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"We Need to Rely on Ourselves" (Rustem Khamitov's interview to "Nezavisimaya Gazeta")

Two weeks ago the 6th BRICS summit has ended in Brazil; the next venue for this business forum will be Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan. Rustem Khamitov, the Head of the Republic, told Saveliy Vezin, the correspondent of Russian paper "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" (The Independent Newspaper), about preparations for this event of international dimensions and about the economic development of the region.

– Mr Khamitov, in July the city becomes the center of world politics. What do you expect from the BRICS summit and how it influences the economy of the Republic?

– We have several goals. The first one is to increase the fame of the Republic and its capital. The summit is very prestigious. The second goal is to engage the business community to cooperation. We want to expand our inter-regional relations, to invite the heads of the participating countries' regions and business representatives. We hope that the Republican business will receive additional opportunities for job-creating and for new enterprises creation, and to get new ways for goods delivery and for the sale of our products. The third goal is to strengthen cultural contacts. Generally, cities, which host summits, always get the chance to be developed. Just recently I was at the BRICS summit in Fortaleza at first time, and I really liked it. Thanks to summit, I had an opportunity to see this great city.

– Have you any tentative agreement about the possibilities of economic cooperation with the participating countries?

– Recently we havedevelop the relationships with P.R. China. We have also signed a number of agreements, and soon we expect the Chinese entrepreneurs will build a number of large enterprises in Bashkortostan. We also develop the relations with Brazil and India, we have signed agreements with several its states. The Brazilians have already started the production of Marcopolo buses in Neftekamsk. Cooperation with the SCO countries also develops, the summit of the organization will be held in Ufa. Relations with Kazakhstan are very positive. Especially it concerns the oil projects. We receive interesting proposals about cooperation from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The development of relations is a large-scale and, of course, very positive process.

– Can we say that today's tense relations with the countries of Western Europe and America will have a positive influence on the development of these relations?

- It can, I suppose. But we had a background for active work with Asia, the East and the countries of the Customs Union. Perhaps these countries, excluding China, South Korea and Singapore, are not so developed and rich, but it is easier to find a common language with them, they are not so arrogant. Eastern blood is flowing in us,too. But Asia and East are only helpers, not our saviors. I believe that our future must be based on our own abilities and resources, and therefore we need to rely only on ourselves.

– How does the city prepare for the summit and how much does it cost?

- We have acted rationally from the very beginning, we haven’t tried to do something special for organization of the forum and did not plan to build new facilities. After analyzing we made sure that it would be enough to modernize existing facilities.
Several new hotels are being built by private investors, we only helped them to get all necessary documents. All long-termed bureaucratic procedures were held in  a month. Constructions were started, two hotels will be ready by the end of year; another three or four will be ready by March. That will be enough for entertaining. Our city is very nice, we have many interesting things to show.
The summit costs will be  small; one part was planned earlier – in particular, the redevelopment of Congress hall, the place where summit will be held. We will be completely ready for the summit by the first of May, 2015.

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