Analytical Center together with the Moscow Branch of the World Bank held the All-Russian Conference called 'Russian Regions as Growth Drivers: Priority Tasks and Solutions', where representatives from the regions could share their experience and discuss issues of social inequality, transport infrastructure, and slowdown in the economy.
When opening the event, Konstantin Noskov, the Head of the Analytical Center, noted that as of today there not enough venues devoted to communication and networking of regions and the federal center. "It is not that only regional authorities have to listen to the Federal Government – the federal ministries can learn quite a bit from the regional ones too," says Mr. Noskov.
Andras Horvai, World Bank´s Country Director and Resident Representative in the Russian Federation, noted that regional policy nowadays must be directed towards alignment of experience in the regions of Russia with the global one, as well as towards diminishing the inequality in between regions.
In the first session of the conference, Dmitry Sivayev, a representative of the World Bank, presented the map of regional development potential, which showed the rate of economic growth in the Western regions of Russia. According to the expert, to see the whole picture of the economy in the country, it is important to understand the ties between the regional economies. Mr. Sivaev also suggested that it is important to increase the efficiency and appeal of the cities and towns through improvement of housing policy and standards of living. In his words, 'development of human capital assets must be nationwide regardless of territorial priorities."
"Smaller regions in this country are similar in terms of growth rate and features, so we should develop them all together," says Igor Khranovskiy, Deputy PM of the Republic of Ingushetia. "The key for the regional development is the effective management"' says Oleg Asmus, Deputy PM of the Ulyanovsk Oblast. "Cooperation between regions is also important to develop, and we have to design the macroeconomic map of the regions."
"As of today, the federal program devoted to developing the regional sites is being implemented. There is a whole mix of activities focused on action and also creating the Spatial Development Strategy of the Russian Federation," recaps Elena Chuguevskaya, the Head of Department for Strategic and Land Use Planning in the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. "We are now studying the settlement plan, removing constraints on the infrastructure, and introducing the strategy for large region development."
In the second session the experts discussed potential means of implementing the potential for economic growth in the regions. According to Anton Steshenko, the expert of the Analytical Center, this step will require a reformation of the regional state management, namely: establish an immediate strategy and state programs, improve the structure and functionality of executive authorities, integrate the project management into the strategic and budget planning, and reform the monitoring and supervision activities. "It is also important to implement the integrated support systems for investment projects and improve the financial sustainability," says the expert.
Iliya Vinokurov, the Head of the Department for Project Management in the Public Sector of the Analytical Center, talked about the annual competition for the professional project management in the public sector, "Proyektniy Olimp" (Project Olympus), which plays an important role in the development of the project management in the regions of Russia. This year the Analytical Center announced the start of the competition on July 1, and it already has over 30 applications from the regions.
The following sessions were focused on issues of social inequality and poverty, regional finance, transport infrastructure, and ties between the regions.