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Meeting with Russian entrepreneurs

May 23, 2013, Voronezh

Vladimir Putin held a meeting with representatives of Russian business during his working visit to Voronezh. The discussion focused on the development of Russian business and improvement of legislative and regulatory framework governing its activities.

The meeting was attended by more than 90 people representing various business associations, and was held in the run-up to the Day of Russian Entrepreneurship, which is celebrated on May 26.

Before the conversation with business representatives began, President Putin inspected the Voronezhsintezkauchuk plant, which is part of the SIBUR Holding. The plant is commissioning a new production line to make modern thermoplastic elastomer-based materials that can be used to make considerably more durable road surfaces. Mr Putin visited the company’s headquarters as well as workshops where the finished product is manufactured.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues, friends,

We’re meeting in a familiar setting for you on the eve of a holiday, on the eve of Entrepreneurship Day. This holiday was introduced a few years ago, in 2007, I think.

Of course, despite the pre-holiday mood, naturally we will talk about current industrial problems, about the prospects for Russia’s development, about what has been done and what we still need to do to accomplish the tasks that, in fact we formulated together quite recently.

Incidentally, one such challenge articulated by the business community (it was formulated by a business organisation, Delovaya Rossiya [Business Russia], and outlined a few years ago by [Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights] Mr Titov) is the creation of 25 million new jobs. Efforts to meet this challenge are proceeding apace.

And all of us – not only those people working in the real economy, but also the expert community – initially dismissed this figure as excessively inflated, too ambitious, and difficult to achieve. I am going to talk about some figures now.

Of course the task at hand is difficult. But I would point out at once that we are talking not only in quantitative terms; we are talking about creating 25 million new, high-tech jobs, that is modernising existing ones and creating new ones. And where new jobs are created, we see a so-called synergetic effect with many aspects: improvements in efficiency, productivity and the resolution of social problems, including those relating to wages and working conditions.

Take a look: in Belgorod Region the Gross Regional Product (GRP) increased ninefold over a decade (from 2002 to 2012), while the number of employed persons increased by 1.2 times. During the same period, the GRP of Leningrad Region and Krasnodar Territory increased more than sixfold, and more than fivefold in the Republic of Tatarstan, with a concomitant increase in the number of employed.

In 2012, the output per worker in the Republic of Tatarstan was 716,900 rubles [$22,800], in Belgorod Region it was 681,400 [$21,700], in Kaliningrad Region 726,100 [$23,000], in Kaluga Region 867,600 [$27,600], and in Leningrad Region 710,300 [$22,600].

In 2012, the GRP of Kaluga Region increased by more than 3.5 times compared to 2005. During this period 16,000 jobs were created. In light of investment agreements concluded during that time, more than 30,000 jobs should have been created.

I think these numbers very clearly and convincingly demonstrate that if every region was to create jobs in this way, we would already be approaching our goal of creating a million new jobs in the near future. And what effects does all this have?

Look here, a 2012 survey of industrial companies in one of these regions showed that those engaged in the so-called new economy have an output per worker almost 10 times higher than that of old, so-called traditional industries. Profit per employee is more than 8.6 times higher, while the volume of tax revenues is almost 5 times higher.

This is the same, multifaceted synergetic effect that I just mentioned. Of course the question is how to achieve such results, as well as what prevents others from achieving similar results.

At first glance, much has been done, but I understand perfectly and am very aware of the following (and I often hear it from you too): at the end of the day many administrative, financial, legal and judicial barriers remain. They prevent the results achieved in some regions of the Russian Federation, those I just talked about, from being ubiquitous.

Friends, colleagues, today we have gathered once again in order to talk about all these problems. My colleagues in the Presidential Executive Office and the Government and I are happy to analyse all of this, and look at the great deal of work that you have already accomplished.

In fact, your direct participation, or direct input is to a large extent reflected in both last year’s executive orders and the entrepreneurial initiative that has developed and is being steadily implemented in our everyday life.

I would suggest that we continue this positive dialogue and use our meeting today, in the run-up to your holiday, in a business-like manner.

Please, let’s get started.


May 23, 2013, Voronezh