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Sustainable development of small and medium-sized cities was discussed at the Eastern Economic Forum 2023


The session was moderated by Andrey Sharonov, CEO of the National ESG Alliance. During the session, participants - representatives of large resource companies, municipal and regional authorities, development institutions - repeatedly emphasized the importance of sustainable development of small and medium-sized cities. The quality of life in these citites, where every sixth citizen of Russia lives, is not only a strategic priority of the state, but also an important factor in the success of local businesses.

The Alliance was represented by such major players as PJSC Polyus (Sergey Zhuravlev,Vice- President for Government Relations), EN+ Group (Mikhail Khardikov, Operations Director) and PJSC Mining and Metallurgical Company Norilsk Nickel (Andrey Grachev, Vice-President for Federal and Regional Programs). Business representatives in one voice recognize that ensuring a high quality of life in small and medium-sized cities is an important incentive for the infloe and retention of qualified and motivated workers, which is a priority area of ​​companies' social policies.

Kirill Bychkov, First Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and Timur Maginsky, Head of the Nakhodka City District, confirmed the strategic importance of sustainable development of territories, noted both positive trends for and existing barriers to the population inflow and the increase of their comfort in small towns, emphasized the importance of a productive dialogue between local authorities and companies, public-private partnerships.

The participants also noted the importance of SMEs in creating a comfortable urban environment. Such enterprises not only offer services to the residents and provide jobs, but also become important partners for the big companies. Alexander Isaevich, General Director and Chairman of the Board of SME Corporation, emphasized that effective interaction of SMEs with large businesses and state-owned companies makes up a successful synergy, and also informed the audience about existing mechanisms and measures to support SMEs.

In conclusion, Andrei Sharonov announced a new large-scale digital project of the Alliance - the Quality of Life Index in small and medium-sized cities. The new service, developed with the support of the consulting company “Teсhnologies of Trust”(TeDo, former PwC in Russia) and in partnership with VEB.RF, will be launched by the end of this year and will become a tool for dialogue between business and municipal authorities in determining priorities for social investments. The index will cover 120 cities in 46 regions and evaluate them according to 70 different parameters. The index will be published y on the города.рф platform.

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