Gleb Nikitin reported to the President on the results for the January-July 2018. GRP was 3 percent higher owing to the growth of industry and higher labour productivity, as well as to changes in general economic trends. Over the six months salaries rose 6 percent in real terms, fixed investment increased by 5 percent and labour productivity by 12 percent. The local non-commodity and non-energy exports accounted for 70 percent. A corporation for the development of the Nizhniy Novgorod Region was established.
Manufacturing, the region’s best developed industry, grew by 3.4 percent on last year. Housing construction was up by 4.6 percent. Consumer market growth was 4.5 percent for the half year, which was partly due to the World Cup matches hosted by Nizhny Novgorod, the acting governor noted. The event gave an impetus to the local economy in general.
The discussion also touched on the importance of the surplus budget and the reduction of public debt. The regional government is working to reduce borrowing and repay the debt accumulated from the substantial borrowings of 2009 – 2016 to finance large projects and invest in social projects and development. In this regard, a lot of money is now going to debt servicing.
The region’s target figures for 2018, including agriculture, are either at Russia’s average or higher. The region is working on national projects with all federal ministries. All the instructions the President gave in the Address to the Federal Assembly have been integrated into the region’s draft development, Mr Nikitin said.
He also noted that the migration outflow from the region still persisted – around 4,000 people from Nizhny Novgorod in two years. In his opinion, it is necessary to develop the public and cultural landscape. The region is participating in the Comfortable Urban Environment project. Four local towns submitted urban development projects that were among the 80 winning projects in the nationwide competition among small and historical towns. This was the second best result in Russia.
Gleb Nikitin said he sent proposals to the Government on supplementing the Housing and Urban Environment federal project with a separate scheme for the restoration of several Russian towns, turning them into tourist attractions. He added that it was necessary to make use of and build on the potential created by the World Cup.
The Nizhny Novgorod government has drafted a concept for the creation of a cultural and educational centre in the region and counts on the President’s support for the project. Comprehensive work is underway to create a tourist cluster in the region, including the development of a transport and logistics network. This also requires coordination with the federal government, because the regional government cannot afford to fund all the projects.
Mr Nikitin also appealed to the Presidential for support regarding several social projects, in particular, equipping a local rehabilitation centre and developing a system of “health trains,” which would provide medical and diagnostic assistance. There is a huge demand for such projects and lots of positive feedback on them.
Asked by the President what other goals the Acting Governor had after almost a year in his post, Gleb Nikitin said it was necessary to work on the availability of material and technical resources for the social sphere, and pay more attention to social projects in general, especially in regard to fair and targeted social support, and improving the quality of medical services.