At the plenary session of Russia's largest business event - the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the President Vladimir Putin called on the regions of the world to economic cooperation and listed the priorities of Russia's economic development.
International economy: from undermining cooperation to joint development
During opening of the plenary session the President of the Russian Federation noted that the key rules in the world economy were undermined by the unilateral restrictions on fair competition from world markets.
"Today we are inspecting not even erosion, but the actual undermining of the foundations of the system of multilateral cooperation, which had been building for decades. Instead of the natural necessary evolution, it breaks down and quite roughly. Violation of the rules is becoming a rule. The openness of markets and fair competition are gradually replaced by various kinds of exemptions, restrictions and sanctions," - said the head of state.
He noted that a number of countries were using restrictive measures against certain states as an official instrument of their trade policy. States, that have become targets of such restrictions, are forced not only to adapt, but also to respond by taking tit-for-tat measures. "If before there were classical forms of protectionism, which, of course, also caused regret, such as additional import duties, technical requirements or hidden subsidies, but today we are talking about a new edition of protectionism — the use of obviously contrived pretext, about references allegedly to the interests of national security to suppress competitors or extort concessions," Vladimir Putin said.
President of the Russian Federation stressed that the source and condition of the process is fair competition and the ability to resolve contradictions. "This is the basis for the confident sustainable development of each country, for realizing that colossal scientific, technological potential that is accumulated in the world. Today, we do not need trade wars or even temporary armistice, but a full-fledged trading peace,"- Vladimir Putin claimed.
The head of state claimed that Russia called on the United States, Europe, Asia and other regions of the world to move together towards development and jointly find answers to current challenges. "Russia stands for freedom of trade and economic integration, for a constructive partnership dialogue and encourages our partners from Europe, America, Asia and other regions of the world to move towards sustainable development goals, to develop such growth models that will provide the most adequate response to modern challenges", - said Vladimir Putin. He explained that such challenges include, among other things, power differentials, overcoming demographic and environmental problems, preservation of national cultures and ethnicity, and improving people's well-being.
Project Financing Factory
A new mechanism for financing projects has begun its work in Russia. The total cost of projects that will be launched within this format in 2018 will exceed 1 trillion rubles.
"Today this is a positive fact, that we can talk about the launch of a new mechanism, a kind of factory for project financing. Only within the framework of this forum, agreements on financing new investment projects worth more than 700 billion rubles will be signed, and in general, the volume will exceed 1 trillion rubles by the year," said Vladimir Putin.
The President of the Russian Federation added that this program was implemented jointly by the Bank of Russia, the financial and economic block of the government and Vnesheconombank. "It was successful to overcome some bottlenecks related to banking regulation, to secure the interests of investors and, as a result, to attract significant private investment with minimal budget expenditures and, I emphasize, basing on a market-based transparent mechanism for selecting projects for support," the head of State noted.
Liberalization of legislation and infrastructure development
The President of Russia noted that the country will continue liberalizing the legislation. "The course on removing barriers and liberalizing legislation meets, first of all, the interests and demands of our citizens," Vladimir Putin said.
He also stressed that Russia will continue to implement large-scale infrastructure projects. "The key principle of our development is the openness of our country, its focus on active participation in world processes and integration projects, including the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects," Vladimir Putin said, adding that this principle is an important part of the national agenda.
The Russian President named transport, energy, and digital information technologies as priority areas for infrastructure development. "Developing transport, energy, and the digital frame of Russia, we intend to effectively integrate it into the global infrastructure and thereby open new opportunities for our citizens, for national and foreign business in Russia, to strengthen our country's role in the global transport, information, and communication system," - said the Russian leader.
Renewing authorities in the territories
The head of State stressed the need to continue the qualitative renewal of authorities in the provinces of the Russian Federation. "I believe it is important to continue the course on qualitative renewal of regional teams. At this very level, a new management culture, modern approaches to solving economic and social problems are formulated; open formats of interaction between the state and society, participation of citizens in self-government, in solving everyday problems are developed," Vladimir Putin said.