Igor Rudenya reported on the coronavirus response efforts, including the creation of additional hospital beds, equipment procurement and restrictions. At the same time, he noted that, along with protecting people's health, it is equally important to preserve jobs. According to the Governor, large enterprises are operating, and so is the state and municipal administration system. To support the economy, especially small and medium-sized businesses, the region launched the Working Capital programme. A regional fund for supporting small and medium-sized businesses has been created to issue loans of up to 20 million rubles per company at 1.5 percent per annum for 16–18 months. According to Rosstat, economic growth and financial growth in the region have remained stable, in particular, thanks to the support from the federal Government.
Investment projects in the region were also discussed. The local company Rumelko (owned by Novolipetsk Steel) is implementing an 18-billion-ruble project (more than 600 jobs) with planned completion in 2022. The Korean company Orion International has invested more than 5 billion rubles to build confectionery factories. Shell Neft is planning a new facility in Torzhok, with more than 500 jobs, and more than 5 billion rubles in investment.
The President noted that in 2018–2019, amid a nationwide fixed investment growth trend of over 7 percent, the region showed a decline of more than 26 percent. Igor Rudenya explained that during those years, the region completed several large projects launched in 2016–2017. So right now, the region mainly counts on medium and small-sized businesses and the new projects that he mentioned. It is also especially important now to add more jobs and replace labour migrants with local human resources as much as possible.
Another priority is the local transport logistics, the Governor added. Thanks to the federal Government’s support, the M-11 motorway has been completed. The region now has good infrastructural access, and the companies that operate there can establish their headquarters in Tver. It became very convenient to get to St Petersburg and Moscow, as well as to other regions in the Central Federal District. At the same time, he mentioned several negative aspects: the system of petrol stations and rest stops on the new motorway is not growing quickly enough. Next year, however, the situation is going to improve with the involvement of the state companies Avtodor, Rosneft and Gazpromneft.
The President and the Governor also discussed problems with connecting more consumers to the gas grid. According to Igor Rudenya, it is a key development factor for the region's economy. Of the 42 local municipalities, 13 are not supplied with gas, although a large number of oil and gas pipelines of international significance actually cross Tver Region. Thanks to Presidential instructions, an agreement has been signed with Gazprom on a connection programme until 2025. As a result, almost every municipality will have gas, which is essential for attracting investors and creating jobs.
The President stressed it was important to synchronise this work with Gazprom, because last-mile connection is the region’s responsibility. Igor Rudenya confirmed that this is being done. The programme is being implemented in two phases and is funded accordingly. Of the 23 billion rubles for the general connection programme, 15.9 billion are provided by Gazprom and 7 billion are invested by Tver Region.