The Governor began his report by mentioning an important regional parameter: for a second year, the region had registered a positive migration balance. People arrive from the country’s northern and central territories, and there is also an influx of Russian compatriots from the near abroad. Many medical workers arrived from southern countries and former Soviet republics.
According to Andrei Nikitin, one of the reasons behind this trend was that Novgorod ranked fourth in its category of Russian cities with the best public amenities. For example, its road construction plan had been fulfilled by 193 percent, thanks to the President’s support. The regional authorities also see the subject of young WorldSkills professionals as important. People from 24 regions study in the Novgorod Region; and competition among young people enrolling at some colleges is 12 applicants per vacancy. A regional geriatric centre, one of the best national centres for rehabilitating senior citizens with serious health disorders, has also opened here. Today, the centre can treat 19,000 patients annually. The local university, which is developing well, also contributes to additional migration, and the number of students studying there has increased by 46 percent. Young people come to study and then stay in the region.
According to the Governor, it had been possible to achieve a robust economic performance despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The region ranks 11th in the country in terms of its investment climate and eighth in terms of measures for supporting small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Nikitin recalled that a preliminary agreement with HASSLACHER Co. had been signed in 2018 in the presence of the President of Russia and the Chancellor of Austria. Today, three companies, HASSLACHER, IKEA and UPM-Kymmene, are investing ten billion rubles in the Novgorod Region’s in-depth timber-processing projects. Akron has launched a wonderful project to produce ammonia and carbamide, and 140 billion rubles are to be invested in the next four years. Work is now underway.
The Governor noted that regional poverty levels exceeded the national average. He thanked the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection for assistance in the field of social contracts. About 20,000 people received effective support for overcoming poverty. This work will continue at the same pace throughout 2021.
The President and the Governor also discussed the work of medical institutions and support for medical workers during the pandemic. Doctors have stopped leaving the region, and the situation has stabilised thanks to the special regional programme and a programme for relocating compatriots from abroad.
The Novgorod Technical School is being built on the instructions of the President. Currently, the first laboratories that were opened in temporary premises, are already achieving results cooperating with serious partners under civilian and defence projects.
The Governor dwelled on another important matter, namely, the establishment of the National Historical and Archaeological Centre named after Academician Valentin Yanin, a major researcher of Novgorod Rus. Much has been accomplished in order to study the Novgorod Kremlin and other historical and archaeological sites. Plans have been compiled for all these sites, and project design work is underway.
The President noted that this was a highly important matter because the origins of Russian statehood were located in Novgorod; it was therefore absolutely important that proper attention is devoted to this.