The regional economy. The results of 2017. Projections for 2018.
Dmitry Olegovich, with what macroeconomic indicators does the Kaluga region complete 2017?
Rather positive. For the second year in a row, most of the Kaluga region’s economy sectors are showing steady growth.
Among the drivers of positive economic dynamics I would like to note an increase in agricultural production by 6, 5%, a 20% increase in the construction industry in comparison with the previous year: in 2017 about 800 thousand sq. meters of housing was built on the territory of the region. The production of medicines increased by 80%. Positive trends show car manufacturers, electrical equipment manufacturers, noticeably revived investment activity.
In general, at the end of the year, the industrial production index will be more than 110% to the level of 2016 – here we are considerably ahead of the national average indicators. The volume of shipped goods of the industrial complex is about 600 billion rubles. We still occupy the third place in the Central Federal District in terms of wages: in 2017 its average standard is 33 thousand rubles, which is more than in 2016 by almost 5%. The gross regional product for 2017 is estimated at 380 billion rubles, which is also more than in 2016 by 5%.
It is important that this year we observe an impressive growth of the export component in the region’s foreign trade turnover. The growth rate of the export volume with far-abroad countries will exceed the indicator of 2016 by 3 times.
In your opinion, what might be attributed to the Top-5 events in the economy of the Kaluga region in 2017?
Actually, there were many more events such as the commissioning of new investment and infrastructure facilities, the launch of large logistics projects, the signing of significant investment agreements, the activation of small and medium-sized business, the expansion of partnership base, the growth of competitiveness of our traditional products, etc…
For example, in May 2017 a solemn ceremony of handing over to the customer the first diesel locomotive manufactured in the frameworks of the contract with the Union of Railways of Cuba was held at the Lyudinovo Diesel Locomotive Plant.
This year there were significant events for Volkswagen Group Rus LLC. Firstly, 10 years have passed since the beginning of work of the Kaluga automobile plant. Secondly, this year was the release of a 200-thousandth engine 1.6 MPI. Thirdly, the 100,000th car ŠODA RAPID rolled off the assembly line of the plant. In October the Kaluga plant “PSMA Rus” also manufactured the 100,000th SUV Mitsubishi. The level of localization in production of cars of this brand has reached 36% by the end of 2017.
Another large enterprise, the Kaluga plant “TYPHOON” became an accredited Russian exporter. In November 2017 the company obtained the International Trademark Registration Certificate “TYPHOON” on the territory of the countries: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, China, Cuba, France, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, and India.
What areas of economic development will be priority in 2018?
The Kaluga Region is one of the first regions in Russia that uses a cluster approach in managing regional development. We have developed new activities for the economy of the region and today we need to preserve and strengthen integrated development, when some areas of activity complement others.
A very promising direction is the formation of specialized development territories, which will lead to gradual equalization of spatial imbalances that are still characteristic of the region.
In this direction we have already taken separate steps – we created the SEZ “Kaluga”. Now the territory of the SEZ is in the process of being filled with residents, new enterprises are being built, new jobs are created.
Nowadays in Sosensky there is the formation of the territory of advanced socio-economic development and then we are going to develop this project in Kondrovo. It will allow to activate local businesses, attract outside investors and improve the quality of life in these cities.
For us, as for the region, that doesn’t have hydrocarbon resources, the opportunities for further growth are associated with the transition to an innovative economy. In this case the key resources are human capital and the quality of the environment. In the regional strategy of innovation development the most significant stage is from 2020 to 2030. But today we are already realizing our projects that qualitatively change the face of the region. There is a large-scale modernization of the education system going in the region: infrastructure of universities is being updated, new directions of education are being opened, we have moved on to targeted training of highly qualified stuff for the scientific and production complex and innovation complex of the region. By the way, having a rich scientific and educational infrastructure we need to develop our own scientific developments, create a favorable environment for their implementation into production.