The Acting Governor reported that the industrial production index increased by 5.8 percent over a period of the past five months. In 2017 the Novosibirsk Region moved up from the 27th to the 19th place in the rating of the regions’ investment appeal. Now work is underway to draft a strategy for the region’s socioeconomic development through to 2030. Benchmarks for the majority of social goals outlined in the presidential executive orders of May 2012 have been achieved.
Science and education are the region’s main strong points. Novosibirsk is a major scientific centre. The plan of measures to develop the Siberian Scientific Centre and the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences is being elaborated in cooperation with the Russian Government, the Plenipotentiary Envoy’s office together with the Academy of Sciences. The plan is comprehensive: its aim is to develop the field of scientific research and create conditions for introducing and increasing the number of medium-sized and future major enterprises that will engage in the implementation of innovations.
The Acting Governor noted that the Novosibirsk transport hub is another strong point of the region. This is why the work on transport strategy both of the region and its agglomeration is conducted in parallel with the elaboration of the socio-economic strategy. The region is taking part in the Safe and Quality Roads federal project. Every year the share of roads within the agglomeration that meet the standards grows by 10 percent. The region will bring the share of such roads to 52 percent by the end of this year and to 85 percent by 2024, as contemplated by the Executive Order of May 7.
Air transportation services are making good headway. Tolmachevo Airport, the largest transport hub beyond the Urals, served over 5 million passengers in 2017. The airport’s operator, Novaport, has major plans for increasing its capacity to 9–10 million passengers annually in the next few years.
Andrei Travnikov also reported on preparing Novosibirsk for the 2023 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships. Work is underway on a new ice sports centre and the surrounding infrastructure.
The region’s agriculture reported a nearly 8 percent growth and a record large grain harvest of nearly 3 million tonnes last year. However, there is a shortage of processing facilities for agricultural products. The socioeconomic development strategy provides for building processing and also storage facilities. Andrei Travnikov believes the focus must be on enhancing the efficiency of agricultural producers and processing companies, saying that farms must have enough funds to keep up the pace of growth.
The President pointed out two things. First, the regional authorities must work with the Government of Russia to further develop Akademgorodok. The respective forward looking plans were formulated together with the Academy of Sciences and the Government back in February.
Second, all matters related to air transportation should be coordinated with the Transport Ministry, which must deal with the Siberian group of airports – Novosibirsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk – to determine the role each of them will play and to consider the distribution of passengers and cargo between them. Much still has to be done to improve the runways as well as the terminals.
The President emphasised that the Government must start working immediately.