On the agenda: expanding the programme for subsidising investment projects in priority industry sectors, implementing the loan support programme for key industrial and trade companies and developing the Arkhyz alpine skiing resort.
Mikhail Mishustin’s opening remarks
Denis Manturov’s report on implementing the loan support programme for key industrial and trade companies
Alexander Novak’s report on developing the Arkhyz alpine skiing resort
Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Good morning, colleagues, The Government continues to support the industry. Today, we will expand the programme for subsidising investment projects in priority industry sectors.
The President has stressed the need to considerably expand the Russian economy’s technological capabilities and to facilitate an increase in the national industrial potential. With this goal in mind, we will use the state assistance mechanism to boost production of small- and medium-tonnage chemical products, including components for structural elements and road surfaces, household chemicals and other useful materials.
Investors financing these projects will be able to recoup up to 70 percent of loan interest expenses. This applies to loans taken out in the past four years and in 2024. We will allocate 2.5 billion roubles in federal funding for these purposes over the next two years.
We will also lift restrictions on the upper limit on investment volumes, and we will replace it with the upper limit on subsidised loans. From now on, such loans can be up to eight billion roubles on investment projects worth over 150 million roubles.
These regulations shall apply to initiatives listed among priority civilian industry projects.
These measures will have a
substantial multiplier effect on the development of affiliated sectors and create
favourable conditions for strengthening the economy, expanding national
production assets and creating new employment opportunities nationwide, as well
Next issue. Last year, the Government launched a programme of lending support for backbone businesses operating in industry and trade. Significant resources were allocated from the budget. They allowed banks to offer these enterprises preferential rates on loans to replenish their working capital.
We helped hundreds of companies that are key to our economy to survive the most difficult period after the emergence of new challenges. For some, it helped shorten their adjustment period, for others it helped rearrange their product chains more quickly, and most importantly, to retain the jobs they needed.
We will allocate another 21.5 billion roubles to complete the programme. The funds will enable us not to change the preferential rates approved until the end of the loan term - and they were concluded for a period of up to one year. The relevant document has been signed.
Mr Manturov, please tell us more about how many companies have taken advantage of this programme and what are the main results.
Denis Manturov: Mr Mishustin,
It is true that the programme turned out to be in demand and effective. We launched it when the Central Bank's interest rate was 20 percent. This was at a time when our companies were in particular need of working capital. You remember that they had to reorganise cooperation and logistics, to build up stocks of raw materials and components very quickly and, most importantly, to prevent production stoppages and layoffs.
The programme was instrumental in meeting all of these challenges. Sixteen banks took part in its implementation. VEB identified one third of the borrowers who were in the most difficult situation with guarantees. As a result, lending at a rate below 11 percent was provided in an extremely short period of time, allowing industries to quickly adapt to the new conditions. The state support of 42.5 billion roubles enabled almost 800 industrial and trade companies to raise 1.2 trillion roubles in loans. The funding allocated this year, as you said, will cover the state's obligations in full.
I would like to point out that in addition to subsidising large, systemically important organisations, we have helped small and medium-sized companies in a similar way through regional industry development funds: 850 companies have received loans worth over 300 billion roubles on favourable terms.
Thus, the Government's programmes became the main source of corporate lending for several months, until the key rate was reduced to an acceptable level.
Most importantly, by ensuring the stable operation of enterprises, we were able to keep the real sector focused on investing in new high-tech projects. In this case, the Industry Development Fund has been the main source of funding. Last year, it issued a record 140 billion roubles in loans for more than 250 projects.
Together with other subsidy mechanisms, this provided for the preservation of competencies and the groundwork for achieving technological sovereignty.
Mikhail Mishustin: Yes, Mr Manturov, these are important decisions.
The tools that we offered businesses have brought results. In 2022 – we already discussed this – industrial production declined by less than 1 percent and a range of sectors showed solid growth despite the very serious external challenges. It is important to maintain this trend and continue working on the adopted decisions, including those mentioned in the Presidential Address.
Today we spoke about the processing industry, and we are seeing good results there.
I would also like to ask you, your colleagues and the Finance Ministry to work on the issues related to the launch of the new programme for industrial zones with related concessions such as tax incentives for these zones, which can include accessible loans and guaranteed demand. We talked about this. We need to work on this constantly, of course, but we really need to monitor it and discuss with Dmitry Grigorenko the tools that will show us whether these plans are popular and how efficiently the introduction and launch of new production facilities goes in these areas. This includes industrial mortgage, which we also discussed in detail with you.
Mr Grigorenko, please develop ways to monitor this and work on these tools together with Mr Manturov and Mr Reshetnikov. And please report on it at the next meeting on current issues.
Let’s move on to another issue, the development of the North Caucasus. The economy of this macro-region has significant potential. Major projects are being implemented there with support from private investment in almost all key sectors: in industrial production, agriculture and others. The state provides the necessary support for such businesses by offering them access to loans at lower rates and without bureaucratic runaround.
Of course, tourism is one of the most attractive sectors for businesses. Recreation in the Caucasus Mountains is very popular with our citizens; so investors are actively investing in creating the relevant infrastructure there.
Mr Novak, the Government has recently approved the decision to sell the stock of the Arkhyz Resort management company. The tender has already been held. Please tell us more about the results and prospects.
Alexander Novak: Mr Mishustin.
Indeed, the Government is consistently working to develop the North Caucasus regions, including under the comprehensive state programme that is being implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development.
You have approved the models of economic development for these regions. As you noted, Mr Mishustin, these economic models are driven by major investment breakthrough projects in various industries. And one of these key industries is tourism.
Here, the most significant breakthrough projects are the ski resorts of the North Caucasus: Arkhyz in the Karachayevo-Circassian Republic, Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria, Veduchi in the Chechen Republic, and Mamison in North Ossetia.
I would like to note that over the past three years, the tourist flow to the ski resorts of the North Caucasus has increased 60 percent, and today it exceeds 1.3 million people per season.
The main point of attraction for those who like ski holidays is, of course, the Arkhyz resort. This is a popular and rapidly developing ski resort, which receives more than 700,000 visits a year.
The Kavkaz.RF state corporation laid over 27 km of ski tracks at Arkhyz with new equipment and an artificial snowmaking system, eight advanced cable cars, and all the necessary infrastructure.
The Government has brought the Arkhyz resort to profitability over the past two years, which made it possible to create conditions for attracting a strategic investor.
In line with the presidential instructions, the Government has developed various options for attracting strategic investors. As a result, the most optimal option was chosen: sales with investment obligations for the development of the resort’s infrastructure.
This approach makes it possible to not only fully return the funds invested by the state, but to reinvest them in the development of other breakthrough projects in the North Caucasus Federal District, and it also ensures the further development of the resort without funding from the federal budget, but rather through private investment.
A tender was held last week. A strategic investor was chosen who will gradually transfer 24.2 billion roubles to the budget of the Russian Federation, which significantly exceeds the funds invested by the state.
Under the terms of the tender, the investor assumed obligations under a contract to build cable cars, ski slopes, hotels, restaurants, and other infrastructure facilities at his own expense in the amount of at least 40 billion roubles. This will at least double tourist volumes by 2030. Arkhyz will become an international-level resort.
The implementation of this investment project is of paramount importance not only for the Karachayevo-Circassian Republic, but for the entire North Caucasus and for all of Russia. This means new jobs, additional tax revenue for the budget system, and, most importantly, increasing the prosperity of the people living in the North Caucasus.
Mr Mishustin, we are ready to spread this successful experience to other breakthrough projects to develop ski resorts in other regions of the North Caucasus Federal District. This way the Government will continue to consistently develop the North Caucasus to improve the lives of the people living there and attract tourists.
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Novak, this experience will only become successful once the terms of the investment agreement are completed. It is very important that when a public-private partnership is agreed to, that all intentions do not remain just intentions on paper, but are implemented in exact kilometres and square metres. We have the tools to do this, and there is a special department in the Ministry of Finance. It is necessary to carefully monitor the fulfillment of the investment obligations. This is very important.
You are correct that the tourism sector should become the backbone of development in the North Caucasus, for the socioeconomic development of both Karachayevo-Circassia and the entire federal district, as well as a boost for related industries such as construction, trade, agriculture and others. The development of tourism is the biggest multiplier.
This means that new jobs will appear and that the prosperity and the quality of life in the entire macro-region will grow.
Let me repeat, it is essential that the investor fully meets his obligations. I would like to ask you, as the manager of this area, to personally control the implementation of this project together with Dmitry Chernyshenko, Maxim Reshetnikov, and your other colleagues.