Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues,
Today we will discuss here in the Astrakhan Region issues linked with its economic and social advancement, including in the context of the recent meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects, during which special attention was paid to the regional aspects of implementing our key programmes. Now we will focus on the performance of the Astrakhan Region.
I would like to note at the outset that this region has a good foundation for development. The East-West and North-South international transport routes pass through its territory. It has promising hydrocarbon deposits and a large oil-and-gas complex. The region’s natural wealth lies in its fertile agricultural lands and the biological resources of the Volga and the Caspian Sea. It also has a good workforce capacity.
Last year, the region achieved positive dynamics in many key indicators. The GRP grew by 6.2 percent over 2017. Industrial production went up by 16.2 percent and agricultural production by 5.8 percent. These figures are much higher than the national average.
At the same time, I would like to note that the rates of commissioning new housing and of construction in general are below the national average. The dynamics of capital investment are unstable. And I would like to make special mention of the fact that so far industrial and agricultural growth has had little effect on the wages of people in the region. Last year they were even below the national average while the unemployment rate was higher. Importantly, many workers – especially in agriculture and tourism – can only rely on seasonal employment. So they have stable incomes only in summer, for several months.
Needless to say, all these factors affect the social well-being of local residents. There is a shortage of good jobs and few opportunities for people to reach their potential, especially for young people. This explains the considerable outflow of population: this indicator for the region is higher, if not to say much higher, than the national average.
To be continued.