Minister of Economic Development and Trade Elvira Nabiullina on macroeconomic indicators and measures to combat inflation
Elvira Nabiullina: We have received the latest data on the development of the economic situation in October. Overall they are positive, and the economy continues to grow. According to the data for the period from January to October, the estimated GDP growth is 7.4 per cent.
One other positive factor is the acceleration in industrial development. It had slowed in July and August, which was a cause for some concern. In September, it stabilised, and in October started growing again, 0.5 per cent for the month. That is something like an annual rate of 6 percent, and we should end up with about 6.6 percent growth in industrial production for the year. So the data are good, and growth in the manufacturing sectors continues.
Investment in these sectors is increasing as well. The rate for the period from January to October was 20.9 percent, and for the year we think it will come out at something like 19.5 percent. These data are also very impressive.
Now a few words on inflation. The current rate of inflation is 9.7 percent. But in November it has declined, and if we extrapolate from the first two weeks of November, inflation currently stands at 0.9 percent compared to 1.6 percent in October, representing a reduction in inflation. This provides a basis for examining a series of measures for the medium- and long-term in a more systematic way.
The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade along with other departments has prepared such a programme, with an emphasis on medium- and long-term measures. In our view, of course, we need to pay special attention to monetary factors like inflation,monetary policy in 2008, the anti-monopoly measures, and focus on the development of efficient production and goods on the market that are susceptible to inflationary pressures. This means carefully monitoring food products, cement, and petroleum products to create the conditions for industrial growth and competitiveness.
We believe that we should make more active use of stock markets and the mechanisms associated with them. For petroleum products we are going to create a petroleum market. The competition has taken place and we are going to move on this in the near future.
Aleksandr Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister, on the implementation of the Law on the Organization and Hosting of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 and the Law on Physical Culture and Sport
Aleksandr Zhukov: The State Duma has given third reading to the Law on the Organisation and Hosting of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 and the Law on Physical Culture and Sport.
The first law covers virtually all legislation necessary for the establishment and operation of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, all issues related to security, securing construction sites and questions of land. All these are part of an ensemble. Tomorrow we will be holding the first meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Organizing Committee, and we will determine the Committee’s budget for the first few years ahead. And tomorrow the Presidium of the Presidential Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport will be meeting as well. At that meeting we will outline all the commissions and working groups that are needed for this project, in order to present them to the Supervisory Board for approval.
Incidentally, last week the first meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Corporation charged with the construction of Sochi, was held. So in a way all the legislative, regulatory and institutional issues have been resolved. Now the actual work can begin.
And with regard to the Law on Physical Culture and Sport, it creates the necessary foundation for the further development of physical education and sport, for the general population and at the highest achievements levels. We really needed this Act, because the old, outdated law didn’t give us these possibilities. And now with important resources at our disposal we have already identified how to manage the approved programme and additional activities. We expect that we will not simply be able to help out with hosting of the Olympics, but also be able to win them.
Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Naryshkin, on the activities of the Integration Committee of the Eurasian Economic Community
Sergei Naryshkin: There has been a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Community Integration Committee comprising representatives of three states: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In accordance with the decisions of the Intergorvernmental Council composed of heads of state, work continues on the package of documents which form the legal basis for the customs union. Work is proceeding on nine agreements, which together form a single trade regime with respect to third countries. The final points of dispute have been resolved. Certain documents concern internal, domestic procedures. And this package of nine documents is scheduled to be signed by the heads of government at a meeting of the Intergovernmental Council on 21 December. This work is being carried out in accordance with a plan of action signed by the Presidents of all three countries.
First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on the opening of a special economic zone for industry in Tatarstan
Sergei Ivanov: Tomorrow will mark the opening of the first special economic zone for industry in Tatarstan. The zone covers an area of 20 square kilometers. Nearby is a modern airport, river ports, the railway and good roads. And this zone will begin to specialise in the production of cars, trucks, minivans and car parts, as well as chemical and petrochemical industries. In other words, there will be enterprises that engage in the comprehensive processing of resources and the creation of engineering products.
Tomorrow, the special economic zone begins its work. And in December of this year, we expect production of the first batch of cars.
Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov on measures to address the effects of a storm in the Kerch Strait
Viktor Zubkov: In response to your request, I flew to Kerch, to the port of Kavkaz, where we held a meeting to solve the problems as they exist on the ground. First we established a government commission headed by Transport Minister Igor Levitin, and formed a joint working group with the Ukrainian party headed by deputy ministers. This is composed of all the ministries and departments, representatives of the Crimean region, the Vice-Governor of the Krasnodar region, as well as the Russian agencies that deal with conservation and the environment, led by the appropriate people.
All the work with the Ukrainian side has been well coordinated. We are working in the following areas: the pumping of oil from the tanker that has broken in two (all the oil has been pumped from its stern; in the bow there is still between 800 and 1000 tonnes). Because the tanker is resting on the bottom and we don’t have the equipment there to deal with it, we are negotiating with the Norwegians. Mr Levitin is conducting the negotiations. I think that they will help us and that we will pump out the rest of the fuel oil.
A lot of work is being carried out today to raise the vessels with sulphur, and a lot of work is being done to clean up the territory. I set us the task of removing the bulk of the spill in a week, and the week ends tomorrow. I think that the bulk of fuel oil, mixed with sand, silt and sludge will be gone by tomorrow or the day after, because more than a thousand people were working today, 1,600 yesterday, and 103 pieces of equipment worked yesterday and today. This momentum will be maintained in the days to come. But even after we remove the bulk of the spill we will keep our people there, and they will continue the cleanup until all the oil is removed. We have designated a special barge for the birds, for cleaning the birds. We have brought in a number of foreign experts to help us, and thus we are saving the birds. And we think that in the near future we will be able to deal with all these problems.
President Vladimir Putin: Have you been in contact with our Ukrainian counterparts?
Viktor Zubkov: Close contact. In addition to the need to deal with the challenges that have arisen as a result of this disaster, about a hundred vessels pass through the strait every day, they must be constantly redirected because where the ship sank they need help to get by, both from our pilots and Ukrainian pilots. Only by coordinating our efforts can we get so many ships through, as I said, about 100 a day, in order to make sure there are no more disasters.
Vladimir Putin: The work of the State Duma is complete. The Law on Sport and Physical Culture has been passed. And not only this law but many others: the deputies of the State Duma have adopted more than a thousand laws. I think we should once again recall with gratitude the deputies’ hard work during this session. It was carried out in close contact with the government cabinet, which relied on the nucleus of the State Duma. As we know, this nucleus was United Russia. On your behalf, I would like to thank United Russia once again, and members of other factions, all the deputies who worked actively for the adoption of laws necessary for the development of country's economy and social sphere. And I wish to draw your attention to the urgent need for action, not waiting until the results [of the elections] are in. The results will be whatever the voters decide, but the cabinet must already prepare to work with the Duma in the next session. We already need to work on the draft legislation. You know what I’m talking about since all of this is in the cabinet’s plans. I repeat: do not wait until the elections are over, but work hard, and then without any break do establish relations with the new groups of deputies. I hope that this work will be as productive and goal directed as it has been over the last four years. But I repeat: this cabinet must be ready to cooperate with Russia’s new parliament.