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Dmitry Alekseev: "Discounter means: discounts for all ..."

A well-known Russian businessman believes that the benefits of WSP could be extended not only to residents

At the last in 2015, December meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Free Port of Vladivostok (FPV), eight more enterprise projects received the status of its residents. Among them is the Yankovsky production and logistics complex (PLC), owned by DNS (a network of retail stores selling digital and household appliances), which, according to Forbes magazine, is one of the top XNUMX largest private companies in Russia.

Dmitry Alekseev: "Discounter means: discounts for all ..."
Special project TORA and Free Port
Aviapolis Yankovsky (named after a well-known Far Eastern entrepreneur of the early XNUMXth century and for its geographical proximity to Vladivostok airport) today specializes in the storage and transshipment of a wide variety of goods - from construction materials to food and clothing. The enterprise began to operate as a universal warehouse complex shortly before the establishment of the Free Port in Primorye. Therefore, the members of the Supervisory Board agreed to recognize him as a “newcomer” to the market for these services - subject to the creation of additional logistics and production facilities.

Formally, according to the newly baked Law on FPV, only a newly established enterprise can obtain resident status. The rationality and fairness of this approach is questioned by the CEO of DNS, a well-known Russian businessman Dmitry Alekseev. He argued his position in an interview with the information and analytical agency "East Russia".

For reference

Federal Law No. 212-FZ "On the Free Port of Vladivostok" (FPV) was signed by the President of the Russian Federation on July 13, 2015 and came into force on October 12, 2015. The law provides for the introduction of a special economic zone regime in 15 municipalities of the Primorsky Territory. Enterprises that have received the status of FPV residents (the procedure is prescribed in the Law) acquire a number of preferences, including: corporate income tax holidays (the rate during the first 5 years does not exceed 5%); five-year vacation for corporate property tax and land tax; a preferential rate of insurance premiums for investment projects during the first 10 years in the amount of 7,6%, etc.

- Dmitry Yuryevich, they say that you are cautiously optimistic about your "entry" into the FPV. Why?

- Because it is not yet known how the provision contained in the Law will give the FPV resident status only to newly established enterprises in practice. It turns out that there is economic freedom for residents. And for the rest?

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that when he submitted the idea to declare Vladivostok a free port, our President thought to create comfortable economic conditions for absolutely all players operating on the markets of the Russian Pacific coast. Now we get a free port, but only for residents. Does this challenge the foundation of any successful entrepreneurship - competition?

- But can't any "old" company establish its new "daughter" for the release of some new, or formally new products, and with this "daughter" (as a resident) enter SPV?

-Of course it can. But you yourself correctly noticed - formally. Let's say there is an old enterprise in the territory of the region that produces bakery products. To enter FPV as a resident, it formally establishes a subsidiary structure and gives it part of its production, but under the guise of new (changed the name, say) products. The subsidiary is registered as a resident and is thus exempt from a significant share of the tax burden. In fact, the parent company itself is exempt from it. As a result, the regional budget does not receive additional money in comparison with the previous state of affairs.

- But there is the SPV Supervisory Board. He will be able to separate the "fake" residents from the real ...

- I do not doubt that. But, firstly, this is an additional headache, and secondly, in practice, it will be very difficult to draw a clear line between the new production and the old one.

Putting a region into free port mode is like putting a supermarket into discounter mode. That is, in order to attract buyers, revive their demand, you, as a store owner, lower the price of many types of goods. But in the end, the total profit increases due to the general increase in turnover: due to the cheapening of goods, customers begin to massively visit your store and actively make purchases in it.

But in our case, the "store owner" proposes to divide all customers into two categories - "oldies" and "newbies". If you have visited our store before, buy the product at the same price. And if you are new - then you, please, a substantial discount. Of course, in this situation, the owner has the problem of separating the "newbies" from the "oldies", because the latter will try by hook or by crook to pass themselves off as the first.

Of course, in reality, any store owner - if he switches his supermarket to discounter mode, he provides discounts to absolutely all customers. So in the case of a free port - it will be able to give an effective return, most likely if the entire economy of the region - and not dozens or even hundreds of residents - begins to work in a preferential mode.

- But in the case of a free port, if it is free "for everyone", as some experts fear, there will be a problem with the filling of the regional budget with taxes ...

- It could be solved by redistributing tax flows from the federal center in favor of the region. For example, revenues from value added tax should be left in the region, which operates in the free port mode entirely for all players in the regional market. Thus, the region is rapidly developing in socio-economic terms and relieves the federal center of a huge part of the worries about subsidizing and subsidizing it.

Of course, such progress is only possible with the introduction of appropriate changes to the Budget Code of the Russian Federation. I do not exclude that this approach will find understanding from the Supervisory Board and the regional administration.

- Often, speaking about FPV and priority development areas, officials point to the attractiveness of these regimes for foreign investors ...

- Not all officials think so. There are also those who believe that: firstly, from the standpoint of patriotism, one should think about creating comfortable conditions, first of all, for domestic business, and secondly, one should not perceive a foreign businessman as a person who only dreams of investing in the Russian economy. All post-Soviet expansions of foreign companies were very pragmatic (and even cynical) and were primarily associated with the capture of huge sectors of our consumer market (food, drinks, clothing, household goods, etc.) and the market of industrial raw materials.

Objectively speaking, foreigners do not have any serious motives to develop our economy and social sphere. This is confirmed by statistics, according to which the share of investments of our closest neighbor, China, in the Russian economy is less than 1%.

- And to what extent is Aviapolis Yankovsky in demand today by Russian and foreign tenants and should we expect now - taking into account the tax preferences that have arisen for it as a FPV resident - a reduction in the rental rate?

- All warehouse facilities of the complex are 100% occupied. Industrial premises are also gradually finding their tenants. As for the preferences, they will apply only to newly built objects. You must understand that the resident of FPV was not an operating warehouse complex, but a project for its development. Therefore, the status received gives us an incentive to build new facilities, not only storage facilities, but also production facilities. We will deal with this in the near future.

As for the operation of the already existing warehouse facilities of Yankovsky, the rental rate here is already lower than the average for the regional market.

- DNS is thinking of transferring the assembly of its products under the brand name to Yankovsky from China?

- We have been assembling our computers and laptops for a long time in Russia. As for smartphones and other digital gadgets, it is still more profitable to assemble them in China for logistics reasons.

- To summarize, do you think the FPV will become a catalyst for the socio-economic development of the Primorye Territory and the Far East in general?

- I hope that the Free Port Law will be improved for the better as members of the FPV Supervisory Board analyze its law enforcement practice. Among them there are many competent specialists and capable managers with experience in business and legal activities.


Dmitry Alekseev, 42, a native of Vladivostok. By profession - engineer. Since 1998 founder, co-owner and head of DNS company. Patriot of Primorye. Professional credo - the path to success is based on overcoming all kinds of fears. The destroyer of the following stereotypes: "abroad will help us", "all the troubles from corruption", "business should be afraid of officials." Believes that the main problems in Russia stem from ineffective government. And in order to improve it, it is necessary to develop horizontal social ties in all spheres of human life.
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