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Head of Far East Development Fund: it’s time to harvest an intermediate crop

Alexey Chekunkov spoke about the new projects of the fund and the main agreements signed at WEF-2019

The Far East Development Fund has signed agreements in the framework of the Fifth Eastern Economic Forum 15 with a total volume of 45 billion rubles. They relate to large and promising projects in the Far Eastern Federal District. Fund Director General Alexei Chekunkov in an interview with EastRussia spoke about the new projects of the FRDV, the attractiveness of the macro-region for business and the investments that he already receives.

Head of Far East Development Fund: it’s time to harvest an intermediate crop

- Alexey Olegovich, the fifth Eastern Economic Forum has ended. Tell us, what are its results for the Development Fund of the Far East?

- Fifth forum. This is like a child who has reached the age of five and has acquired 80% of what is useful to him in life. This is a crop forum: huge projects that have not budged for decades have finally happened. For example, we signed an agreement to launch the Malmyzhskoye deposit, one of the ten largest in the world in terms of copper and gold reserves. In general, I think it's time to harvest an intermediate crop. This is encouraging, but there is still a lot of interesting work ahead.

- The Fund has signed many agreements at the WEF. Which of them are the most important and significant?

- In total, at the WEF, we signed 15 agreements totaling 45 billion rubles of investment from the Far East Development Fund alone. The total volume of projects that we are entering into is 450 billion rubles. The largest projects are the construction of the Nakhodka mineral fertilizer plant and the development of the Malmyzh porphyry copper deposit in the Khabarovsk Territory. Often, promising agreements of intent with a distant horizon are signed at forums, in our case all agreements are very mature. I am convinced that all the investments announced in them will be made by us in the next year or two. The fifth EEF is a forum of maturity for us, a forum for large projects. The bar has been set incredibly high, but we will work hard to arrive with even better results by the sixth WEF.

- What is the situation with the investment climate in the Far East, especially with the attraction of foreign investments?

- In the framework of the WEF, we had a meeting with the head of the analogue of “Business Russia” in Japan. He, in a very emotional vein, waving his arms, said that according to a survey by the Japanese Business Association, for the first time, the percentage of members of his organization, which is almost the entire Japanese business, who believe that the Russian Far East is a promising region for doing business, exceeded 60%. According to him, historically rare when the share reached 40%. The positive attitude of Japanese business towards our Far East is growing one and a half times. I think that even this fact alone is very eloquent.

- A year ago, the FRDV launched a service for the allocation of aquaculture plots in the Far East. Tell us how this project works and develops now?

- One year we prepared it, worked with the Federal Fisheries Agency, when aquaculture plots were already allocated in the interim mode as part of this new concept, which can be described as an “electronic official”: the human, subjective factor in the decision to admit an investor to the industry is minimized. And for a year the Internet service has really been working, when even the procedure for selecting a site is carried out online. For these two years, three times as many land plots were allocated in areas of the Far Eastern Sea Basin (60 thousand hectares) than in the previous 20 years. That is, when we started the project, there were only 20 thousand legal hectares of water for seafood, now - 80 thousand hectares. One hectare of water is 1,5 million rubles of private investment. We worked for two years - we received 90 billion rubles of investments.

- At the fifth WEF, you announced a new service, which concerns forest resources already. Tell us how it works?

- At the WEF, we reported to President Vladimir Putin about a new concept, which can simply be described as "not a forester, but a satellite." We completely replace archaic, completely inadequate methods of working with information that exist today in the forest industry in the form of paper tablets, eye methods, subjective decisions of officials, modern technologies, where the entire analysis of forest resources is carried out from space, analyzed by software. Further, by analogy with aquaculture, investors through the open auction mechanism enter the industry. The turnover of products of the forest complex will be based on exchange trading and open auctions. The President approved this concept, therefore our task is to launch the Lesvostok.rf system in the Far Eastern Federal District in 2020 in a pilot mode. I think that by the next WEF we will be able to boast of the most modern forestry management system in the world.

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