President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Manturov, when discussing the industrial sector’s performance in the first six months of the year, we saw that industrial production grew by an impressive 6.2 percent. How is it going now?
Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: We are seeing an ongoing positive trend. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade forecast, the processing sector will show a 7-percent growth by the end of the year. So far, as you said, the growth is 6.2 percent.
As for automotive industry and wood processing, when we spoke about them at the beginning of the year, these sectors did not show positive results. But since then, they have recovered and are showing growth. What is very important is that the accumulated loans set a record in terms of funds raised by our enterprises, which is 15 trillion rubles. It includes both operating activity and development and is 35 percent more than in the previous period.
The second important factor is the business activity index; as of the end of September, it was over 54 points. It means that enterprises’ orders are growing. It is a record number since 2017, and it means that enterprises are interested in developing, implementing investment projects and increasing the workload.
But in order to meet all the needs of the processing sectors, we have restored the competences of the machine-tool industry. The Government has recently adopted an updated federal project on the development of the production of manufacturing equipment, that is, the machine-tool sector.
Over the past eight years, we have provided for the consolidation of enterprises and assets that were in a difficult financial situation. In the 1990s and the 2000s, unfortunately, there was no demand for the products of the machine-tool sector as foreign products were purchased. But since then, we have created new models and a new range of products that is now in great demand. In the previous period, the growth in the sector was from 7 to 15 percent, and in the current period of this year, it has already hit 58 percent.
Vladimir Putin: So, you are organising this work with the help of five ministries?
Denis Manturov: In total, yes.
Vladimir Putin: Including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, I mean in terms of personnel training.
Denis Manturov: Everyone is involved in this, and this is a very important aspect. In order to progress in development, we must train personnel using today’s technology and meeting the requirements that both customers and manufacturers make today.
Speaking about the future, the main emphasis in the updated federal project is not only made on traditional metalworking and metal-cutting machines; the main focus is on modern equipment for additive technology and robotics.
Mr President, special words of gratitude to you: you have issued instructions to state-owned enterprises and companies with state participation to increase the share of robotic products. This is exactly what makes an enterprise advanced today and increases labour productivity, which is what you regularly set tasks in for our industrial enterprises. Robotics, of course, will be aimed at this.
We have formed a budget: 300 billion rubles until 2030 is an unprecedented volume for this industry; 138 billion rubles are already allocated in the budget for the three-year period, and the total volume of the federal project is more than 500 billion rubles with regional and extra-budgetary investments.
The scale of the task can be compared with the pharmaceutical project that you personally supervised and worked on. It began in 2010 as a strategy, then a federal targeted programme and a state programme emerged. Our pharmaceutical industry today is enjoying a strong, confident position, has proven this during the pandemic and continues to grow steadily. We will continue to grow, considering that the market is constantly growing.
We should also compare this target task with radio electronics, for which clear guidelines were given. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin personally oversees this area. There, too, all funds have been provided for the period of implementation of the entire state programme.
Considering the sectors that have been designated, this is all aimed at ensuring technological sovereignty of our country and providing sectors of the economy and industry with cutting edge products.
Vladimir Putin: Good.