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Meeting with foreign business leaders

7 June 2019
Встреча с руководителями иностранных компаний

Vladimir Putin met with foreign business leaders at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.


Allow me to welcome you once again. I hope the forum, which will end tomorrow, will be useful and interesting, and will lead to an exchange of information and opinions on how our work is organised, and to the establishment of necessary conditions for further promoting this work. Anyway, that is what forums are for, and in my view, it has been fairly busy this year — many participants, 75 countries represented at a high government level, several thousand people.

I would like to thank the organisers who arranged all of this, and to thank you for your participation — not only in the plenary session, naturally, but also mainly for your participation at different venues. I looked at the TV screen in-between my meetings with colleagues, and I could see that the discussions were very lively. And I would like to assure you that we will carefully analyse the course of the discussions and our meeting today, of course, so as to make adjustments — it is always necessary to do that — in our practical work in order to improve conditions for your work here, in Russia.

You know, I spoke about this today, that we made a decision, identified development priorities and goals and planned our work within the so-called national projects, which presume combined efforts of the state, the regions of the Russian Federation, society, and, naturally, the business community to work on the shared tasks. The projects also require concentrating considerable resources to achieve the goals we set before us. The overall budget of the national projects should total around 25.7 trillion rubles, which is about $400 billion. This is a fairly big number for Russia, for our economy. For example, investments in the digital economy are to more than triple.

Our priorities are healthcare, education, research and development, and support for entrepreneurship, which we consider an asset by itself. Also, considerable funds will be allocated to develop major infrastructure, transport and the energy industry. We have earmarked 6.4 trillion rubles for it, which is $100 billion. Housing construction and road quality and safety are to increase, the urban environment is to become more comfortable, and significant progress must be made in tackling environmental problems.

Obviously, implementing national projects is a huge area for cooperation and partnership, for joint initiatives from Russian and foreign businesspeople. I very much hope that you understand us and are making plans to work together with us. Especially since many of you have been working successfully in Russia, located your manufacturing here, and have taken the goods to third countries’ markets. We are watching all that very closely and trying to support you. We greatly appreciate this and are set to go on in this vein.

However, we believe that there is every potential to make progress even faster, to qualitatively boost trade and investment interaction, production and research cooperation.

In order to launch new mutually beneficial projects we keep on improving the legal framework for foreign companies’ operation, offer extra incentives and tools for investment and business activities, and use modern market instruments. This support from the state will continue.

I am certain that you are well aware of the capacities of the Russian market and the advantages of operating in it, you can see the most lucrative fields of cooperation, and you will be able to achieve new results in most diverse areas of activities, in your work thanks to your experience and business expertise.

I would like to finish my opening remarks and give the floor to Mr Shokhin, who will make a statement on behalf of the Russian business community.