Investment forum “Sochi – 2015”, a second day. The main events

The key event of the second day of the International investment forum in Sochi the meeting of the Commission on import substitution, which was conducted by the head of the Russian government Dmitry Medvedev.

The Prime Minister indicated that the objective of import substitution is the creation in Russia of production, not of trade barriers.

The goal is to on the territory of Russia “is a modern high-tech enterprises, both in industry and in agriculture that their products were in demand not only at Russian market but also on foreign markets”, – said Medvedev.

Under the Commission the Prime Minister instructed the ministries to help the regions to synchronize the plans for import substitution and to work on greater awareness of the support measures.

“I would like to see colleagues from all key agencies is, first of all, Minpromtorg, the Ministry of agriculture, Ministry of economic development – assisted the regions in preparing and implementing plans for import substitution”, – said the head of the government of the Russian Federation.

However, Medvedev urged not to bring the substitution to the point of absurdity, in this context, establishment of production in Russia only critical things.

The Prime Minister has set a target to concentrate in this work on the food and industry, primarily on high-tech things and the creation of means of production and transport, biotechnology and medicine.

In turn, Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov at the meeting said that the Ministry requests from the state budget for 2016 is not less than 20 billion roubles for industrial development Foundation.

“Our Foundation has received about 1.2 thousand applications. This suggests that the government has proposed the right solution, which is waiting for the investors. So we ask you to consider increasing the capital Fund for next year… at least in the same amount as this year – 20 billion rubles,” – said the Minister.

Discussion on taxes for the oil industry

Through the work of the forum continued the discussion about the tax regime for the oil industry.

As he noted in an interview with TV channel “Russia 24”, the government does not intend to increase the tax burden, including in the oil and gas sector, but plans to amend the so-called oil tax maneuver.

“We do not depart from the General thesis, from the General position that we are not going to increase the tax burden. And even here, these ideas about the oilers, they were based not on increasing tax rates or natural increase of the tax burden, and yet at removing, as they say, additional devaluation effect, i.e. some kind of profit or profits received as a result of weakening of the ruble”, – said the Prime Minister.

However, the Prime Minister assured that the taxation of oil companies will be solved “thin strokes”.

As noted on air of TV channel “Russia 24”, the General Director “Gazprom-oil” Alexander Dyukov, in the case of increasing the tax burden, “Gazprom oil” will be forced to reduce investments and, consequently, oil production.

“Of course, we have to reduce the amount of investment, and this will lead to a reduction in production volumes. Most worryingly, this also has a negative impact on the revenues” – said Dyukov.

In turn, the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin said that the presence of a budget deficit is not a basis for withdrawal of money from efficiently operating branch.

He urged the government to use the mechanism of external and domestic borrowing to cover the budget deficit.

However, according to the head of the Ministry of energy Alexander Novak, the decision on tax exemptions for oil and gas companies for 2016 is yet to be decided, the calculations continue.

The situation in the economy

On the second day of the forum in Sochi the journalists were presented the forecasts and assessments of the situation in the Russian economy from the financial block of the government and the Central Bank.

As noted by the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, the MAYOR has slightly lowered its forecast for GDP in 2015 from 3.8 to 3.9%.

In addition, according to the MAYOR, retail trade turnover in 2015 will fall by 8.1%, next year will grow by 0.7-0.8%

According to the speaker, the decline in 2016 is expected to reach 1.5%. “Continuing negative dynamics, is much less pronounced,” he said.

According to the forecast the MAYOR, the average annual ruble exchange rate in 2015 will amount to 61 rubles per dollar in 2016 63.5 ruble per dollar.

Annual inflation in Russia will be unambiguous in the second quarter of 2016, said Ulyukayev. The Minister recalled that the Ministry of economic development forecasts inflation in Russia by the end of 2015 at 12.2%, in 2016 and 6.8%.

According to the Central Bank estimates, inflation in Russia is high, in particular due to the volatility of oil prices.

As noted in the framework of the investment forum, the first Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Ksenia Yudaeva, the main problem now are the high inflation expectations, they are almost falling. Budgetary policy in Russia needs to be more stringent to curb inflation, said the first Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank.

In turn, the Deputy head of the Ministry of Finance Maxim Oreshkin said that the Ministry forecasts inflation in 2016 to be 6% and below.

For 2015, the Finance Ministry keeps inflation forecast at about 12%. According to him, reduction of inflation will influence the conduct of fiscal policy parameters, which provides the forecast of the Ministry of Finance.

Oreshkin added that the costs in the coming years will be limited, their growth will be around zero.