Dmitry Aksakov: Russia Needs Its Own Methodology for Responsible Business Practices, Including Green Financing
VEB.RF Vice-President Dmitry Aksakov said these words at the 2nd annual conference “Responsible Financial and Investment Practice in Russia”.
“On the one hand, environmental concerns are national priorities for our country. On the other, the issue of responsible financing attracts a great deal of public attention in the world, and Russia is an active participant in international economic relations. It is, therefore, important for Russia to have national standards of responsible business conduct. This is necessary so that Russian companies use greener production processes and so as to make it easier for Russian companies to do business with foreign partners. Meanwhile, it’s important that the Russian standards should be close to international standards. We believe Russian companies need methodological, informational and other kinds of support to become more active in joining the ESG ecosystem,” he said.
It is extremely important for VEB.RF as a development institution to apply responsible financial and investment practices. This is highly significant for all of VEB.RF’s key business areas: high value-added production, infrastructure, urban economy. As stated in the Memorandum on Financial Policies, VEB.RF does not participate in projects in Russia if they fail to meet environmental requirements and standards. An example is VEB.RF’s participation in financing the largest energy-from-waste project in the Moscow Region.
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.