Mr Manturov briefed the President on ways to support particular industrial sectors, including transport machine-building.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Manturov, let us start with the issues that we both think require our greatest attention (we spoke about this on an earlier occasion), and with the sectors that require particular support. Transport machine-building is one of these sectors.
Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: Mr President, last year, you took the timely decision to set limitations on operating railway wagons with extended service lives. We in the Government have systematically worked through these instructions. The Transport Ministry adopted the appropriate regulations at the end of last year, making it possible to take around 80,000 old wagons out of service and send them to the scrap metal yards.
However, in order to reach a balance between economy sectors, the Government has supported our initiative to increase the financing of direct discounts for transport companies to encourage them to buy new rolling stock, especially innovative models.
(Mr Manturov went on to describe the measures for bringing innovative rolling stock models into service and spoke about the positive economic results these efforts have produced).
Let me add that we see a positive trend, especially since last year, concerning exports of our rolling stock. Two factors have contributed to this increase. First, the ruble’s devaluation means that our prices are competitive. Second, there was the timely decision to finance external credits through the Russian Export Centre, which was set up through Vnesheconombank, and, through this work, to effectively subsidise interest rates.
We increased exports to our traditional markets five-fold last year. These markets include Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, and Estonia. This year, we also hope to export our products to Iran. Together with our colleagues, we are in the process of finalising contracts and we hope that our producers will start exporting to this market.
This year, as with the automotive industry, we introduced a support measure for the transport machine-building sector in the form of compensation for the logistics costs of delivering the sector’s products to markets abroad, including homologation procedures for foreign markets, as every market has its own requirements for rolling stock. We are therefore developing special modifications to satisfy our foreign partners’ demands.
This year, we had a growth of 15 percent over the first three months, and we hope that the measures implemented in their totality will make it possible to produce and sell around 40,000 wagons this year. This would keep our main transport machine-building companies busy with orders and, most importantly, would ensure stability for our labour resources.