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Ahead of development

Ahead of development

The primary task of the government of the Irkutsk region is to ensure that existing investors in the region work comfortably, and potential investors want to invest in projects in the region. For this, according to the Acting Governor of the region Sergey Eroshchenko, a lot is being done.

- Sergey Vladimirovich, what is the government doing now, in a crisis, in order to preserve the investment attractiveness of the region? Are there new tax breaks for certain categories of business, and if so, how much and to what extent? Do you plan to introduce any other preferences?

- Oh sure. At present, an effective set of measures to stimulate investment activity has been formed on the territory of the Irkutsk region for both large entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses.

In particular, there are privileges on profits and property taxes of organizations. Since 2014 for regional investment projects, the corporate income tax rate has been lowered to zero (the volume of tax benefits is determined on the basis of financial performance of enterprises). Investors, who implement investment projects, including in the sphere of import substitution, we help in obtaining credit resources: we provide state guarantees and subsidize the interest rate on loans from commercial banks.

Priority for us are investment projects that ensure the strategic development of the region's economy, the implementation of deep processing of raw materials and the modernization of existing production facilities. The subjects of small and medium-sized businesses and their projects we provide a variety of support, including financial. Also for them from 2010 year the privilege under the simplified system of the taxation operates.

In addition, in April of this year, a new edition of the law on the patent system of taxation was adopted, aimed at stimulating the development of self-employment. And of course, it is impossible not to mention that the Development Corporation of the Irkutsk Region was established in the region, the most important functions of which are the management of industrial parks, assistance in financing investment projects, and ensuring the protection of investors' rights.

- There is an opinion that investors in the Irkutsk region are very difficult to work because of administrative barriers and abuse by officials. Because of this, as many believe, some enterprises prefer register your business in other regions, for example, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

- In our opinion, this is a mistaken opinion. Today, the priority activity of the government of the Irkutsk region is to create a favorable environment for the investor, because the Irkutsk region has all the opportunities for advanced development. The unique geopolitical position, the richest reserves of natural resources, the localization of large industries and research centers create the conditions for the implementation of the most ambitious and ambitious projects.

Now the investment policy of the region is largely related to the systematic implementation of the requirements of the Standard for the activities of executive authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation to ensure a favorable investment climate in the region. In August 2014 in the Irkutsk region, work was completed to implement all 15 requirements of this Standard, and its full implementation was confirmed by the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

As I have already said, one of the most effective instruments for stimulating investment activity in the Irkutsk region is tax preferences within the framework of regional laws. The mechanism for providing lower rates for taxes on profits and property of organizations provides support for enterprises that are introducing new production capacities. In addition, at the end of the year 2013, additional amendments were made to the law of the Irkutsk region, which, along with the already existing preferences for income tax, supported organizations participating in investment projects by zeroing the tax rate.

The Irkutsk Region Development Corporation is working with investors in the "one-stop-shop" mode. The Investment Portal of the Irkutsk Region is a specialized multilingual information resource containing the necessary information on state support measures, as well as feedback channels for investors in order to promptly address the issues arising in the investment process.

Finally, in December 2013 the regional law "On the participation of the Irkutsk region in public-private partnership" was adopted. Currently, the government of the Irkutsk region is considering the implementation of a number of infrastructure projects on the terms of public-private partnership, including in the construction of social facilities and transport infrastructure. For example, one of the large-scale projects is the creation of a modern international air hub, which involves the reconstruction of the existing airport and the construction of a new airport in the city of Irkutsk.

- Are there projects in the region that, in theory, should be launched in the next year or two, but some unresolved problems that can be solved soon prevent them?

- We are currently implementing quite a lot of large-scale, significant investment projects - for example, in the development, development and efficient use of the Verkhnechonsk oil and gas condensate field, the Yarakta, Markov and Danilov oil and gas condensate fields, the Dulminma oil and gas condensate field, projects for the extraction of gold in the Bodaibin region. Today, a petrochemical plant is in the process of modernization, which will produce gasoline in accordance with the requirements of technical regulations. A gas processing and gas chemical complex is being built on the basis of the Ust-Kutsko-Kirensk gas production center, as well as a number of woodworking complexes. Modernization of aluminum production and construction of the Taishet Anodic Factory is underway. The investment program for the development of the Irkutsk Aviation Plant is being actively implemented.

- As far as I know, some investment projects are stalled due to the lack of the necessary transport and energy infrastructure ...

- Yes, there are such projects. The energy and transport infrastructure needs to be built for the development of gold deposits of the Bodaibo District (OJSC Polyus Gold) and the Zashihinsky rare metal deposit (ZAO Technoinvestalliance), as well as for the construction of the Anode Factory in Taishet District, the projects of INK LLC, construction of a gas chemical complex. To address these issues, the government of the region submitted an application to the draft federal targeted program "Economic and Social Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region for the period up to 2018." In addition, the issue of including projects in the list of investment projects of the Baikal region, which is formed by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, is under consideration.

- And how often do investors come to you and ask for benefits, land plots? Are among them foreign, Asian? In general, how many companies from the PRC, Korea, Japan are in the region, ready to invest and already investing in the region?

- As a rule, when entering the territory, the investor already knows what mechanisms of support for investment activity we have. All information on state support measures is accumulated at investment portal - a specialized information resource that provides the ability to promptly consider investors' requests through the feedback form.

As for foreigners, the government of the Irkutsk region on a regular basis carries out presentations of the Irkutsk region in the APR countries, negotiates at different levels of government of foreign states, and stimulates the development of business contacts. Investors from the APR countries are actively interested in projects and resources available in the Irkutsk region, and, indeed, representatives of business and the People’s Government of the regions from the People’s Republic of China (Northeastern China), the Republic of Korea, and Japan have shown great interest. Now more than 100 joint ventures with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region are registered in the region of petrochemistry, wood processing, and agriculture.

At the moment, negotiations are underway to establish a number of joint ventures with Chinese investments in the territory of the Irkutsk region - furniture factories in Svirsk, a logistics center and a data processing center in cooperation with EN + Group and Huawei in Shelekhov.

- The main volume of investments falls on machine building, metallurgy, timber industry complex and pharmaceutical industry. What contribution do enterprises from the fuel and energy sector and transport make?

- Undoubtedly, the contribution of enterprises of the fuel and energy complex and transport is great. I will mention the figures: the share of enterprises in the fuel and energy sector in the region's gross regional product is 13%, transport - 8%. If we take the volume of collected taxes, then the share of enterprises of the fuel and energy complex is 21,5%, transport - 8,4%.

- Does the project for the creation of the gas-chemical complex of the Irkutsk Oil Company and the development of Rosneft’s 11 hydrocarbon sites (including the Verkhnechonskoye field) be taken into account when forecasting investments?

- Projects for the development of the Verkhnechonsky, Yarakta, Markovsk and Danilovskoye oil and gas condensate fields, the creation of a gas chemical complex based on the Ust-Kutsko-Kirensk gas production center are the main investment projects that ensure the strategic development of the region's economy based on which the development of both an investment forecast and a social forecast is based economic development of the Irkutsk region as a whole.

- In early April, the Irkutsk airport was transferred to the ownership of the region. Is an investor found for this airport?

- Now the government of the Irkutsk region is negotiating with a number of potential investors to expand and modernize the Irkutsk air transport hub. However, it is still a bit premature to talk about specific amounts of work and amounts.

- And yet I ask you to make another forecast - this time regarding the level of gross regional product in 2015-2020. What branch of the regional economy, in your opinion, will provide the most significant contribution to the growth of this indicator?

- GRP on 2015 year is estimated at about 880 billion rubles, and by 2020 it is planned to exceed the level of 1 trillion. rubles. Significant contribution to the growth of the GRP will definitely be made by such large federal projects as the reconstruction of the BAM and Transsib, as well as the expansion of the ESPO capacity to 80 million tons of oil.

In addition, the region has identified a number of priority investment projects aimed at organizing high-value-added industries - for example, the production of gas chemical products, primary aluminum, and baked anodes.

And of course, the actual vector of the economic development of the Irkutsk Region is the creation of new and the development of existing cluster development projects in the field of engineering and pharmaceuticals. The formation of clusters will allow the Irkutsk region to produce competitive products, expand sales markets and contacts with foreign partners.

- And tourism? How does this industry develop in the region and how does it contribute to GRP?

- The contribution of the tourism industry in the region's GRP is still insignificant. It should be borne in mind that the giants of Russian industry are working in the region. However, tourism is a growing industry. Its contribution to the budget increases annually; in 2014, it amounted to 386 million rubles. Last year, more than 1,4 million tourists visited the region. By the number of foreign tourists, the Irkutsk Region is a leader in the Siberian Federal District.

The main prospects for the development of the industry are related to the development of the special economic zone of the tourist-recreational type (SEZ) "Gate of Baikal". Currently, the formation of the SEZ infrastructure continues, and there is an active involvement of residents. At present, the territory of the SEZ is represented by the Irkutsk and Slyudyansky districts of the Irkutsk region ("Bolshoe Goloustnoye" and "Sobolinaya Mountain" respectively). The total area of ​​these plots is 2347 ha.

The first stage of the creation of the SEZ is being implemented at the Sobolinaya Mountain site of the Slyudyansky District of the Irkutsk Region. To date, the SEZ has registered four residents with a planned investment of at least 1 887 million rubles. In plans for 2015 year - work on the inclusion in the boundaries of the SEZ of additional sites in the townships of Listvyanka and Baikal, the embankment of the BPPM, Kharlakhta, Mangutai, Teplykh lakes on Snezhnaya.

I will explain. The tourist potential of the same Listvyanka is used today only at 30%, and having included it in the SEZ, we will be able to begin transforming the architectural appearance and infrastructure of the village. In the village it is necessary to improve the infrastructure of water transport in the region. In addition, there the plots that we include in the SEZ are in close proximity to the Baikal-Amur Railway, a unique architectural and engineering monument accessible to tourists throughout the year.

The development of sites on the territory of the BPPM will significantly increase the potential of the Sobolinaya Mountain Resort, already part of the SEZ, and will also contribute to the development of Baikalsk as a city of festivals and a significant congress center. The fact that we will take care of the Warm Lakes on Snezhnaya will allow us to make maximum use of the potential of the unique natural sites of the region: the most beautiful slopes of Khamar-Daban, rivers suitable for alloys and hot springs that attract tourists throughout the year. Well, the inclusion of the Kharlaht and Mangutai sites in the SEZ borders is due to the government's plans to establish a Federal Winter Reserve Training Center in the Slyudyansky District.

- It sounds promising! And yet finally, let's go back to the crisis. If, as now it is fashionable to say, "something will go wrong", should the Irkutsk residents expect that some measures of social support will be frozen or canceled?

- I can unequivocally state that for us in any scenario of the development of events the level of social security of the population has the highest priority. We took responsibility for the preservation of all social obligations undertaken. Moreover, additional measures of social support are provided during the crisis period. In particular, in my message to the Legislative Assembly, I set the task of maintaining the current level of tariffs for housing and communal services for the next two years, as well as freezing the level of public payments for major repairs. In addition, prices for gardening tickets will be frozen. We also plan to maintain high rates of entry of kindergartens, schools, medical institutions, sports complexes and other social infrastructure facilities.

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