President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Alexei Andreyevich, tell me please about the how things are going, what kind of harvest you have had this year, and about developments in the social and economic situation and big projects in general. It would be useful to hear a brief description of the overall state of affairs in Orenburg Region.
Governor of Orenburg Region Alexei Chernyshev: Industrial output rose by 9.4 percent over the last 8 months compared to the same period, agricultural production was up by 17 percent, with increases in production of both crops and livestock, and housing construction rose by 20 percent. Most important of all is that people’s incomes increased by 28 percent over this period, and this is a good result. The increase in real incomes is 19 percent when inflation is taken into account. As far as industrial production goes, the main thing is that all sectors without exception are showing positive growth.
Now it is autumn and the harvest campaign is coming to an end. We have harvested 500,000 tons more than last year.
Dmitry Medvedev: What is the total harvest this year?
Alexei Chernyshev: We have already harvested 3.6 million tons. Corn has not been harvested yet, and so the total will come to around 4 million tons.
The social and political situation is stable.
There are some big investment projects underway. There is a mechanical plant in Orenburg and we are carrying out a project there together with foreign companies and with financing from the Development Bank. We have already begun producing new refrigerators using European technology, and we are completing the construction of plants to produce gas and electrical stoves for household use. We are also in the process of equipping a plant to produce household compressors – 1.5 million of them year.
Dmitry Medvedev: Is this new production?
Alexei Chernyshev: Absolutely new production using the latest technology. Of course, we also have hopes for the project with Kazakhstan in the gas sector. The documents have already been prepared and next year our joint enterprise should start work, 16 billion cubic metres of gas on their side and a little over 20 billion on ours. This will give the gas-chemical sector’s development a big boost.
Dmitry Medvedev: I was only just in Kazakhstan. Our colleagues there want to develop cooperation and this project here in Orenburg is one of the key areas for work. I hope that next year we will already see the results, see production underway, and this will be a new source of revenue for the region too.
Alexei Chernyshev: There is another project with Kazakhstan – the Western China-Kazakhstan-Western Russia transport corridor. The route will cross Almaty, Aktyubinsk, Orenburg, Kazan, and then go on via Vologda to St. Petersburg. This is a very important project.
Dmitry Medvedev: It is a very important transport artery. We were only just in Kazakhstan and we discussed this project’s development at the forum of border regions, as of now — the Russian-Kazakhstani Inter-Regional Forum. Incidentally, the forum will take place here in September next year. Will you be making preparations?
Alexei Chernyshev: Yes, we will prepare.