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"The main thing is to ensure the explosive growth of the entire non-resource sector"
General Director of the Yakutia Development Corporation - on the development of the creative economy in the republic
The future of Yakutia depends not only on traditional industries, but also on the development of new directions, including the creative economy. It is the creative economy that should become one of the locomotives of the accelerated socio-economic development of the republic in the coming years. Afanasy Savvin, Director General of the Development Corporation of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) JSC, spoke about the tasks of developing the non-resource sector of the economy and managing priority development territories.
- Afanasy Afanasevich, you have been the head of the Yakutia Development Corporation for the second year. What is the range of its activities today, what tasks has the company set and solved them?
- As you know, Yakutia's strategy is to correctly use the economic opportunities that our raw materials sector opens up to build in 10-15 years the second pillar of the economy - non-raw materials. The main task of the Corporation is to ensure the explosive growth of the entire non-resource sector. We not only carry out direct investments and manage large investment projects, but also act as an agent of change, implementing joint initiatives with industry regulators that have a systemic impact on the development of the entire non-resource sector. Another function of the Corporation is the formation and development of priority development territories in the republic.
- What is the creative economy? How does it affect the spheres of life in the republic?
- The development of the creative economy, like the entire non-resource sector, is a priority task for the leadership of Yakutia. The republic became the first region of the country where a strategic document on the development of the creative economy was adopted at the government level - the Concept for the Development of the Creative Economy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
In international and Russian practice, the creative economy is most often understood as a set of so-called creative industries - sectors of the economy related to art and culture, design and architecture, media and communications, as well as digital technologies.
According to our approach, the creative economy is not a separate small sector of the economy, but changes in all traditional industries that carry creative talents. Or, to put it simply, how much we will be able to win in the market of non-primary goods and services due to our creative human capital, providing our companies with scaling outside of Yakutia.
The main task of the development of the creative economy for us is not an increase in the share of creative industries in the GRP from the current one and a half percent by a conditional two times, but a multiple growth of the entire non-resource sector of the economy.
Through its focus on foreign markets (so that our business, by default, focuses on foreign markets and goes beyond Yakutia, including the markets of other regions of Russia) and increasing its creative intensity, that is, the share of so-called creative activities in the total number of employees. For example, in the aviation industry, the leaders of the world market today account for up to 50% of vacancies in creative pursuits - for those people who are engaged in marketing, analytics, IT, branding, and so on. Our airlines are significantly behind in this - today they have no such vacancies at all. But it is these people who create added value and influence business development.
- The main task of the Development Corporation of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) JSC is to promote the rapid growth of the non-resource sector of the economy through investment, the development of human capital and the implementation of breakthrough development projects. Explain how this will be implemented.
- Toyota has a very good Five Whys. Dealing with the solution of any problem, company managers try to reach the root causes, constantly repeating the same question - "Why"? Each subsequent survey is asked by the answers to the previous question. This is how you get to the root cause, to the root problem. So we use the same principle in our work - making efforts, we try to find the very point that will help achieve the greatest effect at the lowest cost.
In the period from 2005 to 2018, the share of the extractive industries in the structure of the republic’s GRP increased from 39,5% to 51,5%. At the same time, the share of those employed in them increased insignificantly - from 9,5% in 2005 to 9,8% in 2018. Moreover, since 2015, it has decreased by 0,2%. What does this mean? Despite the significant growth of the raw material industries, the emergence of new extractive industries, the development of new deposits, the number of people employed in these areas is decreasing.
Thus, the development of the non-resource sector is very important from the point of view of where our people and our youth will work in 10-15 years. It is necessary to make significant efforts to develop human capital, invest in it. It is human capital that will ensure the competitiveness of Yakutia, the emergence of new global businesses, high-paying jobs, and just the very rapid development of the economy.
In other words, human capital is that very starting point for us. The main projects we are implementing are in one way or another related to its development. Thus, the "Park of Future Generations" and the concept that will be implemented in it will go far beyond one physical place and will cover all the children of Yakutia. Our goal is to instill in every child entrepreneurial and creative skills. We seriously hope that they will grow into a large community of people who are ready to invest their capital, their knowledge, their connections in the development of their native Yakutia.
The Global Business project is not just about new requirements for the management of state-owned companies, about their focus on foreign markets, but above all about the flooding of these companies with creative talents. The very people who have to define their strategies, create new products and added value.
The project of creating a business school of the international level Global Business School in Yakutsk is about the massive retraining of existing specialists so that they are competitive in the creative economy, in the economy of the future. The project for the construction of a high-tech Zhatayskaya shipyard is also associated with human capital. An entire shipbuilding industry is being created in Yakutia, in which, in addition to the shipyard itself, related businesses, contractors and so on will be involved. And this is already several thousand jobs that will help attract highly professional personnel from other regions to Yakutia.
- "Kvartal Truda" is the first creative cluster in the Far East. How was his concept born and at what stage is the project?
- Within the framework of our laboratory "Creative Yakutia" we have studied in detail the Yakut business. So, today only 0,36% of Yakut companies export their products. About 7% enter the markets of other Russian regions. At the same time, the Yakut business is under pressure from large federal companies and Internet sites, which squeeze it out on its home market. For business development, it is necessary to make sure that our entrepreneurs, by default, would be guided by foreign markets and could create products and services that would withstand competition.
How can the creative cluster help here? In the course of our research, by the way, all of them are available on the corporate blog, we have identified the importance of the participation of creative industries in the development and scaling of traditional industries. These are creative solutions, media content, design, and architectural solutions ... That is, it is precisely the multiplier effect on the entire non-resource economy that is the main task of the creative cluster.
We expect an increase in the marketing activity of all enterprises using the services of cluster residents, we set a specific goal to increase the share of enterprises introducing marketing innovations to 10%. According to Rosstat, only 1,2% of our enterprises are implementing marketing innovations. Whereas on average in Russia this figure is 1,3%. And in Chuvashia (the leading region) - over 5%. Therefore, Chuvash companies are repairing roads in Yakutia, building a shipyard - marketing innovations play a decisive role in scaling companies to foreign markets. And this, by the way, is the very increase in added value, behind which are jobs, tax revenues and, in general, the development and improvement of life in Yakutia, which is an unconditional priority of all government programs and projects.
Now the development of design estimates is underway. We expect to launch the cluster at the end of next year. But already now they began to create a community around the project. We attracted more than 200 representatives of creative communities to work on the concept of the "Quarter of Labor". 50 companies have signed preliminary agreements with us on residency in the cluster. We have involved filmmakers, designers, architects, fashion designers, private institutions of additional education for children and adults, theater workers, cultural and leisure centers and many others in the collaborative design. This made it possible to clearly plan what kind of spaces, premises and services will be in the cluster.
By the way, "Kvartal Truda" got into the accelerator of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives "100 City Leaders". They launched a separate track dedicated to creative clusters. I hope that the participation of leading federal and world experts in this area will help us avoid mistakes and make the project even more effective.
- You are the head of the laboratory "Creative Yakutia ". Tell us more about this.
- A year ago, at the level of the Prime Minister of Yakutia, seven strategic laboratories were created in key areas of the republic's development. The laboratory "Creative Yakutia" was created on the basis of our Corporation. I am the head of the laboratory, and my colleague, head of the analytics service of the Development Corporation of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) Afanasy Zakharov, is in charge of its projects. Entrepreneurs, scientists, industry experts, representatives of education and executive authorities participate in its work. Its permanent "backbone" is the Corporation's employees.
The main task of the laboratory is to conduct research and develop proposals on strategic directions for the development of the creative economy. In our corporate blog, you can learn more about the research results and the projects that we are implementing within the laboratory. One of the latest initiatives is the Global Business program, aimed at transforming Yakut state-owned companies and orienting them towards foreign markets. For them to confirm the quality and relevance of their products and services, facing global competition.
- Two TOP have been created in Yakutia. Do you think there are prerequisites for creating new ones?
- There are two territories of advanced development - TOP "Yakutia" and TOP "South Yakutia", while the Yakutia Development Corporation represents the interests of the republic in the established management companies.
Currently, at the level of the government of the republic, it has been decided not to create additional ASEZs, but to expand the existing ones. That is why the TOP "Industrial Park" Kangalassy "was renamed into the TOP" Yakutia ". A fundamental decision was made to include there not only the territories located in the immediate vicinity of Yakutsk, but also in the uluses. Moreover, the management companies of both TOPs are merging into a single organization.
Thanks to the new federal law on the support of entrepreneurial activity in the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation, all entrepreneurs in the Arctic uluses already have the opportunity to receive tax benefits and administrative preferences.
- Yakutsk ranked eighth in the Creative Capital Index. What needs to be done for our capital to further strengthen its position?
- We helped colleagues from PwC and the Calwert 22 fund with calculating the creative capital index of Yakutsk and questioning representatives of the city's creative industries. The high position of our capital in the 2019 index is due, firstly, to the high economic position of the city: the average monthly wage of workers, the rate of its growth and the general level of satisfaction with the economic situation in the city by representatives of the creative community. Secondly, a high level of support for business, creative initiatives and budgetary spheres of culture and education.
It is important to develop the urban environment. Oddly enough, I would pay special attention to the development of the restaurant business, helping novice restaurateurs in creating author's projects.
Here's an example that was described by Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator. Imagine that you are in some depressed area of any city. What will you see there? Chain eateries like KFC or Starbucks. At this moment, you can be anywhere. As Graham writes, "there isn't even there." All depressed areas of different cities are similar. And it is impossible to keep anyone in them.
Now imagine that you are walking somewhere in the Travestere area of Rome. You will walk past many small signature restaurants and bars. It is such places that create the spirit of the city, define its face, and keep the most progressive part of its inhabitants, the very creative human capital, in it. Such a phenomenon has already occurred in Pittsburgh, which has become the new US technology hub, thanks in large part to the boom in authoring restaurants launched by young entrepreneurs.
In Yakutsk, something similar can be seen in the Old City area. The most fashionable establishments that interest young people are located there. And all thanks to the proximity to the offices of the Yakut "unicorns" - Maitona and Sinet. Their employees create such an environment around them. It is important not just to rely on the organic growth of such things, but to make efforts to ensure that places like the Old Town become a point for positive change in the whole of Yakutsk. And so that something similar would happen in other cities of Yakutia.
Published in the journal of the Agency for attracting investments and export support of Yakutia "InvestYakutia"