22 September 2009, Tuesday, 10:05

“Big Ural” sets important tasks

author: Nikolai Ermolenko

The meeting of the Council of the Interregional association on economic interaction between Russian regions “Big Ural” is over in Yekaterinburg. The Plenipotentiary of President RF in Ural federal district Nikolai Vinnichenko, President RB Murtaza Rakhimov, , Orenburg region Governor Alexei Chernyshev, Chelyabinsk region Governor Peter Sumin, Governor of Khanty-Mansiysky autonomous district Alexander Philippenko, heads of regional legislative assemblies, including the chairman of State Council RB Constantine Tolkatchev, and the head of Perm region administration Maxim Reshetnikov participated in its work.

Taking the floor with the main report the initiator of “Big Ural” Edward Rossel summarized the experience of the regions on searching for the way out of the crisis. According to him the measures undertaken in Ural federal district, allowed to lower the after-effects of the crisis and to stabilize the social-economic situation in the regions.

Thus, in the third quarter 2009 situation in industry started to be gradually improved practically in all regions of Ural federal district (except Kurgan region): The index of industrial production in Bashkortostan, Udmurtia and Tyumen region exceeded 90% in January-July 2009, as compared with the same period of time in 2008. The largest lagging is still preserved in Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk regions (75 and 74%).

The leader of “Big Ural” admitted that low competitiveness of production and inefficient structure of our economics was one of the main reasons of the economic slump in the regions. “We live under the terms of global competition when every enterprise of our region inevitably has to compete with the best world specimens and this is the objective reality”. Edward Rossel is quite certain that the amount of resources of every separate region in the staff of the association is not enough to withstand this challenge, so they have to coordinate and unite their joint efforts to compete in the global markets and to determine the “breakthrough” positions of the regions, able to move Russian economics into the world markets.

Edward Rossel offered to undertake practical steps and, in particular, to work out the joint program on development of interregional co-operation because development of such co-operation and the rise of internal demand in local products will help to load the production capacities of the enterprises. Besides, it is necessary to undertake the measures on removal of unnecessary competition between the regions. The other measures, as he believes, are the following: establishment of interregional clusters on prior directions, elaboration of the joint program on development of rural territories and development of tourism.

This direction in diversification of regional economics is called by him the most important. Edward Rossel added that Bashkortostan and Chelyabinsk region already started working on joint tourist projects. Development of the interregional transport infrastructure also faces good prospects for “Big Ural”. “The availability of large urban industrial agglomerations around Yekaterinburg, Perm and Chelyabinsk makes good prospects for formation of integral transport and logistic systems” – Edward Rossel said.

But in the final conclusion, made after the meeting, it is stated that in  spite of the detailed anti-crisis programs, launched on all territories of Ural federal district, the economic situation in the regions remains rather difficult, so it is necessary to work out and approve the additional anti-crisis measures both at federal and regional levels.

The next meeting of the “Big Ural” Association is decided to hold in Ufa.