From 25 to 26 September, the first conference of Vnesheconombank’s regional managers was held. The conference brought together managers from 16 Russia’s regions, who had been selected via a multi-stage selection procedure, as well as industry and government officers.
In anticipation of the conference, regional managers from 13 regions submitted 28 projects to VEB to choose from. 16 of the projects that were offered for sectors such as infrastructure, power generation, defence industry diversification, pharmaceuticals, aviation and polymer chemistry meet the Bank’s strategy. The project selection panel consisting of Vnesheconombank’s top mangers shortlisted five best projects. The winner was Chernyakhovsk land port construction project by Oleg Skvortsov, Deputy General Director of Kaliningrad Region Development Corporation.
The opening speaker was Alexey Ivanchenko, Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairman and Member of the Management Board. In his welcome address, Mr. Ivanchenko said: “Vnesheconombank is implementing a new approach to searching for and selecting investment projects for the Bank’s loan portfolio via a nation-wide network of its representatives that is now being created. We have appointed 25 regional managers in 16 Russia’s constituent regions. In November, we are planning to complete our work in the rest of the regions and to start implementing our initiative all across the country. Regional managers will select projects requiring more than RUB1bn funding with an implementation period of five years or longer that meet new Vnesheconombank’s priorities as well as projects for the Project Finance Factory.
Svetlana Chupsheva, General Director of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), told about ASI’s regional initiatives. “Our objective is to find leaders, ‘stars’ in the regions who will compete such payers as Uber or Amazon. VEB’s regional managers will help find and develop such leaders,” Mrs. Chupsheva noted in her speech.
Among the keynote speakers was also Alexey Repik, President of Business Russia, who spoke about business in regions with a focus on challenges in finding and implementing investment projects. In his speech, he stressed how important the work of VEB’s regional managers is. “VEB’s regional managers will help reduce the existing gap and overcome the lack of understanding between regional businesses and the central federal authorities.”
Anton Alikhanov, Governor of the Kaliningrad Region, talked about the regional investment policy and expectations they have about Vnesheconombank’s regional managers. “We are really thankful to VEB for its sending representatives to regions. This will enable more efficient investment and will help reduce gaps between regions,” Mr. Alikhanov said.
Alla Zavodina, a winner in the regional manager selection, Investment Director of the Novgorod Region Development Agency, shared her plans: “The Novgorod Region is quite attractive for investors. That is why the presence of VEB’s qualified certified managers who speak the same language with investors and are able to prepare all the documents required to apply for funding will be an important competitive advantage for the region. I believe that keeping people informed about VEB’s programmes is a really important mission for me. Because the lack of information impedes development and results in the lack of confidence among investors.
During the conference, Vnesheconombank signed contracts with 25 regional managers, who were also officially awarded honour certificates. Thus, the regional managers have become official representatives of Vnesheconombank in 16 Russian constituent regions.