The organisers of the Forum invited to the Moscow International House of Music over 1,500 guests, including representatives of ministries and government agencies, heads of Russian regions, owners of major Russian companies, and members of the expert community.
The key theme of discussions at the forum is the role of business in achieving national development goals.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends, colleagues.
I am sincerely glad to welcome all of you at the regular Delovaya Rossiya Forum. The theme of today's meeting is the role of business in achieving national development goals, which is evidence of our common attitude, the business community’s commitment to working efficiently and cooperatively. It shows that Russian business leaders understand perfectly well their responsibility for our country’s future and are ready to make a significant, if not a decisive contribution to its economic development, and to Russia’s development in general.
The role of businesses in meeting strategic goals is truly very big, not to say enormous. It is the entrepreneurial initiative that creates jobs, which means it increases salaries and incomes of millions of our citizens. And the stronger and more dynamic companies we have in both conventional and emerging industries, the more stable our economic growth will be. This is important, first of all, for our country to become richer, and for the people’s prosperity and quality of life to grow.
Allow me to underscore that the national projects are aimed at achieving a breakthrough in Russia’s development. I talk about this regularly, and I am sure that you agree with me. We need this breakthrough; it is our main, paramount goal, and having achieved it, we will have what we have been living and working for: strong and steady growth in the welfare of our country’s citizens.
These national projects should certainly become an incentive for Russian businesses, for the rapid development of advanced technologies, the emergence of new products and services, so that our companies strengthen their foothold not only on the national market, but also on global markets, and confidently join global production chains.
To achieve this, we must focus on several important things. Firstly, we must consistently remove barriers and expand entrepreneurial freedoms. The quality of our business climate must be commensurate with the scale of the goals facing Russia. It is the flaws in the national jurisdiction, I have to admit, and the insufficient guarantees of private property protection that have forced many business owners to register their assets abroad and to export these assets.
As you know, we have announced an amnesty of capital, which is valid until March 1, 2019. Moreover, individuals are exempt from liability for certain offences under economic, currency and tax legislation.
Naturally, my colleagues and I have discussed the situation in this area, and we believe that the capital amnesty for those bringing back assets or registering their businesses in special administrative regions with special legal conditions for companies returning to the Russian jurisdiction can be extended at least for another year. Such regions have been created, as you know, on Oktyabrsky Island in Kaliningrad and on Russky Island in Vladivostok.
I also consider it expedient to exempt citizens from paying personal income tax for one year on the profits of foreign companies controlled by them– if they become tax residents in the Russian Federation in 2019.
The second area of our work is expanding competition. The projects that we are implementing create a huge demand for industrial, infrastructural, agricultural and social products. I want to point out again for the Government that all order placements and purchases by government and municipal bodies as well as companies with state participation must be open and transparent. We need additional measures to build a competitive environment. I know that you have specific proposals and we will discuss them by all means.
As concerns your idea, we do not communicate with your colleagues as often as we should but still we do it on a regular basis and we are aware of these proposals. As concerns your suggestion that the supplier selection procedure be started as early as possible, we are already working on it. I agree that it would be reasonable to categorise this project by groups of products or services so that companies have time (for example, at least six months) to prepare thoroughly for a tender.
Third. We are building an integrated system to promote our products in global markets. A similar mechanism is required for exporting services. Following a proposal from Delovaya Rossiya, this approach will be reflected in legislation, including in taxation terms. I am not only talking about developing exports but about stimuli for businesses to invest in healthcare, education, logistics and tourism – the areas that create a comprehensive economic, social and technological effect.
Naturally, a key issue is greater support for the Russian business’s technological development, assistance in implementing innovation and modernising production. We have already adopted certain decisions in this area. As one of the measures, I would like to ask regional governments to more actively provide businesses with tax rebates on renewed capital funds.
Clearly, the budget always needs revenue, and this applies to budgets at any level, but, without a doubt, we need to think long term and create favourable conditions for opening and modernising enterprises, boosting labour productivity, which would increase tax returns and the region would move forward. Necessary legislative initiatives already exist at the federal level; now it is the turn of regional governments to make such decisions. Unfortunately, so far only ten regions of the Russian Federation have done that.
Here is one more proposal. Breakthrough solutions and ideas for large companies are often developed by smaller business and research teams. They need to be provided with the necessary funding, primarily at the very early stage of development. As a matter of fact, this is something we always talk about. It is important to create incentives for private investment, to create preferential conditions, including in taxation, for people who invest their own funds in startups. They are imaginatively called ‘business angels’. I ask the Government and Delovaya Rossiya to submit appropriate proposals shortly.
At the same time, I believe we must improve the legal protection of intellectual property, and to create attractive conditions for the registration of patents – here in Russia, of course. Certain steps have already been taken in this area, but many issues, unfortunately, still require effective solutions and development.
Colleagues, we have always worked together closely and constructively. I expect that today we will attain some practical solutions to issues that are important both for the state and for business.
Today’s meeting is taking place in the Moscow House of Music, and it is certainly difficult to avoid analogies here. There is a comparison, well, I will not go into details now, but we know that global developments are unfolding very actively, at a rapid pace, and we should also work in this manner – allegro.
I hope that our meeting will be productive and will help me to formulate proposals and ideas for this year’s Address to the Federal Assembly.