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The Far East - the facade of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region

The Far East - the facade of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region

- Viktor Ivanovich, tell us about the work on the draft state program for the socio-economic development of the Far East and the Baikal region. What did you pay special attention to?

- Back in 1992, at a meeting of the Interregional Association "Far East and Transbaikalia", the heads of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation decided to develop a program for the development of the Far East and Transbaikalia. It was adopted in 1996. The amounts of funding allocated from the federal budget for the implementation of the program's activities were then insufficient and amounted to no more than 1 billion rubles for the 13 subjects that participated in it. Fundamental changes took place in 2006 after a meeting of the RF Security Council chaired by the president. Funding for the program has increased tenfold.

Modern realities are such that the Asia-Pacific region has become the most dynamically developing region of the world. Of course, the Far East is a key territory for the mutual integration of Russia and the Asia-Pacific countries. Therefore, without the development of the Far East, it is impossible to imagine the further development of Russia.

Speech about the new program started back in 2009 year, but neither in 2010-m, nor in 2011-m, it was not developed. And our ministry was instructed by the president at the end of November last year. We attracted to the development of a huge number of people - from the Academy of Sciences, the Center for Strategic Research, colleagues from other ministries, governors. It was a crazy job. As a result, they gave out 700 pages of the text part and 350 pages of table materials.

The new state program is targeted. It is designed to create conditions for the accelerated development of the Far East. It should become a competitive region with a diversified economy, in the structure of which high-tech production with high added value will prevail.

- And how will the program of the development of the region change the life of people and business?

- We are striving to radically improve the socio-demographic situation, create conditions for the consolidation of the permanent population, and provide the average European standard of living on the territory. Accelerated development of the Far East in comparison with the average Russian rate is possible only with the accelerated model of the development of the macroregion.

If the state program is implemented, the main target indicators will reach the following indicators. The volume of GRP produced in the region, by 2025 year will be 2,6 times more compared to 2011 year. The share of the macroregion in the structure of the GDP of the Russian Federation will increase from 8,5 to 10,4%. Productivity of labor will grow more than 2 times. The share of the macroregion in the formation of revenues of the consolidated budget of the Russian Federation will increase from 3,7 to 4,5%.

The population will increase by 1,1 million people, the average life expectancy - almost 6 years, while the national average life expectancy will increase by this time 4 year.

- Due to what will increase the population of the region?

- Due to good demography, according to which we already have indicators better than the average Russian. And also due to migration. People will go to the Far East, because here the salary will grow, it will exceed the national average by almost a quarter. New jobs will be created. By calculations, they will appear almost 700 thousand. We need people to raise all the announced projects.

We believe that this program is not only an economic, but also a political tool. It is expected by many foreign companies, which it is important to understand how the investment climate in the Far East will develop. On this depends their decision, to come to the region or not.

- The money for the program is huge, and there are projects for them?

- This is a 23 integrated investment project. And if we talk about projects individually, there will be several thousand of them. They relate primarily to the development of infrastructure - transport, energy, social, utilities, environmental safety. This will go the lion's share of public money - 88%.

- Open the cards - what exactly will be built? What projects do you consider to be the most important?

- This is the second line of BAM, Transsib modernization. Today, there are large coal mining projects in the region, a metallurgical cluster is being built in the Jewish and Amur regions, and iron and titanium ores are planned to be mined. But we need roads and ports to take out these goods.

In the energy sector, we are talking about the construction of stations, the transition to new types of fuel. It should develop not just the sale of raw materials, but its processing. "Rosneft" will build a petrochemical complex, "Gazprom" - a plant for liquefying gas. There are also international projects, such as the Trans-Korean Railway, the Trans-Korean Gas Pipeline. We have already discussed them with the President of South Korea.

The state has specific plans for the development of the Far East, primarily through the implementation of megaprojects. Some of them are concentrated in the fuel and energy complex. This is the further development of Sakhalin oil and gas projects, development of the Kovykta and Chayandinskoye gas fields, construction of a gas pipeline from Eastern Siberia and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) with accession to the Sakhalin-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas pipeline. Along the whole of its line, there must be gas chemical production. Thus, in Primorye, a powerful oil and gas chemical complex, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and a chemical fertilizer plant will be built, and the gas and chemical complex in the Amur region. The latter - in 23 km from Belogorsk: the choice of location was determined by the proximity of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the federal highway "Amur" and the airport Ukrainka.

The raw materials for them will go from the Chayandinskoye field through the Yakutia-Khabarovsk-Vladivostok gas main with a capacity of more than 10 billion cubic meters per year, known as the "Power of Siberia." Construction will begin already this year, and will end in 2017 year. According to preliminary estimates, investments in the development of the field and the creation of the gas pipeline will amount to 430 and 770 billion rubles, respectively. Moreover, it is also planned to build a railway branch Chayanda - Kovykta (to another large deposit in the north of the Angara region).

On Sakhalin, it is necessary to build an oil refinery with a capacity of at least 10 million tons, although first we need to resolve the issue with the sources of raw materials, since the resources of the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects are contracted to 2025 and the talk is about Sakhalin-3. The question of the third stage of the LNG plant in Prigorodnoye is also being resolved. But all these projects are a more distant prospect, but the construction of a unique production in Primorye, near the port of Vostochny near Nakhodka, will begin in the third quarter of 2013, when permits will be ready.

In the area of ​​about 600 hectares will be located five large technological facilities and a marine terminal. The Eastern petrochemical complex will become the focus of the most modern branch technologies - energy-efficient, with a maximum output of finished products. The installation of pyrolysis capacity of up to 1,4 million tons per year for ethylene and more than 600 thousand tons - according to propylene promises to become the most powerful cracker in the world (on liquid raw materials), and in general the Eastern Petrochemical Company (VNKhK) will be among the three largest petrochemical enterprises.

In 2014, at the peak of construction, up to 10 thousand workers will work here simultaneously. Start of the first stage is planned for 2017 year.

Already at the first stage, there will be processed annually 3,5 million tons of naphtha and liquefied hydrocarbon gases from refineries in Achinsk, Angarsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. About 80% of the output will go to foreign markets. At the second stage, in 2018-2019 years, 5 million tons of oil will be processed, and in the nomenclature of the products will appear gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene. The next stage in the development of VNKhK will be the processing of 1,5 million tons of gas condensate from the Sakhalin-3 project. In total, this will amount to 10 million tons of processed raw materials per year.

Many projects, I hope, will give a second life to the Far East. Previously, it was a buffer zone, today we call the region a contact zone, the Russian façade in the Asia-Pacific region.

- Will the program matter for the country as a whole?

- Of course! We consider it to be the program of the eastern vector of development of the Russian economy. We need to expand relations with the Asia-Pacific region, because the APR is 60% of world GDP, more than half of world trade and half the world's population. And our trade with Europe is 49% of the total volume, with the ATP - 24%. The export indicators are 53 and 17%, respectively. Russia receives a lot of inadequate due to the fact that it does not work actively in the region. Launching a program to develop the Far East, we can correct this situation. And the whole country will benefit from this. Due to the implementation of the state program, Russia's GDP annually can grow by an additional 0,3%. Up to 2025, the growth will be 3,6%, and this is in the amount of 20,6 trillion rubles.

Moreover, the successful development of the Far Eastern region is necessary not only for Russia. In the current difficult international situation, it is extremely important to preserve the status quo, thanks to which the APR has been one of the most stable and peaceful in the world for several decades. Recently, there have been shifts that could change this situation. The full-blooded development of the Russian Far Eastern regions, the presence of Russia in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the powerful economic potential of these regions, is the most important factor in maintaining the current status quo.

- What will be the ratio between private and public investment?

- In total, the program should cost more than 10 trillion rubles. But more than 60% of the funds raised for the program are off-budget. State money from all possible sources - 3,8 trillion rubles.

- There are moments that you still could not defend, but you expect that the conversation can be continued in the future?

- First of all, we will strive to ensure that all the activities included in the program are financed from the budget of 2013 – 2015. While there is absolutely no amount that satisfies us. So we will insist on funding, specified in the state program, the allocation of funds from the budget.

- Please tell us more about your team's ideas for attracting new investments to the region.

- According to experts, to ensure the priority development of the Far East, it is necessary to attract at least 600 – 800 billion rubles of investments from extrabudgetary sources to its territory every year.

The amount of state appropriations, as experience shows, should be no less than 100 billion rubles annually for the implementation of the Federal Target Program "Economic and Social Development of the Far East and Trans-Baikal" (included in the state program).

We propose a new approach to the rates of the mineral extraction tax. Given the poorly developed infrastructure, it is necessary either to zero the MET rates, or to introduce their differentiation.

It is difficult to talk about the competitiveness of the economy of the Far East - high transport and energy tariffs ruin the economy. I consider it necessary to provide subsidies from the federal budget to enterprises and the population for energy and transport tariffs until they reach the average Russian level.

We also propose to approve the conditions for creating special economic zones in the Far East, including, among other things, the possibility for their residents to carry out production activities in the extraction and processing of mineral resources. Priority and further actions should be directed to ensure that the Far East, all the people living here, and not only the owners of enterprises that manage resources, receive the return from natural resources.

The cost of credit resources should not exceed the refinancing rate set by the Central Bank of Russia.

It is necessary to provide for the establishment of increased district coefficients and northern allowances for wages, pensions, scholarships and other payments to citizens living in the territory of the Far Eastern constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Yes, today incomes of the Far-Easterners are higher than the average incomes of Russians, but the purchasing power is lower due to high prices and tariffs.

- Viktor Ivanovich, how do you generally assess the socio-economic development of the Far East?

- The Far East, starting from the moment of the 2008 crisis of the year, has not had a single year of economic development failures. And even in comparison with 2008, the year in 2012, the physical volume index in Russia was 103,7%, and in the Far Eastern Federal District - 121%. Investments in fixed assets in Russia did not reach the pre-crisis indicators - amounted to 99%, and in the Far East - 124,9% growth. The cargo turnover of the Russian Federation comes to the pre-crisis period - it is practically 99,9%, in the Far East - 128,6%. Agricultural output in Russia as a whole increased by 4,4%, and in the Far East - by 15,6%.

On average, in the country housing was introduced by 3,8% more than in 2008 year, and in the Far East - by 26,5% more. First of all, this happened due to the fact that quite serious federal money was invested in the construction of housing for servicemen and veterans of the Great Patriotic War; the regions themselves also made efforts.

The volume of retail trade on average in Russia is 114%, we have 117,9%.

There was an increase in revenues to the consolidated budget, although we always said that our share is insignificant, but nevertheless, we have growth, and quite serious. If the average for the regions of Russia is 133%, then we have 159,2%.

As I said, the question of demography is important for the Far East. Last year, the Far East came out on positive indicators - the birth rate exceeded mortality. As for migration, the Far East lost almost 2012 thousand people in 15, and Russia grew by 245 thousand people.

It can be said that the Far Eastern Federal District is working quite persistently. Indicators are both positive and negative.

Thus, in the Far East, the income of enterprises from one gross ruble is significantly lower than the average for Russia. The reason is high transport and energy tariffs, a rather long winter period and a number of more expensive factors.

Therefore, we are talking about the need to level the conditions for the functioning of the economy in the Far East and in Russia, to lift the burden, that is, to free us from part of the taxes. Our profitability is enough for us so far only to survive.

- After the APEC summit in Vladivostok, a new large-scale construction project in the Far East became the Vostochny space center in the Amur Region. How do you assess the progress of this project, do builders fit into the schedule? Will the first launch of an unmanned spacecraft take place in 2015?

- Indeed, the first launch is scheduled for 2015 year. The preliminary cost of the project is 251 billion rubles, but I think it will change, since the documentation necessary for the construction is not yet complete. In order to expand the construction, you must perform the function of the customer - to create a directorate. It is necessary to issue all documentation, permissions to conduct works, it is necessary to finance them. Of all these main points, only the last has been resolved: funding is in full. Documentation issued randomly, construction permits are almost non-existent at 70%. There is no full-fledged directorate on the territory of the cosmodrome or the Amur Region to solve issues on the spot.

In 2012, at the sites of the cosmodrome, the work was performed at about 7 billion rubles. To say that at present there are serious failures in the construction, I would not. Despite of any obstacles, the launch barrel, auxiliary manufacture for assembling carriers, roads are being actively built. That is, builders are working at a faster pace. After all, if you wait for the final documents to be issued, then no one will meet the deadlines for the construction. It was the same with the construction of facilities for the APEC summit - the final documents were issued in the year of surrender, that is, in 2012. Construction was moving at the expense of temporary decisions. For example, on Russky Island the entire construction of buildings was changed, and this was absolutely correct.

I sent a report on the progress of the construction of the cosmodrome to President Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. We are actively working in this direction with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees these issues.

- How, in your opinion, should the inequality of the regions be eliminated in the development of information technologies? The Internet is far from everywhere, which hampers the implementation of the project "Electronic Government", not all digital broadcasting is developing.

- Obviously, there are problems with the development of television and radio broadcasting, in a large area of ​​the district there is no sustainable access to the Internet. The reason for this situation is the weakness of the Russian space group, which provides high-quality communication services for the population, enterprises and organizations of the Russian Far East. In this regard, we propose during the first launch of an unmanned spacecraft from the Vostochny cosmodrome, being created in the Amur region, to bring the domestic communications satellite into orbit.

A communications satellite will be able to provide digital broadcasting and broadband Internet access services, which will make it possible to take measures to eliminate digital inequality and meet the telecommunications needs of the economy and residents of the Russian Far East.

- Many regions of the Far East reported on large investments that have come to the region. But large construction projects were completed, pipelines were laid, but it turned out that there was not much revenue to regional budgets. In your opinion, can the Far Eastern regions become attractive for investors and self-sufficient? What efforts do I need to make?

- The majority of investments in the Far East (90%) are internal investments, about 10% are external investments. And of 10% of foreign investment, direct investment is from 2 to 4%. All the rest is portfolio investment: share capital and so on. That is, we have quite a serious potential for domestic investment, but foreign ones should also be attracted.

One of the main tasks of regional authorities is to receive a return on gross investment in gross income. This is a serious job. I have more than once said that Sakhalin in terms of gross product development bypasses the USA significantly - with a result of $ 53,9 thousand per person, while America only reached $ 48,1 thousand. In Germany, this indicator is 37 thousand, in Japan - 35 in Korea - 34 thousands. But on Sakhalin, the gross ruble gives 37 kopecks, and in Chukotka, for example, 21 a penny, in the Amur region - 16 kopecks, about the same in the Khabarovsk Territory.

In a word, you have to deal with incomes, you have to count every kopeck, you have to work with the investor. Investments will give a return in the form of taxes. When the company is created, there will be personal income tax, property taxes, land taxes. That investments were more active, it is necessary to release the enterprise from taxes for a certain period of time. However, after recoupment of the project, tax deductions will be a significant contribution to the formation of the revenue side of the budget of the territory. Non-operating enterprises do not create a tax base.

The APEC summit in Vladivostok is over. About 700 billion rubles was spent on the construction of various facilities. At the same time federal funds - only 202 billion rubles. The rest of the money is the money of the companies. One Gazprom has invested billion rubles in the construction of a gas pipeline of the order of 280. That is, the company came, and this work did not stop. We are talking about the need to create processing facilities. Each territory has its own serious projects that will make it possible to develop these territories and generate sufficient income, be it gold mining, the creation of oil and gas chemical industries, the metallurgical cluster and others. The base for development is. Our task is to transform these opportunities into real income.

- Viktor Ivanovich, you initiated the introduction of trade in fish only through electronic trading. What is the reason?

- I made this offer, because I do not care. I believe that resources should serve for the benefit of the state and for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Far East. Why fish in Kamchatka is more expensive than Norwegian fish in Moscow? At us today the average Russian consumption of fish is lower than the biological norm! And this despite the fact that we have enough resources.

I voiced this idea several times. By the way, in the presidential instruction following the meeting of the State Council Presidium it is written that unprocessed wood should be sold at auction, and unprocessed bioresources also. But today, this proposal is beginning to "torpedo" and the fishermen, and those who should engage in government policies in the field of fisheries.

- Many Far Eastern residents complain about the poor quality of medical care, even though modern medical centers have appeared in the region. What is the reason? Maybe the problem is in qualified personnel?

- I believe that one of the measures to solve the problem of the shortage of medical personnel may be the introduction of an educational loan system in medical universities.

In the Far East, there is a practice of training in the target set. However, it is very difficult to return the young specialist after graduation to the northern territories. Both parents and children are against. The whole world works differently: a loan for education is issued. Such a system can be used in Russia as a consolidation of specialists in remote areas. Here it is necessary to solve the issues legally. A person gets a loan, gets an education. And the condition for issuing a loan is: work out 3 years - 30% is written off, you work 5 years - 50% is written off. Or some other gradation. If a person does not want to fulfill his obligations, then he must return the money or a diploma - and be free, like a bird. Somewhat tough, but what to do? Economic mechanisms should work the same throughout the world.

- Today, the President of the Russian Federation sets the task of creating an affordable housing market for different categories of citizens. What is being done for this in the Far East?

- To housing was cheaper, it needs to be built, and build more. Sit down and negotiate, and the authorities - to take on some of the problems: the allocation of the site, the issuance of technical conditions, the creation of infrastructure. For example, in Kamchatka put into operation seismically-resistant houses with a refined territory and with communications at a price of 67 thousand per square meter, in Khabarovsk the same price reaches 80 thousand rubles per square meter. Maximum 50 thousand rubles for veterans, for young people 40 thousand - that's the price that should be. The rest is "left" money, which is divided into all pockets.

Earlier in the Khabarovsk Territory housing in new buildings was twice cheaper than in the secondary market. New buildings at a low price reduced prices in the secondary market. We sold youth square meter for 30 thousand, in the secondary market housing was 50 thousand per square meter. The region compensated young 30% of the loan amount. Mortgage in the most expensive times, when it was given with 25%, offered them a maximum with 10%. And the government of the region was the only founder of the mortgage campaign and guarantor, 25% of the cost was paid by the family. So we got a three-fold guarantee ... Kamchatka and the Amur Region took the scheme.

- The coming year is pre-election. Elections of governors will be held in the Khabarovsk Territory, Magadan Region and Chukotka Autonomous District. Mayors will be elected in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. What do you personally expect from these events?

- It is disturbing that recently the turnout at the elections is very low - 14-16%. I'm sure we need to restore the threshold in 25%.

How can a person be governor if he is elected by a bunch of football friends ?! We always expect something new from elections. Candidates meet with people, and very often it happens that during the election campaign a candidate pushes everyone with his elbows: I will do that, and that ... And after he was elected, he suddenly declares that he can do nothing. I always tell all managers: if you can't - go away! Go to the stove and get your pension. Six months have passed, a year - tell me, what have you done from what you blabbed to people? Sometimes there is nothing to say.

Elections are not only the maturity of the people we choose, but also the maturity of society. Everyone should take part in them and influence the result. We expect only good from the elections, it is necessary to elect worthy people who will solve people's problems.

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