‘Russia’s regions: new growth areas’: series of events kicked off

On December 24, 2015, Nizhny Novgorod hosted the first in a series of events under the title ‘Russia’s regions: new growth areas’, organized by the Roscongress Foundation (the organizers of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum) in partnership with the Russian Export Center (REC) and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), with the support of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia and EY. Participants attending the event included:

  • Alsu Gaynutdinova, Deputy Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the Volga Federal District
  • Valery Shantsev, Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region
  • Andrey Nikitin, CEO, Agency for Strategic Initiatives
  • Peter Fradkov, CEO, Russian Export Center
  • Alexander Stuglev, Director, Roscongress Foundation
  • Valentina Fedoseeva, Partner, EY
  • Irina Bakhtina, Vice President for Sustainable Business & Comms, Unilever in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Turkey, Israel and the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa; representative of the Foreign Investment Advisory Council; coordinator of the working group on technical regulations and elimination of administrative barriers at the Foreign Investment Advisory Council in Russia.

The participants discussed how to identify and develop regional projects with investment appeal and export potential, as well as prospects for increasing cooperation between regional companies and Russian and foreign investors.

According to Alsu Gaynutdinova, the current economic climate offers a number of unique opportunities for identifying new ‘growth areas’ capable of actively attracting investment and using it to stimulate growth in science, manufacturing, society, and the economy.

Valery Shantsev, Governor of Nizhny Novgorod Region, said: “Over the past year, not one investor has pulled out of Nizhny Novgorod Region. We are purposefully creating an investment-friendly setting. Current projects in the region have a total investment value of more than RUB 5.76 billion.”

Andrey Nikitin, CEO, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, was also very positive about the potential of Nizhny Novgorod Region: “Nizhny Novgorod, at both the city and regional levels, has excellent prospects thanks to the ‘entrepreneurial climate’ in place here: trust between business and government, as well as a focus on ironing out administrative barriers, human resources, and technologies.”

Peter Fradkov, CEO, Russian Export Center, commented: “REC experts will be able to establish a direct dialogue with the region’s business community, in order to learn, in detail, about the difficulties faced by manufacturers in rolling out their products to the global market. Exporters, in turn, will find out about the kinds of support mechanisms which the REC can offer.”

Following the session in the Volga Federal District, work will be done to choose investment projects that may be presented at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 16–18, 2016).

“The St. Petersburg Forum brings together potential investors seeking suitable projects and representatives of companies seeking investors. We see it as our task to help them meet and to create the best possible conditions for their cooperation to develop, including at the Forum's SPIEF Investment Projects and SPIEF Business Expo exhibitions”, said Alexander Stuglev, Director of the Roscongress Foundation.

Seven sessions in the ‘Russia’s regions: New growth areas’ series are scheduled to be held in various federal districts by the end of April 2016.