VEB.RF, DOM.RF, RSMB Corporation and X5 to Support Small Retail Businesses
X5 Retail Group, a leading Russian food retailer (part of Alfa Group), State Development Corporation VEB.RF, Bank DOM.RF and Russian Small and Medium Business Corporation (RSMB Corporation) have agreed to support individual entrepreneurial initiative and small and medium-sized businesses.
The parties signed the agreement with the aim of formalising their common intention to help to create the favourable conditions, including organisational, economic and legal, for small retailers.
The parties agreed on a strategic partnership to contribute to sustained economic growth and make the urban environment and infrastructure more comfortable. They intend to move forwards with financing and leasing for SMEs, promote the manufacture of street vending equipment and develop integrated solutions for small retailers.
Under the agreement, VEB.RF is to carry out due diligence for projects and consider the possibility of providing them with financial and guarantee support. RSMB Corporation intends to help agricultural cooperatives and farmers to increase their sales. Additionally, the corporation and Bank DOM.RF will provide financial and non-financial assistance for small and medium-sized businesses.
X5 will contribute to the fulfilment of the agreement by providing information and advice for projects, helping to create comfortable urban spaces, considering offers to lease out real property for its new shops and offers to cooperate with SMEs and other suppliers, and carrying out and introducing projects jointly with the other parties to the agreement.
“Small businesses are an integral part of the urban economy. In this context, effective cooperation between development institutions and big business stimulates SME development, which will improve the quality of the urban environment. The agreement is another step forward in this direction,” VEB.RF Chairman Igor Shuvalov said
“VEB.RF and RSMB Corporation are very important development institutions in this country. We appreciate one of Alfa Group’s largest companies starting to cooperate with them. SMEs are the cornerstone of the qualitative development of any modern society, and Alfa Group shareholders sincerely hope that this agreement will set an example for Russian big private business in respect of how to cooperate with public institutions at all levels in furthering the cause of support for SMEs,” Alfa Group President Vadim Zingman said.
“X5 adheres to the principle of smart growth, carefully selecting locations for new shops. The agreement we signed today will allow us to expand channels of information about available retail property, while small and medium-sized businesses will be able to lease their property on a long-term basis to a large partner that can ensure the property owners will receive stable income,” X5 CEO Igor Shekhterman said.
The parties intend to create a road map detailing their functions and deadlines for performing the agreement.
VEB.RF Intends to Create National Certification System for Infrastructural Projects
State Development Corporation VEB.RF, the National PPP Development Center and AECOM have agreed to develop a national due diligence and certification system for infrastructural projects on the principles of sustainability and quality infrastructure investment. The agreement was signed today at the Russian Ministry of Finance in the presence of Deputy Minister of Finance Sergei Storchak. The document was signed by VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairperson and Member of the Board Svetlana Yachevskaya, the National PPP Development Center’s General Director Pavel Seleznev and AECOM’s Managing Director Roberto Cialone.
According to the originators, the Russian project assessment system created in partnership with reputable international companies will increase the confidence of foreign investors in local projects. Project initiators will be able to have their projects assessed for compliance with the world’s best standards and practices and attract additional investment.
Sergei Storchak, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation: “With tight deadlines and limited resources, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach to the implementation of infrastructure development plans. At the moment, Russia doesn’t take a unified approach to due diligence for infrastructural projects. A systematic approach to assessing projects is consistent with international best practices and the principles of quality infrastructure investment (QII) reflected in the G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration of 29 June 2019.”
Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairperson and Member of the Board, VEB.RF: “VEB.RF intends to collaborate with our partners on creating a national due diligence and certification system for infrastructural projects on the principles of sustainability and quality infrastructure investment. The introduction of such due diligence will help to identify the project’s weaknesses the at the initial stage, which will make the project more attractive to investors and maximise the positive economic, environmental, social and other effects from its implementation. And, as a consequence, this will have a positive impact on the infrastructure market in the Russian Federation.”
Pavel Seleznev, General Director, National PPP Development Center: “This is not the first year that we have noticed a sufficient quite a large number of poorly designed project initiatives in the Russian market, both on the part of public partners and on the part of private investors. In infrastructure, quantity and quality should complement each other. That is why it’s important to formulate common rules and build a uniform project assessment system that all market participants could use to prepare projects on the principles of quality infrastructure investment at the very initial stage.”
Roberto Cialone, Managing Director, Russia & East Europe, AECOM: Understanding the needs of the infrastructure investment market in contemporary Russia, we strive to improve the quality, reliability and efficiency of projects and are willing to invest our experts’ knowledge and time in joint systematic work. We look ahead from the perspective of responsible investment, help our clients to give due consideration to the interests of future generations, and set ourselves strategic goals of promoting and applying the principles of sustainability and quality infrastructure investment in Russia.
Within a month after signing the agreement, the parties are to submit a road map for developing the national certification system. It is intended that the process of creating methodological approaches to mechanisms for selecting and assessing infrastructural will include public discussions and actively involve market participants and the expert community.
The principles of sustainability and quality infrastructure investment are aimed at incorporating environmental, social and managerial factors into investment decisions. This makes it possible to improve risk management and produce sustained and long-lasting effects throughout the project’s life. Such an integrated approach is now extensively promoted in numerous countries, including by establishing international sustainability assessment and rating schemes, such as CEEQUAL, United Kingdom; Envision, United States; Greenroads, United States; Infrastructure Sustainability, Australia; and Pearl, UAE.