Yunus-bek Yevkurov: "We can proudly say that import substitution is working"
In mid-July Ingushetia became the center of Russian sport – both intellectual and combat. First, guests gathered for the all-Russian chess festival 'Harmony Tower', and a couple of days later – for the fifth mixed martial arts tournament M-1 Challenge 'Battle in the Mountains'. The correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza Orhan Elchuev was among the guests and was able to talk with the head of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, about the prospects of the republic's economic development.
- Is the import substitution program working in Ingushetia?
- Not only do we have an import substitution program, but we also have a plan for the implementation of those activities that should be carried out within the framework of the presidential decree concerning import substitution. Thanks to these activities we have improved quite seriously. Tomorrow a meeting with the heads of regions and the Minister for the North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov will be held, they will come to my republic. Today we are actively developing the agricultural complex and we can already supply our products – fruits, vegetables and fish – to other regions. We have our own production of not only fish, but also dairy products, which are supplied to the markets of the republic. We are developing the production of building materials. Our polymeric pipes factory is already supplying its production to various regions and companies. There are a lot of projects that we implement, and we can proudly say that import substitution works.
- Today we visited the Armkhi resort. It is obvious that a lot of things are being done in the republic for the development of tourism. Are there any specific long-term plans for the development and attraction of tourists from the South Caucasus and the CIS countries?
- We have certain plans, but right now we can't implement these plans using our own funds – obligations that were set for the main investor and for the North Caucasus resorts were not fulfilled. I hope that Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin will help us – we want the government to pay special attention to the Dzheyrakhsky District, to Ingushetia's resorts, and provide us with support and help, just like other regions. I hope I will be heard. In turn, we will gradually look for investors that could help us here. Ingushetia needs certain infusions, investments, I think that it will pay off.
- Are there any joint economic projects with the South Caucasus countries?
- Unfortunately none. We would like to work with Georgia, but relations are still not so good. It would be great if they became better as quickly as possible. We have signed agreements with Azerbaijan, but so far this issue has not been resolved completely, and this is our fault, the fault of our economists. I think we will deal with it in the near future. We have signed agreements with Abkhazia, but only on children’s exchanges during holidays. Abkhaz children visit our rehabilitation center for treatment. We still have nothing to brag about in terms of long-term economic programs.