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In the spring of this year, the Federal Law "On the Territories of Advanced Socio-Economic Development in the Russian Federation" came into force. For three years, TOP will be created only in the Far East. The development of the eastern borders is declared the national priority of the 21st century
Creative solutions have allowed Asia to become a new economic center. This is not a copying of the European experience gained over the centuries, but the creation of more profitable offers for investors. The same non-trivial steps are required for the rise of the Far East.
One of the mechanisms for the development of the macroregion will be the creation of territories of advanced socio-economic development. The corresponding federal law, initiated by the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East, sets fundamentally new conditions for investment and business. According to the law, for the first three years such territories can only be created in the Far East of the Russian Federation. This preference was made, firstly, based on the priority of the development of the region, and secondly, because of the obvious proximity of the region to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region.
To date, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East has selected and at the level of the Government of the Russian Federation approved nine such territories of various specializations and directions. Among them are the TOR of a universal production orientation (for example, "Nadezhdinskaya" in Vladivostok and the TOR "Khabarovsk") and highly specialized ones: the agricultural TOR "Mikhailovskaya" (Primorye) and "Belogorsk" (Amur Region), focused on the extraction of minerals "Beringovsky" ( Chukotka). The head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Galushka, notes: "We do not in any way restrict the economic activity of potential investors, we create the most favorable conditions for them."
Only the "anchor" investors of nine TOPs intend to invest 259 billion rubles in their projects. These investments will create more than 16 thousand new jobs in the Far East. The budgetary costs for the creation of these TOP are several times less - a little more than 20 billion rubles. Part of the TOP is created with zero budget financing: thanks to the use of public-private partnership mechanisms, the creation of the TOP infrastructure can also be a profitable investment, and there are already such investors in the Far East.
Russian companies are anchor investors in the priority development area. Their interest is natural. However, even today foreign companies are actively interested in the conditions for investing and doing business in the TOP. Currently, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East has signed more than 20 investment memorandums with foreign companies. For example, all six largest trading houses in Japan, despite the sanctions of this state against Russia, are ready to be investors in the TOP. On the territory of Khabarovsk, three foreign companies are already moving to the practical implementation of their projects: these are Japanese JGC (agro-industrial business) and Sojitz (airport development), as well as the Singapore-Chinese company Bitumina (construction of a bituminous materials plant). Chinese business intends to build an oil refinery in the Priamurskaya ASEZ (Amur Region), as well as to develop two compact building materials plants in the Kangalassy ASEZ (Yakutia).
What is the main advantage of the ASEZ law? First of all, it takes into account the peculiarities of life in the region and specific needs for its development.
The investor is always right
The main goal of the TOP is to organize economic sites with the most comfortable investment climate through deregulation and tax incentives for businesses.
New territories reduce the speed of entry to the site. In the “old” scheme, after participating in auctions, a company goes through a long procedure of paperwork, which - with all rounds of authorities, obtaining expert assessments - takes from a year to three years. It is risky to start design work during this period, and in practice, many promising undertakings are broken by an administrative barrier.
A resident of the new territories gets the opportunity to work in a “one window” mode due to the exercise of control and supervisory powers by specially created divisions of federal executive bodies. The site itself is created taking into account the requirements of the investor and the prospects for its development. Thus, the law provides:
• establishment of preferential rental rates and preferential connection to engineering networks;
• distribution of the customs procedure of the free customs zone within the boundaries of the ASEZ;
• Reduction of the timing of the state environmental review;
• a significant reduction in the timing of fiscal audits and unscheduled audits only in agreement with an authorized department of the federal government.
An important role in the attractiveness of the TOP is played by the reduction in the cost of the implementation of investment projects. Tax and other preferences allow investors to invest in promising new projects, even with a high degree of risk. This will increase the potential of the production complex, increase the share of localization of production in Russia, taking into account the development of the situation in the Russian and global economy.
The formation of the TOP will have a multiplier effect - it will allow the development of the Far Eastern territories in an integrated manner. “By creating infrastructure facilities, the development of the territories adjacent to the TOP will be ensured, and the formation of a service market for residents of the TOP will give an impetus to the development of small and medium-sized businesses,” Minister Alexander Galushka has repeatedly emphasized. TOP will expand the consumer market, including in the energy sector, and give a start to completely different business projects.
What does RES have to do with it?
Why is the creation of a TOP so important for doing business in the field of renewable energy? First of all, because ecological production requires certain costs and constant development to improve technology. In the Far East, territories of advanced development are becoming a kind of incubator of modern high-tech developments and make it possible to implement the most daring projects in a test mode. This is especially true for renewable energy, where the focus is on new technologies. The natural opportunities of the Far East, multiplied by the economic benefits of new sites, will stimulate the development of this area.
One of the main reasons for developing renewable energy is its environmental safety. And when the payback period is reached, such electricity becomes almost free. Another important area is the possibility of localization in the TOP of processing and assembly enterprises that produce equipment for renewable energy sources and perform service maintenance. Today, the Far East, due to its unique natural potential, is becoming a flagship for us in the implementation of renewable energy technologies. The nature of the macro-region with turbulent rivers, sea tides, island territories is ideal for creating ecological industries.
So, it is no coincidence that Japanese companies are showing high interest in the implementation of projects for the construction of wind energy complexes in the Kamchatka Territory. It examines the prospects for the production of electrical energy relying on the use of energy from rivers and sea tides, geothermal energy, and wind energy. Similar projects can be implemented within the framework of the Kamchatka ASEZ. According to expert groups and representatives of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East, "Kamchatka" will allow the complex development of tourism and recreation and port and logistics areas. In turn, "clean" energy can become one of the business cards of the region and additionally contribute to attracting tourists.
The creation of priority development areas on Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands is also being considered. Due to the geographical specifics and richness of natural resources, the production of renewable energy is seen in these Far Eastern territories as extremely promising and therefore becomes a priority task.