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Interviews

22.07.2014

Rustem Khamitov gave a live interview to the Russian channel "Russia 24" on 22 July (shorthand record of the interview)

I.: In July 2015 Ufa will host a BRICS summit. All participating countries have already given their consent. Ufa will also host a SCO summit. The republican authorities say all infrastructures of the capital are ready for these events as well as its organization. Today we learn about projects, carried out by Republic of Bashkortostan as part of summit, and about the situation in whole at first hand. Our guest is Rustem Khamitov, the Head of Bashkortostan. Mr Khamitov, welcome!

 

Khamitov: Hello!

 

I.: Thank you so much for joining us today. So… Why was Ufa  chosen as a host city?? Which additional facilities are left to be built in the city?

Khamitov: Ufa is a nice city and Bashkortostan is good territory. It is one of the major economically developed regions of the Russian Federation. And so there were no doubts that the city would cope with summits.

As for preparations, everything goes according to the plan. Firstly, we are building new hotels, because we had a little problem with them. Today the private sector takes on this task. We gave preferences to private owners and helped them to register the land title lists, to get utility lines. Seven hotels are being built at a fast clip. Two of them will be ready by the first of January 2015; the other will be finished by the first of March. And our guests will live in new hotels during summits in Ufa.

We have a normal road infrastructure. Besides, our airport is being upgraded. Now it is also modern enough, clean and comfortable. The Congress Hall - venue for the summit - is being upgraded too. It will also be ready by the first of January 2015. A few cultural buildings were also built. The routine work is in progress. And I want to say at once: everything we do is for our citizens too, not only for the summits.

 

I.: Let's have a detailed talk about inter-regional projects, which Republic of Bashkortostan carries out with the BRICS and the SCO countries. Are there any results?

 

Khamitov: Recently we have developed the relationships with P.R. China. We have signed a number of agreements with the provinces of China. Both Chinese and our entrepreneurs are satisfied. We have new projects and new ways for development. For example, we expect the Chinese entrepreneurs will build a number of large factories in Bashkortostan. Besides, they will help us in road construction and infrastructure development. We have some projects to create a major logistics center. Our companies would like to come in the oil market and also to take part in oil and gas exploration and production in China. Chine has the same interest. We also trade in food and household goods with.

We maintain relations with other countries, for instance, India and Brazil. The Brazilians have organized a new production of Marcopolo buses in our Republic. This manufacturer is well known in the world. You can already see some buses on our roads. India buys aircraft engines from the Republic of Bashkortostan for long now. Ufa Engine Industrial Association is the largest and most successful leader in aircraft engines production for combat aviation. Relations with Indian are maintained at a very high level.

We would like to study the experience of other countries, for instance, South Africa. In recent years such countries have a great progress in tourism. Tourism industry increases by 20-30% every year. We watch and examine their experience, because our Republic is very beautiful and interesting too.

We have many common projects with such countries as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan. We carry out oil projects with Kazakhstan. With Tajikistan we exchange foodstuff and this country provides us with labour power. We have a number of projects in fact. It is good that they are carried out at the interregional level.

 

I.: During our interview, we have repeatedly mentioned the oil and petroleum-refining industry. It is known, that Bashkortostan is an oil region, but as far as I know, oil revenues are reduced. Are there any companies in other industries, and how these industries develop?

 

Khamitov: JSOC Bashneft and enterprises of Bashneft Group are the largest taxpayers in the Republic, in some areas "Bashneft" gives us up to 30 percent of local taxes. We understand that we cannot depend on only one company. It's wrong, and we try to diversify our industry and the first thing is engineering. We have new interesting projects. I have already mentioned Ufa Engine Industrial Association, which produces the ultra-modern engines for combat aircraft. Part of the production is transferred from other cities in Ufa to gain new qualities.

We have a large helicopter factory. Kamov helicopters are produced in Kumertau. This enterprise is diversified in many areas, too. A machine-tool industry is generally the keystone of any state. And we develop this sphere too.

Our Republic is the large agricultural region of Russia. We realize very large projects delt with meat, milk and grain production development. We are among the five largest producers of agricultural products in the Russian Federation.

We have a lot of plans in spheres of timber processing, mining, light industry, infrastructure projects and development of transport network. We move forward at a good pace.

 

I.: I know that you consider the attraction of investors as one of the main part of your work. Do you succeed in it in the current economic situation?

 

Khamitov: We are talking about people and companies. They want to work with us and require a special approach and special relationship, because many regions of the country are competing for investors. Everyone tries to create the most attractive, the most comfortable conditions for investors.

We have formed a modern legislation giving investors some preferences. Moreover, I work with significant investors myself. They appreciate it. We remove many administrative barriers.

Today we have more than one hundred projects; they cost 700-800 billion rubles in total and will be carried out on the territory of the Republic. Some of them are already set up; others are  being designed or on a concept stage. We can say this process gain in strength.

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