Moscow – Andrey Guryev, CEO of PhosAgro and a member of the Bureau of the Management Board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), took part in a meeting of the RUIE Coordination Council on combating coronavirus (the "Council").
The meeting took place March 25 via conference call. Alexander Shokhin, Chairman of the Council and RUIE President, opened and led the discussion.
Mr Shokhin said: "After the last meeting of the Council, the RUIE sent several appeals to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, including the Council's initiative to simplify the procedure for importing, handling and using testing systems and equipment for their production, as well as the necessary accompanying tests of foreign production to detect the presence of the coronavirus.
“In addition, in order to mitigate the risk of disruption to investment projects and ensure the technological safety of production, we have sent a proposal to the Government Coordination Council to control the spread of the coronavirus to consider developing a special mechanism for issuing special permits for foreign specialists to enter Russia."
Andrey Guryev, Co-Chairman of the Coordination Council, Member of the Bureau of the RUIE Management Board, and President of the Russian Association of Fertilizer Producers (RAPU) spoke about the experience of organising measures to combat the spread of coronavirus at enterprises in single-industry towns. Large companies have directed significant efforts and expenditures towards measures to protect personnel during this time. This includes the transfer of a significant part of employees to working remotely, temporary suspension of corporate health facilities, the purchase of disinfectants and personal protective equipment, and the allocation of funds for the mass purchase of diagnostic testing systems and reagents for testing employees.
Participants considered a number of Council members' initiatives, including identifying a list of countries whose certificates can become the basis for temporary simplified registration in Russia. Members also discussed the possibility of preparing an appeal to the Government of the Russian Federation with proposals to temporarily limit the number of inspections conducted by supervisory authorities, as well as to create a working group on financial and monetary anti-crisis policy within the Council.
In addition, the Council considers it necessary to introduce measures to support systemic industries due to the anti-epidemic restrictions adopted both in Russia and in the countries that Russian industrial producers traditionally export to in Europe, South-East Asia and North America. The situation with the spread of the coronavirus has been exacerbated by negative factors that reduce prices for industrial products, as well as the drop in the price of natural gas to historically low values in Europe and the United States, which reduces the competitiveness of Russian products.
"In addition to systemic measures to stimulate economic investment, it is necessary to return to simple solutions similar to China's experience after the epidemic, such as subsidizing tariffs for rail transport and restoring transport volumes," Mr Shokhin concluded during the discussion.