5 august 2008

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had a meeting with the Governor of the Samara Region Vladimir Artyakov

The situation in the region and particularly social and economic development, the development of the transport infrastructure and the agriculture were discussed during the meeting.

Transcript of the begining of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr. Artyakov.

Vladimir Artyakov: I would like to tell you, briefly, about the region's state of affairs.

It's been nearly a year since you have appointed me governor. Therefore I would like to make some conclusions, touch upon our prospects and discuss some problems.

Here, in our presentation, in short, we have reproduced social and economic development in the region. We have shown the output indicators in the diagrams. This year we have considerably improved on last year's results in many areas. And, if we compare our current results with those of 2005, growth is substantial. There has been a great increase even in the amount of capital investment.

Out gross regional product is in the rise. Wages continue to increase. In this respect we are among the leaders in the Volga Federal District.

Investments in authorized capital have their own positive dynamics, but they depend on production development, hence the indicators are fluctuating. On the whole industrial production is growing every year by 5.2-5.3% and we plan to increase this indicator to 7% per year.

Vladimir Putin: Does wage growth for 2008 reflect the results of the first half of the year?

Vladimir Artyakov: Yes, these are the preliminary results. Of course, this dynamics will be positive. It will remain stable.

Recently the Minister of Transport, Mr. Levitin, paid us a visit. We looked at the preliminary results of the development of the region's transport infrastructure. In this respect we were commended as the best region allocating significant funds for road construction.

This year 8.5 billion roubles ($346.23 million, or €234.22 million) from the regional budget have been spent on this sector, which is about 9% of the entire budget. This indicator is among the best in the Russian Federation.

As for agriculture, we have also scored some success - this year grain production in the region is expected to reach 2 million metric tons, which is substantial compared with previous years. The situation with other agricultural produce is similar.

Our goal in the area of agriculture is to become fully self-sufficient, to produce all necessary foodstuffs in the region rather than depend on imported food products. And what we are doing today in our agricultural sector gives us ground to believe that our region will be able to produce 100% of all farm produce for internal consumption. Growth is evident here.

With respect to national projects, we have achieved significant growth in the development of agricultural cooperatives and housing construction. We are constantly monitoring the situation, and we are above average. We are becoming a leader among other regions in the Volga Federal District.