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Business and Territories: A New Stage of Relations

30 August 2021

The report, prepared by experts from the Center for Strategic Research (CSR) and the Center for Social Design (CSD) Platforma, examines various practices and models of relations between large companies and regions of operation. In the course of the study, managers of more than 30 largest industrial companies, representatives of expert centers, heads of municipalities were interviewed, a special discussion session was held on the basis of the CSR.

The Roscongress Foundation presents the salient points of the publication accompanied by fragments of broadcasts of relevant panel discussions from the business programme of international events held by the Roscongress Foundation.

Relations between business, government and society in Russia are undergoing a new formation.

If in the 90s, against the background of a shortage of resources in relation to territorial development programs, a reactive approach prevailed — «closing gaps» in municipal budgets, fighting poverty, then the 2000s were marked by the structuring of support, in particular, the emergence of the first projective programs related not to «closing gaps», but with the expectation of city development and diversification. The last ten years have been characterized by the development of standards and the complication of the environment: the desire to distribute areas of responsibility, co-finance projects, and avoid paternalism. More projective social programs are emerging — from responding to challenges to points of growth. It counts on the activation of the environment — there are grant programs for communities. There is a aspiration to fit the programs into the strategies for the long-term development of territories and national projects. The development of corporate funds is taking place, where the social dimension of investment comes to the fore. The ESG approach to investing is being integrated deeper into the business logic, which implies the incorporation of environmental, social and corporate governance factors into investment strategies.


The weakness of the municipalities remains blurring the line of business participation in the development of the territory.

Financial insecurity of municipalities, due, inter alia, to the specifics of the distribution of taxes of enterprises, personnel shortage, uneven qualifications; administrative difficulties in the implementation of improvement projects, revamping, construction; inflexibility of government funding; immersion in the operational flow; changes in the administrative system — these and other factors limit the possibilities of local authorities in the development of territories. Today business is in search of an understandable role and delineation of responsibility with the state. New organizational forms are being developed for the division of responsibilities and co-investment. The field of stakeholders is becoming more complex, the number of funding sources — public and private funds and programs — is increasing, a period of partnerships and joint programs is beginning.


The modern leaders of social investment in Russia are the city-forming metallurgical enterprises.

New systemic approaches and mature institutional forms are developing faster in monotowns, where business responsibility is broader and programs are larger. According to expert polls, Severstal, Norilsk Nickel, OMK and Rosatom stand out the most among enterprises implementing effective practices on their territories. The main indicators of leadership are innovation, consistency, scale and harmony. Metallurgists are among the leaders more often than enterprises from other industries due to factors such as rootedness in the territory, dependence of the territory on the enterprise, the importance of human capital, private ownership, and the international status of the company.


For more information, see the special sections of the Roscongress Foundation Information and Analytical System: Development Institutions and Support Mechanisms, Investment Projects, dedicated to investment development and support mechanisms; Environment, Sustainable Development , Monotowns, that contain materials on the environment and ecological development of cities.

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