collaboration between Russian companies and research, education and engineering organisations and centres.
I would like to note that we have an increasing number of young specialists and highly qualified workers who are able to handle tasks at a new technological level. This was clearly demonstrated by the young people who won the EuroSkills competition in Sweden.
Such competitions are certainly not only prestigious tournaments (and we understand this very well). They set the pace as well as a reference point for the development of the national education system based on the world’s best practices and help fine-tune educational programmes and professional standards to meet current demand, the needs of the economy.
As such, I would like to ask the Government and the Education and Science Ministry to ensure the unconditional fulfilment of all directives related to the development of the WorldSkills movement in Russia, including organising a WorldSkills competition in blue-collar trades that will take place in Kazan in 2019.
You are actively involved in promoting this movement. In our country, it is known as Young Professionals and today it brings together over 20,000 participants. Of course, it would be interesting to hear, to know your plans for next year.
Before we get down to business, I would like to revisit the issue of improving the investment climate.
Together, we have formulated the task of ensuring a high-quality business environment in all constituent entities. This means that in each region, entrepreneurs should receive comprehensive services, comprehensive assistance and support. Timeframes for connection to infrastructure, the issuance of various documents and other services vital for business should be brought in line with the requirements of federal law.
I very much hope that business associations, the Leaders Club, will also continue to oversee the implementation of decisions that were made, including the introduction of best practices at the regional and municipal level.
I hope that all participants in the Antarctic expedition have returned home safely. Mr Andrei Belousov [Presidential Aide] did not get to join you this year, either, but he will do so in the near future. Every year he tells me that he is starting to prepare for the undertaking but then I see him here in the Kremlin offices. He has settled down here and it seems to me that he is no longer keen to go to the Antarctic.
Now let us get down to business.