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The Far East is tuned to an investment mechanism

KRDV is ready to automate the processes of support of investment projects

The system of interaction with business in the Far East created by the state in 2014-2016 should be further improved, Deputy Prime Minister - Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev announced at the end of December days of the Japanese and Chinese investor in Vladivostok. The Far East Development Corporation, which is responsible for investor relations, says that they are ready to automate the process of supporting investment projects, transfer more and more powers to the “subsidiary” management companies, and seek compromises for investors in dealing with authorities and state-owned companies, and protect their interests to the last - in court.

The Far East is tuned to an investment mechanism
Photo: Denis Tikhonov, Director General of the Far East Development Corporation, and Igor Afanasyev, Director General of Gazprom Refining Blagoveshchensk, sign an agreement on the implementation of the project in TOR, TASS / VEF-2017 photo bank
Special project TORA and Free Port
18-19 December in Vladivostok passed the days of the Japanese and Chinese investor, during which the Russian authorities talked with representatives of 38 foreign companies with a total annual turnover of $ 500 million wishing to invest in the Far East. For the sake of attracting investors, the state is ready to improve the existing preferential regimes - the territories of advanced development (TOR) and the free port of Vladivostok (SPV), said Deputy Prime Minister Plenipotentiary to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev after the meetings. "For investors - residents of TOR, we have developed a good support mechanism: we have made tax breaks, created a regime of administrative support and assistance in building infrastructure. Investors who want to become residents of the free port of Vladivostok are less stringent requirements, therefore we have not provided for them administrative support But, speaking now with investors, you understand that, probably, such a mechanism needs to be done, ”said Yury Trutnev. 
The Far East is a unique region in Russia: it has a significant share of the country's natural resources (from 20% of oil and gas to 55% of gold) and the capacious markets of the Asia-Pacific region, in which 55% of the world's population live, are very close. But the severe climatic conditions, the lack of modern infrastructure and high tariffs make investments in the Far East quite risky. Just to reduce the risks of investors, in 2014-2015 for the region, special conditions for investments were legally prescribed: investors significantly alleviate the tax burden and through various instruments help the implementation of projects on behalf of the state. 
Over the past few years, 18 analogues of special economic zones have been created in the Far East - territories of advanced development, where businesses are offered not only reduced tax rates, but also sites with infrastructure. The preferential regime of the free port of Vladivostok has gone far beyond the Primorsky Territory and has already covered 21 municipalities in five constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In 2015-2016, 26 new enterprises were commissioned in the ASEZ and FPV. By the end of this year, these figures will increase to 83 new enterprises - this is 146 billion rubles invested and 8 new jobs. In December 500 alone, 2017 new projects were put into operation: a pharmaceutical plant in the Khabarovsk Territory, a medical center in Vladivostok, mining enterprises in Chukotka, transport and logistics complexes and business centers, and port coal terminals. The most large-scale Far Eastern construction projects in the near future are the Amur Gas Processing Plant of Gazprom worth 13 billion rubles, the Eastern Petrochemical Complex of Rosneft worth 950 billion rubles, the modernization of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Railways with investments of 650 billion rubles until 493.
Accompanying investors in the Far East in the "one window" mode is a special management company - the state-owned Corporation for the Development of the Far East (KRDV). The corporation leases land plots to residents and builds infrastructure for TOP sites - brings networks and roads to them, accompanies investor projects on a daily basis, helping to solve administrative problems of the widest range. In the regions, subsidiaries of the KRDV have been created, which perform the same functions locally, working closely with residents. Since the beginning of the "new economic policy" in the Far East, the corporation has already received about 1000 applications from those wishing to conclude agreements on investment activities.

Agreements were signed with 399 investors in the free port (361,5 billion rubles of investments) and 205 - in the TOP (2,17 trillion rubles of investments), with plans to create about 75 new jobs. There are 000 applications under consideration for the amount of 81 billion rubles. By the end of 13,9, more than 2017 companies will receive the status of residents of the TOP and FPV. 
General Director of KRDV Denis Tikhonov says that the priority of the corporation is to attract more and more residents in the advanced development area and the free port of Vladivostok, despite the fact that their number has already exceeded 600. “Our task remains to create a favorable climate for investors, which is not only support, consulting, administrative and legal support, but also in the construction of infrastructure - this is an equally important criterion for a business that enters the ASEZ. It is also important to expand the scope of the KRDV, and hence the scope of support for residents, "he says. 

“The volume of work is growing,” admits Denis Tikhonov. “Based on this, it is necessary to increase the role of the 'subsidiary' structures that operate in the regions - some of the powers will be transferred to this level, this work has already begun. And we will strive for more and more business automation -processes within the corporation itself.Already now, by going to our website, you can, by pressing one button, fill out a form for a business plan, the main document that we require for each application, through tables. Mediating structures managed to establish a business for writing applications and business plans for submission to the KRDV. To facilitate the use of the site's services in the near future there will be a forum and video assistant, as well as a chat to directly contact the responsible KRDV specialist for advice. We have organized a call center that provides consulting support to residents. "
Now the scheme of interaction between business and government in the Far East looks like this. By concluding an investment agreement with KRDV, an entrepreneur assumes responsibility for fulfilling his obligations - this is a given level of capital investments and tax revenues to the budgets of the respective territories. The state provides benefits, builds infrastructure, and business undertakes to start implementing the project within two years, provide engineering and design and estimate documentation, and then regularly report on the progress of the project. It is obvious that both the investor and the management company are very closely related in such work: with the default of one party, all plans of the other are in jeopardy. That is why KRDV and investors have to constantly meet each other halfway. For example, at the stage of developing documentation for the planning of the ASEZ, many residents contacted the corporation with requests to include their projects in the planning project. The choice between adhering to formal deadlines and taking into account the interests of residents as fully as possible was made in favor of the latter.
The corporation is ready, Denis Tikhonov continues, for the sake of increasing the effectiveness of the work of investors to take on all the risks of interaction with authorities, including about the construction of infrastructure. To this end, he acknowledges, it is often necessary to solve the most complicated issues with network owners - Gazprom, Federal Grid Company, and the search for a compromise is not an easy task, which can be handled only by another state structure such as the KRDV. For example, it was thanks to a compromise with FGC that it was possible to connect residents to new power grids in the Komsomolsk TOP on the Parus site, the Khabarovsk TOR on the Rakitnoye site and the Nadezhdinskaya TOR at the most favorable tariff is twice cheaper than in the average by region.
Currently, there are 134 infrastructure facilities in the active stage in the Far East: 21 are built, 59 are under construction, 54 are being designed. Residents were issued about 80 technical conditions for connection to infrastructure facilities under construction in priority development areas. "Any complex tasks related to design, the need to set tariffs for the service of technological connection, directly by the construction object or, for example, with the need to pass linear objects on the lands of the forest fund of the Russian Federation, will be settled by providing a connection according to a temporary scheme," explains Denis Tikhonov. According to him, the entire infrastructure is being built taking into account the applications of residents and in accordance with the approved schedule. The total amount of planned investments is about 70 billion rubles. Preparations for the creation of infrastructure facilities started in 2016, and today KRDV has concluded key agreements to provide the PDA sites with all the necessary resources: water, sewerage, gas, electricity and, where necessary, thermal energy. The main commissioning of infrastructure facilities, including those under technological connection agreements, is scheduled for 2018. 
Since the sites of the TOP were created in different years, in some of them, as, for example, in the industrial park "Kangalassy" in Yakutia, all infrastructure issues have long been resolved. In the Nadezhdinskaya PDA, where 36 resident enterprises are registered, most of all among the PDAs, the applicants have been provided with electricity since September 2017, the water supply networks will begin to be built in 2018. In the Komsomolsk TOR, nine out of 19 investment projects planned at the Holdomi and Parus sites still need networks. According to the first, a contract for connection to power supply networks has been concluded, a contract for gas supply is being concluded. On the second, the procedure for selecting a contractor for the construction of a 7,5-kilometer gas pipeline started in October. The Kamchatka ASEZ will have roads with a total length of more than 13 km, centralized water supply networks, sewerage systems and a heat supply system based on thermal waters with a length of 20 km. In the Bolshoy Kamen ASEZ (Primorye), a central heating point is being built to provide heat to 1100 apartments in the Sixth residential neighborhood under construction for the employees of the Zvezda shipbuilding complex. In November, construction sites were provided with power supply networks. Technical specifications have been obtained for connecting 30 multi-storey buildings to heat supply networks in the Solnechny, Fifth and Zeleny microdistricts. In addition, an individual tariff for the reconstruction and construction of water supply and sewerage systems was obtained. 
Another difficult issue is the allocation of land for investment projects. "Even a corporation sometimes finds it difficult to form a land plot and obtain the necessary permits and approvals, and in order to resolve the issue, it is necessary to resort to the help of higher management. What can we say about entrepreneurs who alone cannot overcome such difficulties," the head of the KRDV notes. "It is necessary to change the town planning regulations so that the land for projects in the KRDV was" for the future "or quickly allocated from the array that is in the cadastre and can be used, - believes Denis Tikhonov. - The corresponding bill has been prepared and sent to the government of the Russian Federation" ... 
Andrey Neustroev, general director of the plant for the production of acrylic paints LLC "BIGE" (Yakutia), believes that the preferences given by the priority development territories allow increasing the profitability of the project, which affects the cost of production and its competitiveness in the domestic and foreign markets. The investor who came with the project for a plant for the production of acrylic paints was "incubated" in the Yakutia technopark, and then became an active resident of the TOP, launched the plant and plans to expand production. Now the plant supplies paint to all construction companies of the republic and even sells it to other regions of the Far Eastern Federal District. 
"The advantages of the TOP are obvious. The first is free connection to infrastructure facilities. Last year we started construction, and this year we finished and immediately connected to the gas supply and electricity networks to start our activities," says Andrei Neustroev. As additional bonuses that allow the business to expand and replenish the ranks of residents of the TOP, the entrepreneur calls tax benefits for pension payments, benefits for income taxes, and serious information support for residents in the media. 
"The creation of the TOP gives a powerful impetus for the development of business, the mechanism of the TOP is effective and should become a solution to the problem of single-industry towns. But, of course, development also depends on the residents themselves. We are given great opportunities, but everyone decides how to dispose of them," says the general director of OOO "Mercy Agro Primorye" Oleg Zubakhin. The company, an anchor investor of the Mikhailovsky ASEZ in Primorye, having entered the growth stage, moved from developing infrastructure for production to building social infrastructure. "We are building schools, creating infrastructure for villages. Without people, everything else will not be viable. And tax incentives allow enterprises to develop successfully and quickly, and pay decent wages to employees," Oleg Zubakhin notes. 
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