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  • President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin welcomes participants of the G20 Labour Ministers Meeting with Social Partners

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Maxim Topilin, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation, read President Vladimir Putin's address to participants of the meeting.

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Dear friends,

I welcome you to Moscow for this meeting of the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers and the social partners.

Russia has identified stimulating economic growth and job creation as a primary objective of its G20 Presidency. We consider these tasks a priority for the development of a modern society.

International Labour Organisation statistics put the number of the unemployed around the world at around 200 million people today. Youth unemployment has become a curse of our times. Structural unemployment and a shortage of job opportunities for qualified workers lead to the emergence of a class of ‘new poor' and an increasing number of people living off the state. Growing informal employment results in lower tax revenues and social and pension funds deficits.

In this situation it is more urgent than ever to develop policies that bring real changes to the sphere of labour and employment. Effective resolution of these challenges calls for a systemic and comprehensive approach that takes into account macroeconomic, financial and social circumstances. No economic development strategy will work unless it is accompanied by an appropriate policy for developing human capital. At the same time job creation is a task that cannot be fulfilled separately from an overall strategy of the economic development of a country. The Joint G20 Finance and Labour Ministers Meeting, which is one of the Russian G20 Presidency's innovations, - is one of the first steps towards these goals.

It is vital to look into the labour market issues not separately, but in a close linkage with finance, investment, budgetary, and fiscal policies, and to work on quality improvement in our analysis and forecasting of the economic processes. We need to assess not just the short-term but also the medium- and long-term consequences of the measures that we adopt. In Russia we are already following these principles and are in the process of creating and modernising highly productive jobs. We are working together with business associations and trade unions, discussing how to make this work most effective.

I am convinced that the results of your discussions will be of much use for the G20 Leaders.

I wish you the most fruitful and constructive work.