Alexander Kalinin has been re-elected as president of the Opora Russia All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization of Small and Medium Business. He has served in this capacity since 2014. At the ninth Opora Russia congress, 153 delegates voted for Kalinin, one voted against, and two abstained, the Opora Russia press service reports.
Prior to the vote, the congress delegates heard and approved a report by Kalinin on his activities for the period from 2014 to 2018. Kalinin was challenged by Opora Russia Vice President Dmitry Pishchalnikov, for whom 5 people voted in favour, 83 voted against, and 52 people abstained.
Opora Russia is among the four largest business associations in the country. The organization unites about 450,000 entrepreneurs who create more than 5 million jobs. Regional branches of Opora Russia operate in all 85 regions of the Russian Federation, including in Crimea since 2014. The delegates of the ninth congress included a representative of the Republic of Crimea –head of the Crimean branch of the organization Sergey Lapenko – in the Opora Russia Presidium for the first time.
Opora Russia serves as a platform for an effective professional dialogue between owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses and representatives of the federal executive authorities, the regional authorities and municipalities, regulatory bodies, infrastructure used to support small and medium-sized businesses as well as representatives of the expert community.
SME Corporation General Director Alexander Braverman offered a positive assessment of Kalinin’s re-election as head of Opora Russia: “Under Alexander Kalinin’s leadership, Opora Russia has become an effective tool for solving business problems and a centre of competence that accumulates work aimed at finding and implementing relevant business initiatives in various sectors of the economy. Thanks to the organizational, advisory, and methodological support of Opora Russia, we get prompt feedback from the business community, recommendations, and suggestions that contribute to the creation of modern infrastructure used to support business”.
“I am confident that Alexander Kalinin’s election for another term will make it possible to achieve even more impressive results in the development of small and medium-sized businesses in the coming years, including as part of the national priority project approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin”, Braverman was quoted by TASS as saying.
For his part, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin noted that, despite the competition in the elections, Kalinin’s election “was logical and received support from the entire organization”.
“Over the last four years, he has done a lot not only to maintain Opora Russia’s reputation and image as one of the leading business associations, but he has done a lot both to set new objectives and to bring Opora Russia members together to implement them. He has done a lot to ensure that Opora Russia is a united front with business associations, such as the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Business Russia”, Shokhin told TASS.
Proxy Centre Director Sergey Lazutkin said he was confident that the personnel decisions made at the congress will enable Opora Russia to continue working effectively in Crimea.
“Opora Russia consistently devotes much attention to taking part in Crimea’s largest business event – the Yalta International Economic Forum, which was founded by Proxy Centre. Alexander Kalinin has been actively involved in the forum discussions for three years in a row and is one of the event’s key speakers. Over four years, Opora Russia has formed a functioning regional organization in Crimea and the association’s central leadership is making real efforts to improve the business climate in the region. Alexander Kalinin’s re-election provides confidence that this work will continue and intensify”, Lazutkin said.