Alexey Likhachev: By the end of the 2015 trade missions will have implemented projects totaling nearly $ 3 billion


The First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Likhachev spoke at the Conference "Russian non-energy export is a vector of economic development".

In the plenary session, the participants discussed the work of the elements of the export support system - from regional sites to trade missions. Alexey Likhachev addressed the issue related to the functioning of such institute, as the trade missions of the Russian Federation abroad - the main instrument for promoting Russian goods and services. "Support for exports is today an absolute priority and most important task of the government. The main thing is to bring the priority up to real cases, to build tools to support exports so that they provide a real help to exporters, leading to the growth of Russian exports," he said.

The First Deputy Minister recalled that exports in the first 8 months of 2015 amounted to $234.5 billion. The non-energy export in January-August 2015 amounted to $126.3 billion, including export of manufactured goods with a high degree of processing was $19.0 billion, innovative products - $17.4 billion, high-tech products - $6.6 billion. "The picture, shown in US dollars, inclusive of exchange rate and payments to some countries in national currencies, is not representative," he said. In physical terms, the volume of exports from January to August 2015 increased by 1.9% to 629.4 billion tons compared with the same period of 2014. The export of processed goods increased by 4.9% (exports of high-tech products increased by 28.5%, products with a high degree of processing – by 9.6%, exports of innovative products – by 5.7%).

- We understand that to achieve the main result – the expansion of non-energy exports – requires active work, not only within Russia but also abroad, - Alexey Likhachev said.

He noted that the largest Russian companies, as a rule, are needed to be provided with political support of foreign economic projects, solving their specific problems. The major role here is played by the Intergovernmental Commissions (IGC), aiming to expand investment cooperation, transport, property, tax and other problems. Today, there are already 113 IGCs.

Another important tool of non-financial support for export is the trade missions of the Russian Federation. The main "customers" of trade missions are numerous medium-sized companies which have been already operating as exporters, or only doing the first steps in this area. They are needed assistance in finding partners, determining the prospects of the markets, the organization of primary negotiations. "Here trade missions are impossible to replace and their role can be fully performed neither the Embassy nor other Russian missions abroad", - Alexey Likhachev emphasized.

The missions are implementing a number of foreign projects of Russian companies. Since the launch of the reform of trade missions, in late 2012, 651 projects were approved, of which 160 projects have already been completed, and 99 have been a success. 93% of the projects – export supplies, 7% of the projects- attracting foreign investment. The total portfolio of the projects in progress is about $ 25 billion; the volume of the concluded contracts on the completed projects – nearly $ 1 billion. By the end of 2015, other 124 projects totaling about $ 3 billion are scheduled for completion.

The First Deputy Minister highlighted the support of exports of small and medium enterprises. "In Russia, their share in exports is only about 6%, that is significantly less than the proportion typical for most developed countries (25-35%)", - he said.

According to him, to support SMEs to access foreign markets, there should be reduced the cost of loans, simplified customs clearance procedures, compensated costs associated with protecting intellectual property, obtaining certificates of conformity, participation in exhibitions and fairs, improved professional skills, and done many other things. "We support export-oriented small and medium enterprises, including through the establishment and development of centers coordinating the support of export-oriented SMEs and regional integrated centers," - he said.

“Road map”, "Support for access to foreign markets and export support" provide for a number of areas of work in simplifying and speeding up customs and fiscal procedures, reducing the time of VAT reimbursement during export, development of infrastructure and export support tools, incentives for export-oriented companies. "We have already established single windows for the provision of financial and non-financial support to Russian exporters, and formed the Russian export center," - he said.