Vladimir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation, has sent a welcome address to participants and guests of the Fair of Social and Cultural Projects Perm-2000 which opened today in the Uralian city of Perm. Mr. Putin expressed hope that the fair would become an “important and productive step in the formation of a civilized management of social and cultural processes in the country.” Sergei Kiriyenko, the President’s plenipotentiary in the Privolzhski Federal District, made an opening address. Mr. Kiriyenko stressed that the fair’s aim was to muster up the three forces - power, business, and social initiative. Perm Region’s governor Gennadi Igumnov, Mayor of Perm Yuri Trutnev, Interros holding company president Vladimir Potanin were among those taking part in the opening ceremony. The projects presented at the fair are designed to strengthen the institutions of civil society and a law-driven state, to promote local self-government, to disseminate the state-of-the-art methods of managing social processes. Within the framework of the fair, the contest Social Partnership and the Exchange of Innovation Ideas took place. Also scheduled is the conference on Solving Social Problems in Local Community: Russian and International Experience. Aleksandr Zarubin, the fair’s organizing committee chairman, says the Social Partnership contest makes up the core of the fair which envisages combining the efforts of the state power, local self-government, public societies and large businesses for implementing most important social programmes in the field of education, health care, and culture. Some 120 Russian projects have reached the final. The winners will be awarded with grants (the contest’s fund amounting to Rbs30m). The greatest contribution in the organization of the fair was made by the Soros Foundation (Open Society Institute), the British Council, USAID, the McArthurs Fund, Eurasia Foundation, Ford Foundation and a number of other structures. Of Russian companies, the largest contributors were Interros, Yukos, MDM-Bank, Alfa Group, the Moscow English Club, etc. Mr. Kiriyenko has exerted much personal effort here. Fair oganizers consider it expedient to hold it in various cities of the Privolzhski District on the annual basis. At the same time, it would be fine to see this remarkable idea materialized in other regions of Russia, too.
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