Investment Development of Russian Regions Backed up by Natural Monopolies
The article considers the issues of the relationship between business investment activities and the economic and social development of the regions. Based on the statistical data analysis it is shown that the decrease in investment activities negatively affects all key indicators of regional development after a short period of time. The current level of the regional investment activities can be characterized as unsatisfactory and preventing from achieving the declared goals of the development of the Russian Federation. The paper shows that a peculiarity defining Russian economy is that its significant part is actually controlled by natural monopolies. At the same time, they themselves are strongly sensitive to all the problems of socioeconomic development of the country's territories and, therefore, are parties concerned in ensuring sustainable and qualitative growth of regional economies. Today many of the natural monopolies implement large-scale investment programs with allocated substantial resources. The analysis of these investment programs showed that they all contain components that contribute to the development of the region where the manufacturing facilities or transportation capacities of these companies are located. It is concluded that a systemic state investment policy aimed at stimulating real investments, rather than "portfolio" ones, is required to address the problem of sustainable economic growth. Moreover, when drawing up investment programs for natural monopolies and regional development plans, it is important to coordinate all these plans, to reconcile state strategic planning with regional development programs, and those with the development programs for natural monopolies and regional businesses. It is proposed to amend the legislation governing the processes of strategic planning at the regional and federal levels aimed at optimization of the state investment planning system and encouragement of the private sector participation in regional investments.