Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) On June 4.
“We are glad that after a forced break, it is here in Russia where the first major international business event is taking place,” he said.
During his speech, the president said that the global economic downturn that the pandemic has caused was the largest since World War II.
“But we can already say with confidence that the world economy is returning to normal life,” Putin said adding that global GDP growth 2021 is expected to be the highest since the 1970s. At the same time, the economic recovery is uneven, he noted.
Putin also said that against the backdrop of the post-crisis recovery, it is important not only to reach "a stable trajectory of quality growth, but also to use the opportunities that open up."
“It is imperative to strengthen business and investment ties between countries,” he added.
In this regard, the President spoke about the completion of the first leg of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.
“The work on the second line continues. The linear work, including the offshore section, has been completed,” the president said.
Speaking about the priorities of the domestic business agenda, Putin announced that owing to timely measures, the Russian economy and the labor market were nearing pre-crisis levels.
“We have managed to save millions of jobs and avoid a sharp drop in people's income. Yes, there are problems here. The unemployment rate has climbed, and the real incomes has fallen, we all know that,” he said.
At the same time, the president believes that something that could be called a catastrophe has not happened.
“The government should strengthen programs for the development of employment in those regions where unemployment is still high. We need to act in a targeted manner,” he said and instructed to create a program to support youth employment throughout the country.
Separately, Putin pointed the regions of Russia that have managed to improve their investment climate. The top 10 includes Bashkiria, the Nizhny Novgorod region and the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region.
“By 2024, every region of Russia, one should ensure transparent, predictable and comfortable climates for business and investment projects. To accomplish this, each region must show the priorities of its development. We should not have so-called unpromising regions that find themselves on the sidelines of economic growth. Each constituent entity of the federation has their investment and economic potential,” Putin said.
Putin also proposed extending the preferential mortgage program for a year and raise the rate on this program to seven percent.
“The program has become one of the key anti-crisis measures to support both citizens and economy. To date, more than half a million families have received such a loan, and more than two trillion rubles have been additionally attracted to housing construction,” the head of state noted.
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