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Alexander Kozlov: "Our task is to create the most comfortable conditions for investors"

The Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East spoke about the main expectations from the Eastern Economic Forum - 2018

Alexander Kozlov: "Our task is to create the most comfortable conditions for investors"
- Alexander Alexandrovich, with what results does the Russian Ministry of Economic Development come to the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum? What is the dynamics of the development of the TOR and the Free Port of Vladivostok? What key investment agreements are expected to be signed during the event?
- The dynamics are not bad. A year ago, on the eve of VEF-2017, Far Eastern TORs and the Free Port of Vladivostok totaled 454 resident. Today their number has increased almost threefold. The number of jobs created has almost doubled.

The key moment - at the moment in the Far East is already releasing 134 products of new enterprises, by September we expect the launch of another 11. A year ago, at the third WEF, President Vladimir Putin launched five Far Eastern enterprises, thereby increasing the number of open production facilities to 51. Over the year, we see almost a threefold increase in the number of new industries in the Far East.

Under agreements to be signed, VEF-2018 promises to be fruitful. Companies with whom new agreements will be signed will be announced at the forum. Thanks to them, investments will come to the transport and logistics sector of the Far East, a gas chemical complex, extraction and processing of minerals, agriculture, deep processing of timber and other industries.

- What will be the main event of the business program of the forum?
- Of course, this is a plenary meeting of the WEF-2018 with the participation of the President of our country, Vladimir Putin. Leaders of the PRC, Japan, and the Republic of Korea received invitations to the forum. These countries are the leading economies of the Asia-Pacific region. China, on one estimate, the GDP, is the second economy of the world, on the other - the parity of purchasing power - the first. And it is the Far East that today becomes the center of cooperation of these states, the largest joint projects are being realized here.

- Which enterprises will be put into operation directly on the forum?

- Now this issue is being solved, a number of Far Eastern enterprises are in a high degree of readiness for launch. Here, after all, it is important not just to cut the ribbon or press the button, it is necessary that the production actually started to work, produce products. As I mentioned earlier, five enterprises have been launched at the past of the WEF. This year we expect about the same amount.

- Will the presentation of any new mechanisms for supporting investors become a "highlight" of this WEF? Which ones?
- Traditionally, the Eastern Economic Forum is a platform where new mechanisms of investor support are presented. At VEF-2018 there will be, for example, an electronic service for issuing marine sites for aquaculture breeding. At our stand "Do business in the Far East" (building A, 6 level) in the Far East Development Fund zone, guests and forum participants will be able to see how it works.

The Internet service is designed to make the procedure for issuing sites for aquaculture as transparent and fast as possible. Time from site selection to contract signing will be cut more than twice: from 180 to 80 days.

The investor will have four times to click on the interactive map to form the necessary boundaries of the fish-breeding area, and then go through four stages: submit an electronic application for the creation of a site in Rosrybolovstvo, take part in electronic tenders, sign an electronic contract for the use of the site, and equip the site.

I want to note, the first electronic auction was held on 17 July, and they showed the high interest of business to this service. The plots were sold at a price many times higher than the starting price. The second stage began 3 August and will continue until 13 September. Over this period, it is planned to implement 45 sites.

The Far East, especially the south of our region, is capable of producing tens of millions of tons of aquaculture annually. But now only 63 thousand hectares of water area of ​​60 million hectares are available. That is a tenth part. The problem is that for a long time there was simply no complete map of the sites suitable for breeding aquaculture. At the moment, the formation of an exhaustive list of zones of marine waters of the Far Eastern fisheries basin available for mariculture is being completed. Then the document will be published on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia.

- What are the most significant wishes expressed by investors at the previous forum, are already implemented, are there any interesting initiatives on the part of business on this WEF expected?
- The modern legislative base of the Far East, namely the economic block, was developed in the interests of investors. The business made its proposals, the best world practices were also taken into account. A striking example of this is the so-called grandfather's reservation, the law according to which tax conditions for investors TOP and SPV are maintained for 10 years from the moment they receive the status of a resident. The decision was voiced at the previous Eastern Economic Forum by President Vladimir Putin, and, of course, it was taken in the light of investors' initiatives.

At the IV Eastern Economic Forum, the investor's electronic office in the project tracking system will also be presented. The task of the Cabinet is to minimize the way for the resident of the TOP and SPV to various state structures, including tax and regulatory bodies. Instead of hiking in hundreds of instances - just one window, a private office, to communicate with support.

As for the new initiatives of Far Eastern investors - surely they will. VEF is an excellent platform for this.

- What has changed over the past year in the legislative framework regulating the accelerated development of the Far East, what legislative novels are being prepared?
- Our task is to create the most comfortable conditions for investors. And you can not do something once and for all. The world is changing, preferential regimes in the same ATP countries are being improved. We must keep pace with the times. I have already mentioned the "grandfather clause". In addition to this law, four more have been adopted, as well as 20 resolutions of the Government of the Russian Federation. These are such important, demanded laws as the spread of an electronic visa to international airports in the Far East, changes in the Forestry Code of the Russian Federation in terms of improving the procedure for providing sites. A number of decrees of the RF Government have expanded some of the TORs. This was done on the initiative of investors who came to the Far East to implement their projects.

As for the new legislative changes. The first reading in the State Duma of Russia passed a law according to which a free hectare of land in the Far East will be available to compatriots who decided to return to their homeland. A bill has been submitted to the Government of the Russian Federation simplifying the procedure for granting land plots to residents of the Free Port of Vladivostok. It is very waiting for investors. Also, a draft Government Decree was prepared that provides for subsidizing the interest rate for residents of TOP and SPV. At the exit, the loan to the investor will cost only 1%. 

- How is the work on the implementation of the plans for social and economic development of the "growth points" in the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District proceeding, how many new social facilities should be commissioned in the near future?
- The work is proceeding at a serious pace. The Far East today is turning into a large construction. Until the end of 2020, we will complete the construction and reconstruction of 197 objects. These are kindergartens, schools, medical institutions, sports and cultural centers, communal infrastructure. What the Far Eastern people have been waiting for for years. Funds for these purposes are planned in the federal budget, and they have already begun to flow into the regions. Works on 163 objects begin this year.

Our task is to do everything to ensure that the objects are delivered on time without compromising quality. Therefore, we control the whole process from start to finish. Together with the regions, we have developed plans for schedules, where deadlines are clearly indicated. Photographic and video cameras will be installed at all construction sites.

- What is the dynamics of the issuance of the "Far Eastern hectare" at the moment, will there be any new mechanisms for supporting "hectares" at the WEF?
- At the moment, the figures are as follows: 43,9 thousand sites issued, another 7 thousand accepted a positive decision. Naturally, these figures change daily. People receive land for free and quickly in the Far East, the application review period is 33 days. Who has ever made out the land in our country, knows that this process can last for a long time, and here - a month.

People take the land to realize what they dreamed of for a long time - about their own house, agricultural and tourist business. According to the Agency for the Development of Human Capital in the Far East, most of all recipients of land are indicated precisely for these purposes.

At the Eastern Economic Forum, we will sum up the implementation of the law on the "Far Eastern hectare" and define new tasks.

- What are the main novelties for WEF guests in the cultural and entertainment program?
- The cultural program VEF-2018 promises to be very rich. The Primorsky stage of the Mariinsky Theater with the premiere of the opera "The Tsar's Bride" to the music of the famous Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the VK Arsenyev Museum, and the Primorsky Picture Gallery take part in it. During the forum an interesting exhibition will be held - a joint project of the Moscow Kremlin Museums and the Primorsky Museum named after VK Arseniev, dedicated to the phenomenon of Russia as the largest state. Also it is worth going to the Russian-Japanese photo exhibition, which will take place in the cross-year of Russia and Japan.

During the forum in the seaside capital for the first time the street-art festival "Vladivostok - the city of the future" will be held. And what is very important, creative teams from all over the Far East will perform at city venues. Participants and guests of VEF-2018 will be able to see the diversity of our region.

Published in the journal "Economics of the Far East"
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