April 3-4 2018
Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). Key theme: "Russia and the world: image of the future".
About the State Council on "Rostselmash": The next step in our evolutionary development!

Published: February 5th, 2018

The head of the company's board of directors, the co-author of the economic development strategy from the CCI, the leader of the "Partya Dela" Konstantin Babkin told Nakanune.Ru why the "revolution" in the State Council did not happen, but many things were put right, and how Putin estimated what was seen on "Rostselmash."

Question: Konstantin Anatolyevich, share your impressions of the President's visit to Rostselmash. Konstantin Babkin: Impressions are powerful and bright. The President's visit is a historic event for the company. "Rostselmash" will turn 90 next year, the Head of State visits indicate certain stages in the development of the plant, successes are noted. So, yesterday, another such "notch" was staged. And the attention of the president itself is very important. We have tried to show what the past nine years have been working on since the previous visit of the president, what we are working on today and outlined the strategy for the future. In my opinion, everything was received positively, including our requests for further support. As far as I can judge, the president enjoyed. We are committed to a positive dynamic in the work in the next two to three years, gradually increasing production volumes. Question: The last time Putin visited Rostselmash nine years ago, as prime minister. How do you consider whether it was succeeded to surprise him with the happened changes pleasantly? Now the equipment of "Rostselmash" has entered a foreign market that wasn’t managed during the last visit.

Konstantin Babkin: Yes, he noted that we have positive dynamics, that we managed to enter foreign markets, and that we have educated employees (41% of employees with higher education), it impressed him. I said that state support has a real effect on the development of industry, everything was heard. Question: Do you feel that Putin liked the visit to Rostselmash? What exactly did he mention? Konstantin Babkin: It's hard for me to talk about the emotions of Vladimir Vladimirovich, but it seems to me that he liked the visit. The dynamics is visible. Five years ago he asked us a question why we do not transfer the production of tractors from Canada.

Now we have shown that we have transferred it, explained why it was done, told about the improvement of economic policy, outlined what needs to be done next. Showed new products - electronic systems, demonstrated that modern combines are equipped with satellite positioning and data transmission systems, remote monitoring of information on the technical condition of machines. In my opinion, this made a good impression on the President. Question: Were you able to discuss with Vladimir Putin the strategy of economic growth that you developed in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry? Konstantin Babkin: I told Vladimir Vladimirovich that the company is developing, we are investing, last year we produced 5 thousand 800 combines, but in terms of capacity, we reserve twice as much.

That is, we can produce agricultural machinery twice as much as we produce. I told the President that we see the potential in agriculture, in improving industrial policy, and we have a proposal that we sent to the Government through the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. There was no concrete answer, he took note of the information, but whether something will be done in connection with this, I did not understand. Revolution behind this is not worth it.

Question: What is your opinion on the meeting of the State Council? Have concrete measures been announced to support the industry and the agricultural machinery industry? Konstantin Babkin: The meeting was a success. Governor of the Tyumen region Vladimir Yakushev announced that it is necessary to support industry, the policy of the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Government in general should be oriented towards this. The reaction from the head of the Central Bank was "cautiously positive." Unfortunately, the promise to lower the interest rate was not announced. It was also noted that the industry should be supported by loans, and monetary policy should be oriented towards the development of a real economy, however, without specific measures. At least I did not understand what was specifically proposed to do. So the revolution did not happen yesterday, but there was another step towards evolution. Yes, our ideas were accepted, yes, it was said that the industry should be supported, but the real turn in the economy by 90 degrees, as we propose, has not happened yet. Question: What kind of applications did you miss in the State Council?

Konstantin Babkin: Economic policy should be turned 90 degrees to the side so that the monetary policy is more decisive, and the tax policy should have stimulating functions. I pointed out this with a dashed line to Vladimir Vladimirovich, but he did not go into these topics. Step by step we will continue to work in this direction, but, unfortunately, there are no revolutions in economic policy at the moment. Question: As far as I know, you drew the President's attention to the fact that in many regions there is no demand for the purchase of Russian equipment, that's why most of the subsidies and soft loans are used to purchase foreign equipment. How did Putin react to this? Konstantin Babkin: Indeed, I raised this issue, and the president agreed with me, said to prepare the normative acts. Yes, there is not much money in the country and they should be directed to the right needs, where they will be used best. The topic was supported. Question: Whether there can be revolution in this question? How did it seem to you? Konstantin Babkin: It seemed to me that support is real and there will be a solution.