Dear friends,

We are living in a time of challenge when economies are affected by global political trends that often lack neutrality or reason. It is obvious that politics has always been involved in economic affairs, but the consequences of such an involvement largely depend on the objectives and magnitude of the political scenarios implemented by certain countries.

Russia is under a pressure it has not known it its contemporary history, which certainly plagues its economy. Regions also see their economic power weaken, with curtailed budgets against heavier social obligations, recent negative population employment trends, and growing prices.

What kind of a role does the government play under these conditions? The global economies development experience shows that governments always regulate economic processes to a certain extent and any complications increase the role of the regulatory function. Another point is what regulation mechanisms governments resort to: ultimate liberalization of the business environment as a whole or preferences for certain particularly important industries; crackdowns, higher taxes and tariffs for the business community, or a more stringent tax regime for individuals? What is today’s role of strategies and forecasts? In what way are regional authorities related to these processes?

You are welcome to discuss all these matters at the 4th Central Russian Economic Forum scheduled to take place in Kursk on June 11, 2015. The main Forum theme is “State regulation of regional economies”.

Someone could blame us for being negligent of the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in 2015 where not a hint at the strengthening of the government’s role in the economy was given – which would be off the mark. Hardly anyone is so simple-minded these days as to believe that market alone puts things right. All last months’ efforts of the Russian Government demonstrate its particular attention to economic processes.

Today, the Government’s prompt and precise actions to support small businesses, farm producers, key economic industries aimed, despite the recent challenges, at the development and implementation of import-substituting investment projects are important like never before. The state and regions ought to provide additional social assistance opportunities to the workforce likely to be released as production is curtailed in a number of companies.

It is our mission to continue pursuing a socially oriented policy and to preserve the positive trends of higher motivation and social security of those engaged in the sphere of social services.

At the same time, we are faced with a very acute problem of utility infrastructure and road network development, construction of new modern social facilities. With budgets axed, that will not be an easy thing to do. The Government is to create additional opportunities for the real across-the-board application of public private partnership schemes and mechanisms. Our idea is to thrash out these issues at the Forum and to try to showcase specific PPP solutions based on the appreciably successful experience of implementing PPP mechanisms in regions.

Government authorities and commercial banks often highlight the lack of well-developed investment projects meeting the requirements for state subsidies or credit resources. Let us witness a different experience! Just as in the previous years, one of the Forum Events is the contest of investment projects presented by Central Russian regions. We want to change the approach to their appraisal and let as many business people as possible be involved in this stage. It cannot be ruled out that the financial participation of interested entrepreneurs from among the contest judges in the import-substituting investment projects presented at the contest will help solve the real business issues arising from the shrinking supplies of foreign-made goods required for the manufacture.

We also plan a dedicated round table conference addressing the development and assistance to small businesses. I am hopeful to see it supported by Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, just as in the previous years. The round table theme is “Small business and the state: survival or development?” Business people from regions of Russia’s Central Federal District are welcome to join in discussing the topical issues of small and medium-sized businesses and the Government’s corresponding decisions and actions they are looking forward to.

Of special importance, particularly in the context of sanctions, is the food supply security of Russia. The regions of Central Russia most of which benefit from favorable agricultural development conditions can become Russia’s breadbasket in many aspects of agriculture. However, it is obvious that the businesses virtually destroyed in the turbulent years of market formation, such as protected horticulture, irrigated cropping for seasonal vegetables, gardening, aquaculture and other segments, need to be revived. These matters will be addressed at a separate round table.

As usual, the Forum will pay attention to the development of youth research activities, the initiatives presented by autonomous nonprofit organization Agency for Strategic Initiatives to Promote New Projects. Benefiting from the support of Russia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, we will discuss the relevant investment attraction issues and the new mechanisms we can discover while implementing the National Rating of Regions Investment Appeal.

Dear friends, despite today’s challenges, we believe it necessary to conduct the already traditional Central Russian Economic Forum this year. I encourage you to combine efforts in searching the best forms of interaction between the public authorities and the business community amidst the snowballing economic problems and in formulating solutions to boost the efficacy of this interaction.

You are invited to take part in the 4th Central Russian Economic Forum in Kursk city on June 11, 2015. You are in for a unique experience of celebrating the Day of Russia on June 12, 2015 and participating in the Theotokos of Kursk Wonderworking Icon religious procession. On June 13 and 14, you are welcome to visit the 15th anniversary universal inter-regional wholesale and retail Kursk Korenskaya Fair.

Welcome to Kursk region!

Governor of Kursk region
Alexander Mikhailov

Organizers and Partners