Handelsblatt (Germany): Russian trade Minister Manturov promised that Russia's economy will grow at a rate above the world

to finally accelerate the growth rate of the economy, in mid-January, Russian President Vladimir Putin fired Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and reformed the government. It set a goal “to achieve growth rates in excess of the world.” About it in interview to the newspaper “Handelsblatt” said the Russian Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov. According to him, Russia should “become one of the five largest economies in the world” and to achieve GDP growth of “at least 3% a year.”

In recent years, the growth rate of Russian economy was much lower than other newly industrialized countries. Now the national projects that should be invested almost 370 billion euros, are intended to ensure growth in infrastructure. In addition, Manturov said that “Russia, including on grounds of national security, should become independent of foreign IT products.” As the Minister said, “foreign suppliers in the future should not be able to put pressure on us by supplying us with certain foods or refusing to do it.”

since, according to Manturov, this also applies to the energy sector, the pressure may be, and such German firms, as “Siemens” (Siemens). If, for example, the Munich concern will refuse to transfer their intellectual property in the production of high-power gas turbines of the Russian joint venture to localize the production of turbines in Russia, Siemens can no longer receive orders from the Russian power plants.

Paris, Rome, Stuttgart, Berlin — Denis Manturov has tirelessly toured now the most important industrial partners of Russia in the West. Since President Vladimir Putin fully performersal government, the Minister of industry and trade Manturov needs to find partners to get the opportunity to fulfill ambitious goals for economic growth. Recently, low economic growth deterred investors. Today, Moscow is making a major bet on Germany.

Handelsblatt: Mr. Minister, the new Russian government wants to significantly accelerate the pace of economic growth. What it intends to do?

Denis Manturov: We’ve set a goal to achieve growth rates in excess of the world. Russia should be among the five largest economies in the world. For this purpose we need to achieve our GDP growth at least 3% per year.

is this too ambitious a goal considering that last year the increase was only 1%?

— Yes, this goal is ambitious. But we want to achieve it primarily through the implementation of the declared by President Putin’s national projects. We will invest to 25.7 trillion rubles in infrastructure, social and industrial mega-project, which then give impetus to economic growth. We will strongly support small and medium enterprises, which are the main engines of economic growth. However, in the Soviet Union we got a lot of big state enterprises, which still was the backbone of our economy.

But the state’s share in the Russian economy in recent years continued to grow…

— Yes, but it was rather unwillingly, and was not an end in itself. In the banking sector, the share of the state increased because we had to save standing on the verge of bankruptcy of major institutions such as the Bank “Opening”. If the Central Bank is notto interfere, this would lead to a banking crisis. Bank “Opening” will not remain permanently in state ownership. Under the state holding company rostec with its more than 1,000 firms, we combine enterprise subject to financial restructuring and offer for sale to private investors.

In the energy sector, the share of the state greatly increased, for example, due to absorption of the private oil company Yukos to state oil giant Rosneft and the oil company Sibneft — Gazprom.

— Here we also significantly reduce the state’s share. Major stakes in Rosneft and Gazprom are already traded on the exchange, and large dividends are pleasing to Russian and foreign investors. Certainly the decrease in the state share in the energy companies will continue. This happens in virtually all public concerns, and it is only a matter of time.

— plays a role, and the investment climate, which in Russia the situation is not the best way.

— the investment climate affects both domestic and external factors. One of the main tasks of the new government will be the stimulation of consumer demand in the country.

— which in recent years has fallen due to the decline in real incomes.

— Yes, but now the real incomes are growing again, the demand for goods and services will increase. But in order to meet scheduled growth investment. We plan in the future to increase public investment by 5% per year.

— How are you going to achieve this?

— We focus on digitalization. There Russia in some areas, gone further than other countries.

— what?

— We have introduced a system of digital marking of goods. This makes it possible to track trade flows in Russia and the Eurasian economic community. And to detect counterfeits. This is an important element of the purification of the economy, marginalization of the shadow economy and strengthening the competitiveness of legitimate manufacturers. Few countries can boast such great achievements in the digitalization of the economy.

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What does it mean specifically?

— in the future Russia will make maximum use of their own digital products, own decisions in the field of IT and software. We are including for reasons of national security — independent of foreign IT products. In the future, foreign manufacturers will not be able to put pressure on us by supplying us with certain foods or refusing to do so. This applies to energy.


— for Example, the company “Siemens” in Russia for more than 160 years, will have to decide whether to pass the intellectual property in the field of production of modern high-power turbines of the Russian subsidiary.

— Siemens refuses to do so and argues with Russian partner — the company “Power machines” and its owner Alexei Mordashov  regarding the transmission of technical details for the production of ultra-modern high-power turbines combined Russian subsidiary. It’s just a technical problem?

Absolutely. To be honest, the only “Siemens” depends on whether he will fulfil our requirements security — requirements of the Russian state, not Mordashov, and will start to produce turbines of large capacity in Russia. If Siemens and other foreign companies will not manufacture large gas turbines with capacity of 70 and 160 megawatts, they will no longer receive orders for the supply of turbines for Russian power plants. We have already begun to develop their own turbines in this class. Decided to give “Power machines” state co-financing for the development of high-power turbines. But I would be happy if foreign companies began to make these turbines for Russia, and we have been able to save taxpayers money.

That is not Mordashov pressure on Siemens, that he began to produce turbines in Russia?

— in Any case. Mordashov absolutely anyone no pressure. As a representative of the States require that these turbines were produced in the Russian territory. Still, who is going to do a joint venture with “Power machines” or one of “Siemens”. I can’t afford to allow a repetition of the situation when the supply of turbines on the Peninsula of the Crimea was called into question.

Any new German-Russian projects do you expect?

— There are many projects in the field of strjitelstva pipelines. Germany is the biggest industrial foreign investor in Russia.

— And this despite the fact that since 2014 the number of German companies in Russia was reduced from 6.2 to 4.3 thousand?

— It did not affect the level of total investment. German uniforms have invested in Russia $ 20 billion and continue to invest. Many German companies already working in Russia, plans to expand production or build new factories. We know about the plans to invest in our country even 530 million euros in the near future. Recently, Henkel launched in the suburbs of the second line for the production of cosmetics and shampoos, plans a third. Dr. Theiss Naturwaren was laid a plant for the production of toothpaste and creams in Russia.

around the world the topical theme of climate protection and renewable energy. How this state of Affairs in Russia, the country with energy-intensive heavy industry?

— Here is just one example: the Russian steel industry is now competitive on the world market, because since 2000 in the modernization of metallurgy was invested 60 billion euros. Due to this implements the most advanced technology, reduced emissions and reduced production costs, and labor productivity increased. Russian steel companies are today much more competitive than many European market participants.

— That is the global trend to abandon the use of coal as fuel for Russia and its industry does not pose a danger?

— Yes And no. And we focus on e-mobility. By 2024, in Moscow will not remain any bus with an internal combustion engine. For all regions is, of course, expensive, but at least in the capital will be so. We focus on the electric motors and gas as fuel for transport. Gas — a more environmentally friendly fuel, and if fuel for vehicles will be produced based on it, this will increase the domestic demand for natural gas in Russia. We have already introduced incentives for those who buy cars that run on gas.

— Mr. Minister, thank you for the interview.

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