Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov on the opening of the Year of Russia in India
Alexander ZHUKOV: A delegation headed by Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov is flying to India today. The opening ceremony for the Year of Russia in India will take place tomorrow. I think this year will be marked by a substantial programme of events, especially as far as developing trade and economic cooperation is concerned. During the delegation’s visit, a Russian-Indian trade and investment forum will take place with more than 100 of Russia’s biggest companies taking part.
We are actively developing cooperation with India in the energy, aircraft manufacturing, metals and communications sectors. We are currently examining possibilities for setting up joint high-technology enterprises and organising reciprocal investment in both countries.
A big cultural programme will take place throughout the year, like last year in China. Next year, 2009, will be the year of India in Russia.
First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications’ results for the year
Sergei IVANOV: I took part today in the meeting the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications held to review the year’s results. This sector is showing strong growth in the different segments. The information and communications technology sector grew by 20–30 percent last year, though we have to remember that we began at quite a low starting point. We have not yet joined the world leaders in this sector but we have nonetheless achieved concrete results. In particular, 75,000 new payphones were installed last year and 16,000 public Internet access points set up. The work to connect all schools in Russia to the Internet has been completed. A new information system has been developed to manage the national projects. This experience will be used to develop management systems for other sectors.
Tariffs for communications services have risen little and in a number of cases even decreased last year.
The next two years will see active work to implement the Electronic Russia federal targeted programme. It is already up and running at federal level and will now be extended to regional and municipal level.
The meeting also discussed ways to make our microelectronics sector more effective and create the modern new components the IT industry needs in order to develop.
Economic Development and Trade Minister Elvira Nabiullina on measures to develop small and medium business in Russia
Elvira NABIULLINA: We will have this package of measures ready within two weeks. I have scheduled meetings with people representing small business in various sectors. The proposed measures address numerous different issues starting from setting up a business to scratch to getting the business registered.
Our objective is to greatly simplify everything relating to inspections and to propose a financial insurance mechanism. Businesses face problems such as finding premises, getting connected to the electricity grid and obtaining financial resources. We are drafting the package of measures and I hope we will be ready to report back to you in two weeks time.
President Vladimir PUTIN: Please remember that most of our small and medium businesses are concentrated in the services and retail sectors, but we also need to develop these kinds of businesses in production and high technology.