President Vladimir Putin: Let us discuss the socio-economic situation in the republic. How would you evaluate Chechnya's performance last year, what problems still exist, and which ones have to be resolved in the near future?
President Ramzan Kadyrov: Vladimir Vladimirovich, we have started to rebuild the city of Grozny and other areas as per your instructions. And I think that last year we successfully carried out the mission you gave us. We can now say that within a month we will have no more internal refugees.
This year, we decided on priority areas: industry and agriculture. We have certain agreements with [the car company] AVTOVAZ, which could mean 10 thousand additional jobs. And if we can develop our agriculture, which we have always been famous for, then more than 70 per cent of the population can work in this area.
Yesterday [Finance Minister Aleksei] Kudrin held a meeting in which he instructed banks to invest more money in the republic so that they can open more branches and do more business, and the banks took it in good part.
I expect that this year we will reduce unemployment by more than 50 per cent.
We have agreements with some other states, such as Jordan, which were signed thanks to your intervention. Kazakhstan and Jordan are interested in investing money in the republic. The day before yesterday, [King] Abdullah [of Jordan] confirmed that they are interested in investing and will encourage other Islamic governments to put more [resources] into the economy of the republic.
Vladimir Putin: The King recalled your visit to Jordan and your interactions with the Chechen diaspora in Jordan and thought your visit was very successful indeed.
I know that in general you are happy with last year's results and optimistic about this year.
Ramzan Kadyrov: So far we can safely say that in the republic the trend in the economy is positive and we are expecting that a lot of investors will be interested [in collaboration]. We have the areas for investment, we provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to participate [in business] in our republic. We are open for business. For us the principal challenge today is the creation of jobs and that is all we want from our prospective investors.