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"Far East Trillion" and "Far Eastern Hectare"

Minister Alexander Galushka - on the results of work in 2015 year

"Far East Trillion" and "Far Eastern Hectare"
Special project TORA and Free Port

- Alexander Sergeyevich, ministers are rarely absolutely satisfied with the work of their subordinates and local managers. Judging by the schedule of your trips, meetings, meetings, you are constantly striving for someone "to give additional acceleration", in other words - you are urging everyone and demanding concrete results. Or is it not?

- I do not agree with the first part of your question. This is not true. It's not about contentment or dissatisfaction, but in true - essentially - evaluation of the work done. Of course, we always have something to work on, especially since new challenges are constantly arising, which must be answered. In general, the intermediate results of the development of the Far East in the first nine months of the year 2015 can be called quite good. Industrial production grew by 103,1%, investment in fixed assets - by 105%. The total revenues of the consolidated subjects of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District amounted to 605,6 billion rubles and grew by 16,7%. What is particularly gratifying is the natural increase in the population in the Far East. For 10 months, the birth rate exceeded the death rate by 5647 people.

It is important that all these factors together give a positive effect.

There are also problems that did not arise in one year and not in one decade. Many of them are connected by and large with the fact that our “historical layer” in the Far East is not so great. I recall that, for example, Vladivostok is just 155 years old. No wonder our President in his Address noted that the development and development of our vast eastern territories is a national priority for the whole XXI century. The task is not momentary, but historical, for decades to come, and the mission of our generation is to make a constructive and tangible contribution to its solution, continuing the great work of the Eastern development of Russia.

- Moscow is always in a hurry, and the farther away from it, the time goes slower. How much will it take for the key Far Eastern projects - TORs, Free Port - to start giving effect?

- If we spoke with you a year ago, in December 2014, we would discuss the completion of a great deal of work to eliminate the consequences of the unprecedented floods in the Far East, the draft law on advanced development areas (TOR), considered in the State Duma, announced in December to create a Free the port of Vladivostok and one Government Decree on the methodology for selecting investment projects in the Far East for their state support. That is, they would talk about the completion of emergency measures and the preparatory work done.

2015 became the year when not only came into force, but practically two fundamentally new - innovative Laws "On territories of advanced socio-economic development" and "Free Port of Vladivostok" came into force. In the middle of the year, the government established the first 9 TORs and agreed on the allocation of 20,5 billion rubles for the creation of the necessary infrastructure. This money is in the budget of the next year, and no sequestration has affected these items. The Corporation for the Development of the Far East was created and began to work, which for these laws is the main subject of implementation. The first "firm" application from a TOP resident was received on August 17 this year, to date, 87 applications for 283,37 billion rubles of investments have been officially submitted. New requests from investors are constantly received.

Since mid-October 2015, it has become possible to apply for residency in the Free Port of Vladivostok. In two months, 29 applications have been submitted for a total investment of RUB 74,1 billion.

In 2015, the Government created a mechanism for state support of investment projects in the Far East. This is the provision of subsidies to investors from the federal budget for the creation of the infrastructure they need. Over the year, we have twice carried out the selection of investment projects to receive this support measure. The result of the first round is 6 projects: state support - 13,8 billion rubles, private investment - over 126 billion rubles. The result of the second round is still 6 projects, state support is 31 billion rubles, private investment is 365,74 billion rubles.

2015-th became the year of the beginning of the full-fledged work of the Far East Development Fund. The new team, which came to the management of the Fund, spent a lot of effort on this with the assistance of Vice-Premier Yury Petrovich Trutnev. The result of the first year of work is participation in 6 projects: the Fund invests 9,5 billion rubles, while attracting 64,5 billion rubles of private investment.

Now let's summarize these numbers. If we sum everything up, we will find that the new mechanisms for the development of the Far East give over 988,51 billion rubles of investments in the economy, almost a trillion rubles, and this is just for the first year of work. Of these, 74,8 billion are budget funds, and 913,7 billion are private, that is, the ratio is 12 rubles of private investment to 1 budget ruble.

At the same time, 213,8 billion (including projects of the first round of selection of investment projects and projects of the Far East Development Fund) are already ongoing investments. 378 billion are firm official applications for investments in the TOP and the Free Port of Vladivostok - these are highly likely investments. Another 396,7 billion are reliable investment projects, for which not only all the necessary calculations are presented, but also design estimates for the entire required infrastructure have been developed. 

And further. On December 17, 2015, a constituent agreement was signed in Beijing on the establishment of the Russian-Chinese Agricultural Development Fund. The participants were the Far East Development Fund (which allocated 1,7 billion rubles) and the Asia-Pacific Food Fund Management Company (11,7 billion rubles). This money has already been allocated, the new Fund is starting to work on the implementation of projects in the field of agriculture. And these 13,5 billion are funds firmly allocated for Far Eastern projects in the field of agriculture.

- Add a drop of tar. Not only achievements, but also the debts of the subjects of the FEFD to the federal budget are growing. How will this problem be solved?

- As of 1 October 2015, the volume of state and municipal debt of the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District grew by 17,1% compared to the beginning of the year and today it is 161,8 billion rubles. Decrease in debt was observed in the Sakhalin region at 30,5% and in the Primorsky Territory at 3,3%. What else is being done? The first general direction in the struggle to recover the debts of the regions is the growth of the tax base and the corresponding revenues to the regional budgets, that is, the creation of new enterprises, support for investment projects, business development, is what I just said. The second direction is now implemented by the Government, refinancing the region's debt to commercial banks. Instead of expensive commercial loans, subjects receive "cheap" loans from the Federation, which are much easier to repay. Yes, formally, the volume of borrowed funds is increasing. In fact - the severity of the problem is sharply reduced. Such a program had an effect in 2015 year, and it intends to continue. Although nothing will replace line number one, it is necessary to give regions the opportunity to create sources of income within themselves.

- What will be the new program of development of the Far East to 2025 year?

- A new version of this program is being developed now, and it will be fundamentally different from the previous one in logic and "architecture." The Government has carried out substantial work on linking the "territorial" and "sectoral" approaches in the formation of state programs. The working group that worked on this decision included three deputy prime ministers (Dmitry Kozak, Yury Trutnev and Alexander Khloponin), representatives of ministries, departments, government and state companies, as well as experts.

As a result, a decision was developed which was supported and approved by the Chairman of the Government Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev. And the President of the country instructed the ministries and departments to strictly maintain the priority of the accelerated development of the Far East in the relevant state programs.

- How under the Soviet regime, in the form of the creation of territorial-industrial complexes?

- No, the essence is different. In the necessary state programs "tie the territory" of the Far East. In Russia there are more than 40 state programs. The Chairman of the Government approved the list of 27 government programs, in which a special "Far Eastern" section should appear (the full list was published on the website of the RF government 30 September 2015). That is, for example, the state program for the development of healthcare will be specified in a special section with reference to the tasks of accelerated development of the Far Eastern region, its specific problems and needs, which are not few. The same will be done for 26 state programs. The Far Eastern sections of the 27 state programs will be collected and reflected in the analytical section of the program for the development of the Far East, which will make it possible to understand and monitor the entire federal budget resource allocated for the development of the macro-region. Minvostokrazvitiya has the authority to coordinate such programs and coordinate their implementation in the Far East. That is, we will act on the principle of a "second key" with the line ministries of the sector: Minvostokrazvitiya got the necessary right to participate in the process of agreeing key parameters in these documents, make adjustments in accordance with reality and practice, and then monitor the progress of programs in relation to the Far Eastern Federal District. Duplication of functions and responsibilities in this case will not - on the contrary, the responsibilities are clearly divided. In addition, the state program for the development of the Far East provides for special intersectoral activities - the creation of territories for advanced development (TORs), Free ports in the Far East, targeted infrastructure support for investment projects. This is entirely our job site.

In Russia, many people have a soul for the Far East, but their hands do not reach it. Do not hurt and do not raid. Therefore, the task of our ministry is to make the Far East closer to Moscow, and Moscow closer to the Far East. Without replacing colleagues from other ministries, we must act as a catalyst and “speed up the processes” of reaction to the problems of the Far East.

In addition, the ministry is empowered to coordinate not only state programs, but also investment programs of state-owned companies. A few weeks ago, for the first time, we went through a cycle of work on coordinating an investment program with colleagues from Russian Railways, and plans were made with other state-owned companies. I think it is not necessary to explain how important this is for the Far Eastern region, where the investments of state-owned companies and natural monopolies have, if not decisive, then a very significant influence on the entire economy.

Thus, the structurally new Far Eastern state program managed by the Ministry for the Development of the Far East is, firstly, special measures for the development of the Far East: TORs, Free ports, investment projects, investments of the Far East Development Fund, measures to support business, etc., secondly, assembled together 27 special Far-Eastern sections of the relevant sectoral state programs and thirdly, investment programs implemented in the Far East by our state-owned companies.

- And what is the current situation in the energy sector? For the Far East this is a sore point ...

- The question is not just a patient, but also "hardened" and chronic - a reduction in tariffs. The President spoke about this in his Address. The head of state demanded that by June 1 the government finally completed this work. According to our calculations, in order to make the tariffs attractive to investors, from the current level they should be reduced by the amount from 29 to 71% depending on the region.

- About the famous "hectare" you are not asked only lazy. And yet: how much free land, according to your estimates, will be really in demand next year?

- Let's not guess - in a short time it will become clear. While the program is under consideration. 18 December the bill was passed in the first reading by deputies of the State Duma. The president asked the members of the Federal Assembly to pay attention to the draft, deputies and senators are carrying on a constructive dialogue with us. But it is unrealistic to make forecasts before the law is passed, taking into account all the comments of experts, ministries and profile committees of the State Duma and the Federation Council. I will only say that we see great interest in the information portal Nadaliy Vostok.rf, which tells about this project. In addition, we applied to VTsIOM, and at our request, sociologists conducted a survey among all Russians. It turned out that 61% of the inhabitants of the region believe that the initiative will raise the standard of living and support the idea of ​​free granting the Far Eastern land to those wishing to learn it. Moreover: to the question "Would you yourself have taken such a hectare for rent with subsequent repayment?" Every fifth citizen of the Russian Federation (20%) responded positively. Among young people such plans are liking 31 percent. It is clear that from the words of support to real moving the distance is great. But in Russia there are 145 million people. Even if the idea of ​​moving lights up is not thirty, but only two percent - it's still very important. In the Far East now 6,32 million people. If they add two or three more, it would be very good.

- But "hectares" are not yet well-equipped. How to live there?

- We also really look at things. There are many lands in the Far East, a lot. But it is almost not mastered. We need infrastructure. When we just published our bill for a broad discussion (and specifically made efforts to ensure that the invitation to discussion was heard in the media as loudly as possible), proposals were received to take these lands not for one hectare, but for collective use. Then the infrastructure becomes a lift for a settlement of one hundred, two hundred or three hundred owners of free land. Such a norm - on the collective application - is already reflected in the draft law.

In any case, it is necessary to try and evaluate different options, do not stand still. The road, as is known, only the one who moves will master it. By the way, we also assume the option, when in the first three months of the application, residents of the Far Eastern Federal District will be able to apply in priority order, and then all the others. This will serve as an additional incentive for them to stay, and not to leave "on the mainland."

And, naturally, not a single hectare should be kept in the Far East. All state programs for its development have a clearly visible "human dimension". With their help, there is an economy that creates demand for people. First of all, people need this economy, and not just resources. If a person goes so far for a good job, how to do without normal conditions for treatment, recreation, education, culture, sports and so on?

- Again, everything rests on investors. Where should we first look for them? How do you assess the effect of economic forums held in the Far East?

- The first Eastern Economic Forum was the most successful event of this kind. It was signed 109 agreements more than 1,8 trillion rubles. Of this amount, 750 billion rubles. - projects with the participation of foreign investors. Our geography itself offers tremendous opportunities for us. In the Far East over the past decades, a powerful economic development center has emerged - the Asia-Pacific region. It is necessary to convert this potential into the development of the Far Eastern territories of the Russian Federation, to offer partners and investors what they may need. We already see that the Chinese, the Japanese, and the Koreans have become interested in the created TOR, there are prospects for the development of the Northern Sea Route and other undertakings. Each region has its own capabilities, it is necessary to clearly define them, support them and correctly use them for the benefit of the Far East. Work here is really enough for another hundred years. But the "levers" and growth points must be activated as quickly as possible.

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