St Petersburg – PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev participated in a teledebate entitled “Investments into Russia’s future: how to make national projects attractive to investors” that was organised by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and the Russia 24 TV channel at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (“SPIEF”).
During the debate, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev noted that the development of Russia’s economy through the implementation of national projects requires active engagement by investors and private business.
“We have a deep conviction that only by attracting investors will it be possible to implement the national projects effectively. If it is just a massive outflow of USD 300 billion in budgetary funds, without participation by investors, it will not lead to the economic breakthrough that we need,” the CEO of RDIF said.
In this regard Andrey Guryev spoke about PhosAgro’s successful experience in participation in the implementation of a number of key national projects.
As the largest supplier of all types of fertilizers to the Russian market, which is a strategic priority for the Сompany, PhosAgro helps domestic farmers retain leading positions in global markets as Russia pushes to increase its agricultural exports to USD 45 billion by 2024 from USD 25 billion today.
At the same time, the mineral fertilizer industry plays a key role in achieving the goals of the Federal Project to increase non-oil, non-energy exports and exports of chemical products from USD 21 billion in 2018 to USD 37 billion in 2024.
“As the head of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers, I am proud to announce that last year Russia surpassed the United States and became the second largest producer of fertilizers in the world. Russia's share in global fertilizer production stands at 13%. This was made possible due to large-scale investments: over the past 5 years, our Company has invested over RUB 150 billion into the development of fertilizer production facilities. In general, the industry has seen over RUB 750 billion in investments,” Guryev said.
The PhosAgro CEO thanked RDIF and personally Kirill Dmitriev for helping attract foreign investments to the Company and for the thorough analysis of investment projects in Russia that RDIF has undertaken.
“I think that RDIF itself is a successful national project. The Fund enjoys a huge level of trust, and trust is a key word for investment. If RDIF joins a project, I can be confident that significant work has already been undertaken and that the project has been thoroughly analysed, will be implemented and most importantly, that it will be profitable,” said Andrey Guryev.
Andrey Guryev also spoke about the support that PhosAgro, a company that supplies its products to more than 100 countries, provides to projects aimed at the development of Russian port infrastructure under the respective Federal Programme. In particular, the Smart Bulk Terminal in the port of Ust-Luga, built with the investments from PhosAgro and Ultramar, which has handled over 5 million tonnes of fertilizers over the last four years. During SPIEF 2019, PhosAgro signed a long-term agreement for transhipment of fertilizers via a new terminal that is currently being built by Ultramar at the Ust-Luga port. The Company also signed a memorandum of cooperation with Infotech Baltika regarding transhipment of fertilizers at a terminal in Murmansk that is currently under construction.
In addition, in Kirovsk, PhosAgro founded and develops the Bolshoy Vudyavr ski resort, which should become an anchor investment for the diversification of the regional economy. The Company's investments in the region’s infrastructure, including the local Khibiny airport, under the national programme for Development of Russia’s Transport System 2010-2021 exceeded RUB 4.2 billion.
Guryev noted that PhosAgro is a socially responsible company and contributes to the development of regions where it operates, reduction of its environmental impact, improvement of safety and quality of work, supporting employees through the implementation of large-scale social and charity programs. PhosAgro is one of the few Russian companies that runs a corporate housing program: in recent years, employees and their families have received keys to 1,700 new apartments.
“These initiatives are directly related to such national projects as Housing and Urban Environment, Ecology, and Labor Productivity and Employment. We allocate more than RUB 2.5 billion annually for these projects,” the CEO of PhosAgro noted.
Speaking about the company's participation in the implementation of the goals of the national project “Ecology”, Andrey Guryev stressed that PhosAgro is an active participant in the implementation of the instructions of Russian President Vladimir Putin to create a brand of environmentally friendly products.
“Today PhosAgro has the most environmentally friendly raw materials. And this means that all agricultural products grown with our fertilizers are environmentally friendly. This is a very big competitive advantage for the whole country – the path from green ore to green food. We get the most powerful ecological brand – both inside Russia and abroad, and it is massive. This is particularly promising, given that by 2050 we will see population growth up to 10 billion people. This will increase the demand for food by 50% compared with the volume produced today, ”said the PhosAgro CEO.
Sergei Ivanov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport, cited PhosAgro's activity as an example of the fact that “large companies began to take environmental issues seriously,” during a panel session.
“The European Union has recently limited the sale of fertilizers with high cadmium content, which ends up in the food we consume from fertilizers. And PhosAgro is the only company in the world that makes the most pure fertilizers,” Ivanov said.
In May, the European Parliament and the European Council made final decisions on the widespread restriction in the EU of the sale of fertilizers with a high cadmium content in 2022 and the introduction from this year of voluntary green labeling for fertilizers with a cadmium content of less than 20 mg / kg. This decision is a historic step aimed at improving the safety of agriculture in Europe and its sustainable development, as well as at reducing risks to human health and the environment around the world.