15 September 2012, Saturday, 15:56

Rustem Khamitov: “Small towns should become drivers of growth”

author: Lubov Kolokolova

President of Bashkortostan Rustem Khamitov has taken part in the conference, devoted to development of small and medium towns RB within the frames of the interregional festival “Birsk Apple”, held with participation of experts in sphere of urban development.

“The theme of small towns is very urgent today” – Rustem Khamitov mentioned – Though it is unclear what should be understood a small town, because Ufa, for instance, can be considered small as compared with Moscow. Let’s say that small towns are the towns, where population is equal to 20-50 thousand people”.

The President RB called the theme beneficial and said that we couldn’t stay in such condition anymore: economic life is often absent in such towns and no important economic objects are erected.

At the same time small towns have certain prospects – land is cheaper here and there is a surplus of labor force. All abovementioned opens opportunities for erection of quite profitable enterprises here.

“About 300 thousand people live in small towns in the Republic. We have to make attraction of investments to such towns an ordinary business. We approve plenty of programs but no breakthrough has occurred yet. Moreover, some of these towns became depressive. People leave them and certain losses in demography are registered”.

Rustem Khamitov says it is necessary to concentrate the efforts on certain territories and to make life there better.

“Small towns are the territories for development of small business. We have to think how to develop local brands and tourism. In 2013 Birsk will celebrate the 350th anniversary. We are talking about restoration of the historical center in this town, about attraction of tourists and erection of new hotels but no progress in this sphere is visible. Let’s start thinking together how to achieve these goals. I am ready to help but we have to move faster”.