Infrastructure of the regions

The effectiveness of the use of the natural resource and social potential of the region largely depends on the availability of infrastructure – a set of enterprises and organizations related to industries that ensure the uninterrupted, effective functioning of a large number of other enterprises and organizations, often belonging to several industries and spheres of activity. Currently, it is customary to allocate infrastructure to an independent branch of the economy. At the same time, the specificity of infrastructure sectors lies in the fact that they do not produce material products (goods), but mainly provide services necessary for the successful functioning of the branches of material production and, as a consequence, the economy as a whole.

Depending on what areas of activity and industries the regional infrastructure serves, the following types of it are distinguished:

production, which contains a complex of industries that provide external production conditions (transport, communications, electricity, gas, water supply, warehousing, etc.); social, including healthcare, passenger transport, housing and communal services, retail trade, public catering, culture, education, sports and physical education facilities, etc .; management, the sphere of functioning of which includes the apparatus of state administration, the system of local government and self-government, as well as the system of legal and legislative activity and dissemination of information; market, covering a set of areas of activity and institutions designed to provide conditions for the effective functioning of the market mechanism in the region (commodity, currency and stock exchanges; financial and credit institutions; consulting, information-analytical and audit companies and other private and public institutions, including legislation, traditions and mentality, etc.); ecological, implemented in a complex of activities that provide a favorable natural environment for the development of social production and environmental protection from the negative consequences of human environmental activities.

The importance of infrastructure sectors in the conditions of a transformational economy gradually, as market relations are established, increases. At the same time, it should be pointed out that a number of infrastructure sectors in comparison with the sphere of material production have a number of specific features, namely:

is characterized by relatively low material intensity and resource intensity; its contribution to the production of the gross regional product is quite high and increasing; demand for its products is growing steadily, which contributes, first of all, to the development of the infrastructure itself; has a stabilizing effect on the economy, as the demand for the products of infrastructure industries persists even during periods of depression and decline in production; favorably affects the employment of the population, as it becomes possible to accumulate labor, which is released in other sectors of the economy.

Social infrastructure plays a special role in the formation and maintenance of the resource and, above all, labor potential of the region. The fundamental inability of the market to solve the basic social problems of society (socio-economic inequality, unemployment, increased exploitation of wage labor by capital, the denial by large capital of the fundamental democratic principle “one person – one vote”, etc.) predetermines the need for increased attention to the social sphere, which significantly increases the importance of the state regulation, forecasting and planning of social infrastructure in the regions.

In general, social infrastructure includes its two component parts:

social and domestic infrastructure (trade, catering, housing, communal services, consumer services, passenger transport, communications, social security, etc.); social and spiritual infrastructure (education, culture, art, health, environmental protection, mass information, etc.).

Forecasting and planning of social infrastructure in the regions is based on territorial standards for the provision of the population with goods, housing, health and education institutions, preschool institutions and other social infrastructure facilities and social benefits (per 1000, 10 thousand people, etc.).

It should be noted that state regulation and planning of infrastructure development in the regions and in the country as a whole are in the focus of attention of the governments of almost all countries with developed market economies. A number of scientific studies (for example, D. Aschauer (USA), K. Khubiev (Russia)) have identified and substantiated a deep and direct relationship of public spending on infrastructure with the rates of economic growth in the regions and in the national economy. State expenditures on the construction of roads, ports, power plants and power lines, etc. directly contribute to the acceleration of commodity flows, the placement of economic entities in the regions and, accordingly, regional economic growth. Statically, there is also a direct correlation between the dynamics of labor productivity and public spending on infrastructure development.

These studies are crowned by international comparative studies. Thus, the highest government spending on infrastructure in Japan corresponded to the highest labor productivity. The same trend can be traced in France, Germany, Italy, Canada, great Britain. The lower growth rates of labor productivity in the 1970-1980s in the United States are associated with relatively lower government spending on the development of production infrastructure. Based on the results of the conducted research and the identified trends, most domestic and foreign researchers make a logical conclusion that active state participation in the development of production infrastructure increases the competitiveness of national production in the world market. The leadership of the Republic of Belarus adheres to the same point of view in its daily socio-economic practice, which is aware of the importance of infrastructure sectors for the sustainable development of the national economy of the country (especially in the conditions of a transformational economy).

Analysis of the processes of state regulation of the potential of the real sector of the economy (industry, construction, agro-industrial complex) and the development of infrastructure (production, social, market, managerial, environmental) in the developed countries of the world unequivocally indicates that, contrary to the popular opinion about the “miraculous” power of the liberal market, which allegedly automatically optimizes all socio-economic processes, resources of the state, its economic policy are the leading factors economic growth around the world.