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 Archive of news - March 2004

30.03.04. - Bashkortostan to obtain over 7 bln rubles for Federal Program Implementation

This year Bashkortostan is to be allotted over seven bln rubles from Federal budget for implementation of the federal target program "Bashkortostan social and economical development till 2006". The appropriate order of Russia Federation Government was signed on March 22 this year. To implement "Capital investments" article of the program, over 1,221 bln rubles will be allotted from Federal Treasury, and nearly 2 bln rubles from Republican Treasury. Thus, agriculture is to obtain 88 mln rubles, transport and communication - 133 mln rubles, water conservation - over 104 mln rubles. From Federal budget health care is to obtain 195 mln rubles, education - 163 mln rubles, physical education and sports - 134 mln rubles. Housing funding is provided for 150 mln rubles. For ecological researches and reproduction of mineral and raw materials 58 mln rubles will be allotted. Totally, from Federal budget Bashkortostan is financed for nearly 90 clauses of the "Capital investments" article, while from republican budget - for over 150 clauses. NA "Bashinform".

30.03.04. - Bashkortostan President and UNIDO representatives discuss problems of economical development

On March 30 in Republic House Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov has have business meeting with UNIDO representatives (United Nation Organization division that deals with industrial development problems). At the meeting plan of works between UNIDO, Russia and Bashkortostan for 2004 has been discussed. "We highly appreciate cooperating with UNIDO", Rakhimov emphasized. "Bashkortostan industry has to be competitive in the new economical environment caused by global economical processes and in particular possibilities of Russia joining WTO that is being on the motion now". In the course of meeting, it has been pointed out necessity of development of republican innovative infrastructure, which is one of the crucial factors for increasing competitiveness and industrial modernization. Besides, financing of innovative projects has been touched upon as well. In the meeting specialist on industrial development and UNIDO integrated program coordinator in Bashkortostan Yuri Akhvlediani, UNIDO manager in Russia Federation Mikhail Rychev, Bashkortostan President Administration governor Radiy Kharibov, Minister of Bashkortostan Ministry of External Economical Affairs and Trade Boris Kolbin, Bashkortostan representative in Austria Vadim Pletnev participated. NA "Bashinform".

29.03.04. -Tax proceedings declined in Bashkortostan

Bashkortostan has decreased proceedings to the consolidated budget 9.3 per cent in the last two months of 2004 as compared to the same period last year. It is due to several factors: decline in VAT collection, income tax and excise-duties, including oil products excise-duty. Thus, VAT collection has declined due to its rate decreased from 20 to 18 per cent. Income tax decline has been caused by shift of its due date to March, while oil products excise-duties collection fell due to change of their payment order. According to Press-service of Russia President Plenipotentiary Representative in Volga region, as of March 1, 2004 tax authorities of the region collected 62 bln 842.4 mln rubles to Russia consolidated budget, which is 8 per cent more then in the same period last year. Russia average taxes and duties proceedings rose 11.6 per cent. In January-February this year, all districts of Volga regions increased proceedings and collections to consolidated budget with the exception of Bashkortostan and Nizhniy Novgorod oblast where proceedings fell 15.1 per cent as compared to the same period of 2004. The highest increase of proceedings to consolidated budget has been registered in Perm oblast - 142.3 per cent, Orenburg oblast - 132.5 per cent, Kirov oblast - 121.9 per cent, Penza oblast - 121.7 per cent. The region index of consolidated budget proceedings growth averaged 108 per cent, which is lower then Russia average index. Nevertheless, in January-February Volga federal region insured 6.2 per cent of all tax proceedings to Russia consolidated budget, or 35.031,9 mln rubles that is 1.9 per cent more then in the same period last year. Federal budget proceedings growth rate in the region has been lower then average proceedings growth rate in Russia and totaled 11.9 per cent (while Russia average rate of Federal budget proceedings rate rose 13.8 per cent). Proceedings to the local budgets totaled 27 bln 810.5 mln rubles - 16.8 per cent more then in the same period last year. Alongside, growth rate of proceedings to local budget has been higher 8 per cent then average rate in Russia, whereas Russia rate averaged 8.8 per cent. NA "Bashinform".

25.03.04. - Bashkortostan government obtaining 15 mln US Dollars Credit

Today Credit Agreement between Bashkortostan government and OOO "HSBC" Bank (RR) has been signed. On behalf of Bashkortostan the Agreement has been signed by premier Rafael Baidavletov, while on behalf of the bank - bank CEO Richard Thikner. At the signing ceremony Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov, Government members and officials have been present. Bank is to grant 15 mln US dollars credit for 1 year period at 3.25 per cent interest rate. The credit obtained will be directed to financing republican investment projects of the real sector of economy, which forms Bashkortostan state budget revenues. Factually, it’s not the first experience of cooperation between Bashkortostan Government and "HSBC" Bank. The signed Agreement has logically continued developing business relations between Bashkortostan and the bank - one of the largest financial institutions. Cooperation started in 1997 with allocation by the bank 25-mln US dollars credit to "UralSib" bank. In 1998 HSBC Bank granted 45-mln US dollars credit to Bashkortostan, and in 2003 bank subsidiary in Moscow credited 15 mln dollars. First of all, the cooperation proves bank's trust in the republic on international financial market and its high credit rating, which has recently been upgraded for 2 points. Now, Bashkortostan is ranking third in the international credit rating amongst Russia regions after Moscow and St.-Petersburg. According to Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov, Bashkortostan has always been in time with its due payments. Bashkortostan Government executes its credits liabilities and pays all due payments in the fullest in due time. Credit received will be invested into real sector of economy, into those enterprises that need recovery and further development - "SalavatnefteOrgSintez", "Bashkirenergo" and several oil refineries in particular. NA "Bashinform".

25.03.04. - Richard Thikner: honest people work in Bashkortostan

Signing of Credit Agreement between Bashkortostan Government and one of the largest financial institutions in the world ÎÎÎ "HSBC" Bank (RR) in the amount of 15 mln US dollars, held today in the House of Republic, is an extra proof of Bashkortostan high international rating. Answering question of NA Bashinform's correspondent about the grounds for crediting, "HSBC" Bank Chairman Richard Thikner replied that the relationships between the bank and Bashkir Government started several years ago, before financial crisis in 1998. For ÎÎÎ "HSBC" Bank it is easy to work with such a client as Bashkortostan. "Every time visiting Ufa, I feel that we deal with honest people, - Mr. Thikner noted. - It’s our pleasure to work with the Government, Ministry of Finance and "UralSiB" bank, and cooperation will hopefully last. Bashkortostan repeatedly proved to be honest and liable borrower. Today, Bashkortostan is the single region in Russia HSBC is working with. Therefore, it is quite natural that interest rate of the credit has been decreased 0.25 per cent. NA "Bashinform".

25.03.04. - Chemical and Petrochemical Industry having stable growth

Index of actual volume at Bashkortostan chemical and petrochemical enterprises totaled 107.6 per cent in January-February, Bashkortostan State Statistics Committee has disclosed the figures. In 2004 previous decrease of industrial output in chemical and petrochemical industry has been overcome, and index of actual volume in February totaled nearly 100 per cent. Positive results have proved gradual adaptation of the chemical and petrochemical enterprises to market conditions. Petrochemical industry has having stable growth. Since the beginning of the year volume index has totaled 137.8 per cent and reached 144.6 per cent in February. NA "Bashinform".

24.03.04. - Industrial output growing in construction and Timber Industries

Basing on Bashkortostan State Statistics Committee data, Bashkortostan construction enterprises increased their output over 15 per cent in January-February 2004 as compared to the same period last year. Industrial growth was basically evoked by high domestic demand. This year, output of bricks, cements, slates, prefabricated ferroconcrete items, and soft roofing increased, while output of construction non-metallic materials, porous fillers and linoleums declined. Within the two months of 2004 output got significant growth in timer cutting industry, wood processing and paper-making production in Bashkortostan, which is proved by Bashkortostan State Statistics Committee data. Thus, since the beginning of the year index of factual volume in this field of industry totaled 110.6 per cent, whereas last month it further grew and totaled 110.7 per cent. Experts note that alongside with large and medium-scale industrial enterprises, non-industrial organizations and small enterprises also achieved positive results. Significant output growth in timber cutting (117 per cent) caused positive dynamics in wood processing industry (nearly 111 per cent growth), including saw-mill industry, building and constructing elements production, wood packaging and matches productions, and also furniture manufacture. January slump in papermaking industry was overcome in February with factual volume index totaling 106.5 per cent as per the beginning of the year. NA "Bashinform".

17.03.04. - Retail trade turnover approximated 7.5 bln rubles in February 2004

In February 2004 retail trade turnover in Bashkortostan approximated 7 bln 448 mln rubles, which is 6.7 per cent more then in February last year, according to the Bashkortostan State Statistics Committee data. Within the last years the republic has been included into top 10 regions of Russia on retail trade turnover absolute index. According to experts, the retail turnover volume was affected by increased real incomes of citizens and further market saturation with consumer goods. Within the last years individual entrepreneurs has played significant role in trade. According to statistics data, presently individual entrepreneurs’ share in retail trade turnover makes 40 per cent. NA "Bashinform".

17.03.04. - Salavatnefteorgsintez Top Manager Nominated For "Russian Olympus" Award

"SalavatNefteOrgSintez" General Manager Marat Ishmiyarov has been nominated for the main all-Russian award "Russian National Olympus". At the ninth ceremony in Moscow he was presented diploma, a statue "Golden Olympus" and conferred upon personal honor sign "For Honor and Gallantry". As they reported at the enterprise, Marat Ishmiyarov has been nominated for such a high award for the first time. Factually, the enterprise he runs proved quality of its products many times that was confirmed by prestigious international awards: "European Award for Quality", "European Golden Star Arch", "For Quality" award, "XXV International Award for Commercial Prestige" so on. Today, the enterprise counts on technological cycles modernization. The enterprise’ nearest plans are computerization of anhydride installations and installations for preparation of pyrogas and plastifiers. Modernization of "SalavatNefteOrgSintez" production lines is going in accordance with development program for 2003-2010. The program aim is to enlarge output and depth of raw oil due to construction of modern installations for catalytic cracking, isomerisation, visbreaking, and bitumen, upgrading installations that are in function. In plans are also construction of new lines for polyethylene production, construction of butyl acetates, nitrogen and oxygen installations, and also launching production of 2-ethylhexane acid and orthoxylol. With that, environmental protection norms are observed at the enterprise. Program aimed at scientific approach for complex settlement of ecological problems has been actively elaborated. Environment monitoring systems, hydro ejecting vacuum-creating systems to prevent atmosphere pollution have been introduced. NA "Bashinform".

16.03.04. - Hungarian delegation visiting Bashkortostan

Today in Bashkortostan Head of the Ministry of Foreign Economical Affairs and Trade Boris Kolbin, has had a meeting with Hungary officials: Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Hungarian Republic in Russia Federation Ferenz Kontra, Commerce Representative of Hungary in Russia, Extraordinary Delegate and Plenipotentiary Minister of Hungarian Republic in Russia Federation Pal Susz, Professor, Director of Institute of Russian Department of Lorand Etves Budapest University, Principal Curator in Committee on Hungarian Culture Days in Russia and Russian Culture Days in Hungary Dula Szvak, Head of "Medikor" Moscow representative office Sandor Stral, manager of "Polus Ltd." Moscow representative office Laszlo Horvat, deputy manager of "Entrepreneur zone Zahon" non-commercial servicing organization of Moscow representative office Imre Dialai. From Bashkortostan part in the negotiations representative of Russia Ministry of Foreign Affair in Ufa Zinnur Mardanov has participated. When opening the summit, Boris Kolbin and Ferenz Kontra emphasized on common historical origins of both republics. According to opinions of many historicists, Hungarians originate from Trans-Urals region. Their ancestors belonged to Finno-Ugric Group of Urals people. In the first centuries AD they were nomads and migrated around steppes of Southern Urals in the territory of present Bashkortostan that was then called "Ancient Hungary" or "Magna Hungaria". Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Hungary in Russia Ferenz Kontra has called himself a relatively young Ambassador. His aim is to get acquainted with our country, whereas he gives priority to those parts of it that has common Finno-Ugric history and which have been already invested or are planned to get direct investments. One of those regions is Bashkortostan. Hungarian banks are willing to grant great credits to be ploughed into republic economics, while Hungarian companies are ready to support medical institutions by supplying them modern equipments, and are even willing to establish joint ventures for production of X-ray systems in particular. Professor Dula Szvak pointed out three projects of Hungarian preference in Bashkortostan. These are construction of ice stadium in Ufa, building and complete equipping of surgery block of Kurvatov Republican Clinic, and (the newest project) reconstruction and renovation of historical district between Karl Marx and Lenin Streets in Ufa. In May Hungary is to join European Community. In this connection all treaties valid between the two friendly republics are to be terminated. But Ferenz Kontra is optimistic about that. As a proof of desire to continue partnership with Bashkortostan, in July Hungary Ministry of Economics and Transport State Secretary on Eastern markets development Derdem Gilianom will visit Bashkortostan to elaborate new treaties. At the end of the summit its participants have exchanged with souvenirs. Today guests also have met Bashkortostan Premier Rafael Baidavletov and President Murtaza Rakhimov. Tomorrow negotiations with Bashkortostan Deputies Prime Minister Fidus Yalmatdinov and Khaliahp Ishmuratov, and also Head of Ufa city administration Pavel Kachkaev are scheduled. Hungarian delegation will visit mosque "Lialia-Tulpan", monument to Salavat Yulaev, Nesterov Art Museum and Bashkortostan National Museum. NA "Bashinform".

16.03.04. - Gaskarov: "Bashkortostan credit rating upgrade is timely"

"Bashkortostan long-term credit rating upgrade by Standard & Poor’s agency from B+/Stable/ to BB-/Stable/ is timely, as Bashkortostan Government is now negotiating with several international banks about obtaining credits", Deputy Prime Minister and Bashkortostan Finance Minister Airat Gaskarov reported to Interfax on Monday. According to Gaskarov, after 15 mln US dollars 1-year credit granted by HSBC Bank is completely paid off in March 22, the bank will again allocate new credit in the amount of 15 mln US dollars with 1 year pay-off term. The money obtained will be invested into further implementation of projects of republican address investment program for 2004 and federal target program "Bashkortostan social and economical development till 2006". Airat Gaskarov noted that another credit project is being discussed with pull of "Commerzbank", "ABN AMRO", "Standard Bank London" and Moscow Narodny Bank Limited for granting Bashkortostan syndicated credit in the amount of 25 mln US dollars. "Decision about Bashkortostan Government’s role in obtaining credit - should it be a guarantor, borrower or a juridical person that ensure credit granting - has not been made yet", Gaskarov noted. During the year, Government will further continue implementation of loans program provided issuing of state securities and ensuring state guaranties for purchasing medical equipments and agriculture mechanics, Gaskarov informed. Vice-President assured that credit rating upgrade is especially in time on the eve of state internal loan securities emission and flotation in the amount of 500 mln rubles. The loan securities will be floated at MICE (Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange) approximately in the first six months of 2004. He stressed that credit rating upgrade will have positive effect on activities of all enterprises. "Government participation in the republic economics is significant, it is found in authorized capital of numerous joint stock companies and authorities of many functional companies, therefore such high rating of Bashkortostan will undoubtedly be taken into account by financial institutions when assessing their creditworthiness", Bashkortostan Premier emphasized. Answering a question of how much republic rating is dependable on federal transfers, Airat Gaskarov noted: "…while other regions use transfers for financing current budget expenditures, Bashkortostan invests them into implementation of investment projects provided by federal target program". According to him, western analysts do not appreciate this peculiarity while assessing Bashkortostan creditworthiness. Interfax informs that in March 12 International rating agency Standard & Poor’s upgraded Bashkortostan foreign currency sovereign credit rating from B+ /Stable/ to BB- /Stable/. Republic has also got "Ba3 Stable" rating assigned by "Mood’s". In February 10, Bashkortostan Government approved conditions of emission and circulation of Bashkortostan state internal loan securities for 2004 in the amount of 500 mln rubles for three years term with six months coupon period. Republican 2003 budget revenue 1.4 times exceeded 2002 budget revenues and totaled 35.5 bln rubles. Bashkortostan state budget got 2.2 bln rubles surplus. As per January 1, 2004, state debt totaled nearly 5 per cent of state budget revenue, while expenditure on debt servicing approximated 1 per cent of budget expenditures. In accordance with law "2004 Bashkortostan state budget" budget revenues and expenditures are to total 30 bln 373 mln 761 ths rubles, current expenditures - 22 bln 612 mln 281 ths rubles, capital expenditures - 7 bln 531 mln 480 ths rubles. Bashkortostan state debt upper limit has been determined 3 bln 260.5 mln rubles as per January 1, 2005, while expenditures on debt service have been set in the amount of 256 mln rubles. NA "Bashinform".

16.03.04. - Bashkortostan officials meeting "Rosgosstrakh" CEO

On March 16, Bashkortostan President Murtaza Rakhimov has had business meeting with JSC "Rossosstrakh" CEO Danil Khachaturov. At the meeting problems of insurance system in the republic and also outlooks on perspectives of investment activities of the company in construction field of Bashkortostan have been discussed. In the negotiations Chairman of Bashkortostan State Committee on architecture, construction and transport Khamit Mavliyarov has also participated. The same day Bashkortostan Premier Rafael Baidavletov met Danil Khachaturov. NA "Bashinform".

15.03.04. - Bashkortostan long-term credit rating increased

On March 12 Standard & Poor’s Agency upgraded Bashkortostan long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to (BB-), outlook "Stable". The rating upgrade is due to enlarging monetary reserves that much exceed debt service and pay-off. Moreover, decision of the international rating agency has been based on the fact that Bashkortostan government is persistent in implementation of policy of low debt level and high financial indexes, despite of high demand in financing infrastructure in the period of economic restructure. Alongside, salaries of budget organizations employees are consistently growing. According to agency credit analyst Felix Eigel, Bashkortostan ratings are restricted by low predictions, and incomes and expenditures flexibility due to continuing tax reform and off-budget relations, dependence upon tax proceedings from oil enterprises and number of other reasons. Low debt level, high liquidity and excellent financial indexes decrease credit risks at this rating level. Therefore, Standard & Poor’s believes that moderate management of Bashkortostan finances will allow to overcome pressure on budget expenditures, caused by growing salaries and infrastructure financial demands, "Finmarket" reported. NA "Bashinform".

12.03.04. - Ufa Motor Constructing Enterprise Won "Russia National Olympus"

General Manager of Ufa Motor Constructing Enterprise Valeriy Lesunov has been announced a prizewinner of "Russia National Olympus" award - main prize of the country. He has been awarded with the prize of the highest public recognition - Honor and Gallantry Order. Valeriy Lesunov has been conferred the decoration upon for his loyalty to Russian nation as a manager of a large enterprise that is the leader of the national aircraft motor construction. In "Industry. Production " nomination UMPO has also been rewarded with Diploma for the outstanding contributions to Russia economy development. Awarding ceremony has taken place in Moscow, "Russia" Concert Hall. The award has been established under initiative of Russia Federation Government, Russia Science Academy, Russia Union of Industrialists, Russia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, All-Russian Exhibition Center, "Third Millennium" Social Development Foundation. The awards are usually conferred for the best achievements made by large, medium and small-scale enterprises, state establishments and public organizations of the country and also upon outstanding public figures, statesmen, entrepreneurs bound with the idea of building great and powerful Russia. There are famous persons and work forces amongst those who were previously awarded. NA "Bashinform".

12.03.04. - Lufthansa Preparing To Opening Its Representative Office In Bashkortostan

Lufthansa German airline delegation headed by General representative in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan Mr. Dirk Grossmann, has been visiting Bashkortostan. According to reports from "Ufa" International Terminal, the delegation is choosing premises in the Terminal for representative office of the airlines. It is scheduled to be opened by the date of making valid Summer flights timetable. Its first flight planned for May 1, is to be for Frankfurt - the largest hub of Europe, which connects flights to Eastern and Western Europe and also America. After that flights for Frankfurt will be scheduled tree time a week - Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. To the destination place French Aerobus-319 will be arriving at 11.20, local time. The new flight to Frankfurt will have promo tariff 399 US dollars, twice as less then from Moscow. NA "Bashinform".

11.03.04. - Bashkortostan Social and Economical Development Results of January-February 2004

Today at extraordinary meeting of republican authorities, Bashkortostan Premier Rafael Baidavletov disclosed social and economical development results for January-February 2004. Basing on preliminary data, industrial output of Bashkortostan large and medium-scale enterprises totaled 33.5 bln rubles, and index of factual volume - 103.5 per cent. Growth has been recorded at ferrous metallurgy (121 per cent as per the same period of 2003), non-ferrous metallurgy (103.5 per cent), chemical and petrochemical enterprises (107.7 per cent), machine-building and metal processing (108.1 per cent), construction material industry (121.74 per cent), food industry (112.1 per cent). Three per cent growth has been also recorded at glass factories and porcelain ware and glazed earthenware factories (for the first time within the last years), whereas electrical power engineering indexes fell 0.9 per cent. According to Premier, it is basically due to lower electrical energy consumption because of comparatively warm winter. Slight decrease was also registered in fuel industry (0.9 per cent) and oil refinery (1.8 per cent). Within the last two months in Bashkortostan over 98.7 thousands sq. m. of floor space were commissioned, which is 50.6 per cent as much as for the same period last year. Housing construction rose in 39 towns and regions of the republic, while it significantly fell in towns of Baimak, Kumertau and also in Buraev, Karaidel, Ufa, Fedorovsk, Khaibullin, Chekmagush and Chishmin districts as compared to the two months of 2003. Not a single square meter of floor space was commissioned in the town of Adigel and also in Abselilovsk, Arkhangelsk, Askin, Baltachevsk, Blagovarsk, Yermekeiev, Zianchurinsk, Kaltasin, Kuiurgazin, Salavat and Sterlibashevsk districts. Baidavletov has also made brief note on certain social indexes. In January this year money income per capita totaled 3799.6 rubles or 6.2 per cent increase as per January 2003. Consumer Price Composite Index totaled 102.4 per cent (101.8 per cent on average throughout Russia). The Index was mostly affected by public chargeable services costs growth. Premier noted that abatement of 5 per cent tax from sales did not result in expected prices decreasing. Thus, in January prices for food products rose 2.5 per cent, and mostly for fruits and vegetables - 9.6 per cent. Prices grew for bread and bakery products: made of wheat flour of 1 and 2 categories - 10.3 per cent, of rye flour - 7.7 per cent, and of wheat flour of premium quality - 1.7 to 4.4 per cent. Such increase is absolutely groundless, ‘cause sufficient quantity of grain was made a stock in republican granary. Even if increased tariffs for power supply are taken into account, price for bread must not have been increased so much. Prices for diary products - yogurts, sour cream and pasteurized milk - also rose 1.8 to 3.9 per cent. Price index for public chargeable services totaled 104.9 per cent in January. Charges for major housing renovations paid by population were abated since January 1, but alongside, tariffs for housing services were increased 11. 8 per cent since January 15. Thus, for housing repairs and maintenance - 12 per cent, water supply and drainage - 13.8 per cent, heating - 7.4 per cent, hot water supply - 23.5 per cent, power supply - 6.6 per cent. Nominal salary amounted to 5011.4 rubles in January, where as growth 26.7 per cent is recorded as compared to the same period of 2003, while factual salary rose 13.8 per cent per each person employed. Wage arrears increased 11.4 per cent as for March 1, while they decreased 2.3 per cent in February. 10 towns and 28 districts decreased wage arrears in comparison with the beginning of the year. NA "Bashinform".

9.03.04. - Kaustic Won Golden Prize For Quality And Technology In Geneva

Sterlitamaksk joint stock company Kaustik has been awarded with Golden Prize "For quality and Technology". The ceremony of awarding has been held for 25th time, and the prizes are conferred upon the enterprises, whose innovative ways of working put them into vanguard in quality of products and servicing. As a sign of special excellence, a Kaustik’s representative has been decorated with golden "Global Quality Management" token. In the ceremony of awarding, producers of over 150 countries from 30 countries have taken part. The enterprise’s award is quite merited. It has been repeatedly recognized at suchlike national and international ceremonies. As 2003 results, the enterprises has been rewarded with Bashkortostan President’ First Prize for quality amongst chemical and petrochemical enterprises. NA "Bashinform".

5.03.04. - On Rakhimov’s Initiative Europe Largest Thermoelectric Power Station Was Built

On March 5 in Sibai President Murtaza Rakhimov has participated in business events dedicated to putting into operation Zauralsk Thermoelectric Power Station, which has been built on initiative and under control of Bashkortostan President. The TPS has no analogy in its high power amongst European and Russian TPS operating on gas-sucker plants. The TPS is equipped with modern highly automated equipments. The TPS is to generate electrical power up to 28 Megawatt and capable to meet region’s needs and supply energy to neighboring ones. In Sibai administration office, Bashkortostan President has conducted business conference, in which questions and problems of the future development of the town, its large and small-scale enterprises and companies connected with Zauralsk TPS putting into operation, have been discussed. Murtaza Rakhimov once again emphasized on the TPS uniqueness as for its efficiency, high power and equipments applied. He has also touched upon problems of non-ferrous metallurgy development in Bashkir Trans-Urals region. Besides visiting Zauralsk TPS on March 5, Bashkortostan President has taken part in events held at other sites located at Abzelilovsk ans Baimaksk districts and also town of Sibai. In Abzelilovsk district, he visited workshop on treatment stones owned by "Orlets" state works, where he discussed problems and questions of raw materials supplies and increase work capacity due to good tempo of products sales. Prospects of construction accomplishment at certain sites as well as outlooks on agriculture products processing in the region have also been posed. The same day in Bibai, new premises of A. Mubariakov’ Bibai State Drama Theatre have been commissioned. In the events held in Trans-Urals region Deputy Minister Sergey Yefremov, Minister of Estate Relations Zufar Abdrakhimov, Minister of Natural Sources Alfred Fauhutdinov, BashkirEnergo General Manager Nikolay Kurapov, Head of Sibai Administration office Rail Sarbaev and others have participated. NA "Bashinform".

3.03.04. - Bashkortostan To Help Achieve Balance In Russia Foreign Economical Activities

Bashkortostan has stayed in Russia top ten regions that contribute nearly 60 per cent of the total export volume and up to 70 per cent of the total import volume. It has been stated at today All-Russian conference of Foreign Economical Department Heads of all Russia regions. According to Acting Minister of Russia Economical Development and Trade German Gref, such abroad independence will help to make level misbalance in foreign economical activity of Russia regions. In particular, Russian Government counts upon establishing regions' own representative offices abroad. This activity is regulated by Law "About basic principles of State regulation of foreign trade". At the same time, experts are not sure whether regions will be able to appeal for investments and develop external trade better then center. They advise to adopt foreign colleagues’ experience. Thus, "economy development agencies" are acting in US. These are non-governmental and non-commercial organizations that "sell" investment climate of a region. "They analyze all benefits that the region is capable to provide, and after they do competent marketing of such benefits", news agencies report. According to opinion at Bashkortostan ministry of Foreign Economical Activities and Trade, Bashkortostan has vast resources for investments. Last year, specialists of the Ministry renewed and extended investment projects database, having included into it over 55 new projects. Within 2003 great number of meetings, negotiations with various foreign companies were held, which resulted in making good preconditions for investments appeals into republic economy this year. NA "Bashinform".

1.03.04. - Mortgage Lending Actively Developing In Bashkortostan

By 2007, 40-50 per cent of Russian population can count on mortgage lending, according to the First Vice-President of International Association of House Building and Mortgage Lending Funds Valery Kazeikin. For this very number of Russians, their composite family income will be affordable for paying mortgage lending and basing on significantly lower interest rates of lending to be effective soon. By the end of 2003 Russians bought nearly one hundred thousand flats at mortgage. Amongst the most active regions developing mortgage lending have been Vologda, Leningrad, Belgorod, Briansk, Moscow, Samara, Novosibirsk oblasts, Khanty-Mansiysk autonomy, Yakutia and Bashkortostan, which, by the way, is the third in Russia as for mortgages lent. Mortgages in the amount of over 260.5 mln rubles were lent via Ufa City Agency for Mortgage Lending in 2003. This figure is twice as much as recorded in 2002 - then mortgage totaled 120.3 mln rubles. 79 mln rubles out of 260.5 mln were lent under Federal Mortgage Program valid in Bashkortostan for the second year. Notably, Bashkortostan was one of the first regions to join Federal Mortgage Program and did it on purpose. In order to start working under the Program, region is to meet certain criteria. First of all, it needs adequate mortgage infrastructure (realtors, banks, companies dealt with evaluations, and other players of mortgage market), mortgage agency (which have been already working for five years in Bashortostan), but the most important thing is that population has to be ready for mortgage lending. It is significant that for five-years existence Ufa City Agency for Mortgage Lending gained population confidence, and now it is capable to draw in mortgage program more and more people quite quickly. In the whole, Bashkortostan is one of the first regions of Russia where mortgage was launched. Moreover, its experience under the name if "Bashkortostan model" is being studied by Russian Government. Actually, this is not the only example of co-operation between center and Bashkortostan as per the question. More then once republic has tabled its motions to legislative authorities of Russia, and the motions have been taken into consideration and passed. According to Valery Kazeikin, in 2003 in Russia Federation 40.000 flats were purchased at mortgage. Financial institutions, members of Russia Banks Association, lent mortgage for purchasing 27.000 flats, cooperatives sold 5.000 flats and nearly 1.000 flats were sold via Building and Saving-Banks. Under "field mortgage", Ministry for Atom, RosEnergoAtom, Gasprom and other companies lent mortgages for six-seven thousands flats. "Mortgage system development depends upon stabilization of general economical situation. If inflation decreases, credits and mortgages interest rates also fall", Valeriy Kazeikin explained. According to Russia Government forecasts, inflation is to fall two per cent yearly on average. This year, 10 per cent rate is expected, while in one year - eight per cent, and in one more year it will reach six per cent rate. Under such conditions mortgage system in Bashkortostan will presumably have powerful incentive. NA "Bashinform".

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