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Trutnev - style

About the six-hour press conference of the presidential envoy in the Far East - Dmitry Shcherbakov

I have already said once that you can learn a lot of curious about a high-level official in the course of a long communication with him. Yuri Trutnev rarely happens to talk a lot - usually short press approaches after meetings, which are also traditionally closed (or the first 5-10 minutes are open). But last Thursday, Mr. Trutnev gave just a feast for our brethren, giving an almost hour-long interview to six journalists in Khabarovsk. Enjoy (with small cuts).

Trutnev - style

Dmitry Shcherbakov

Editor in Chief EastRussia

- (Kommersant) The first Eastern Economic Forum will be devoted to the presentation of new investment conditions in the Russian Far East, and it is already clear that by status it will be comparable with the main forum of the country - St. Petersburg International. Are there chances that the WEF will become the main platform for discussing the accelerated development of Russia?
- We have not set such a task so far - the forum will be devoted to the development of the Far East. Now we can firmly say that a sufficiently large number of conditions for accelerated development have already been created. There is still a lot of work ahead, we are at the very beginning of the road. Nevertheless, there are already results. We are working for the Far East, and the WEF will be more focused on the development of the Far East. This is a huge territory adjacent to the Asia-Pacific region. We have unique development tools, a legislative framework that allows to invest, and a lot of directions that need investments. Therefore, we are waiting for investors - both Russian and foreign, and not only waiting - the first results are already there. A forum is such a platform, an opportunity to present our work and hear remarks, because we do not believe that everything is done perfectly, for sure, something can be done better, and we need a backward reaction, for this we will meet.

- (RIA News") Is there already a list of projects to be submitted to the WEF?
"He's in the formation stage." Many of the projects I already know - they are connected with the territories of advanced development and specific industries. For example, we have many important energy projects. We can produce more electricity and sell it, we need to compensate for outgoing capacity, eliminate the isolation of power systems - more than enough work. There are also a lot of issues related to the development of aquaculture, fisheries, shipbuilding. Practically for each industry, we with colleagues from federal ministries are trying to ensure that this is not just a conversation, but a discussion of very specific investment proposals with certain models. Where there are none, we use every opportunity to develop them. During my visit to Vladivostok 12 August, the last meeting that I conducted before the departure, concerned the economic model of construction of transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2". These corridors are quite expensive, costing about 200 billion rubles. To build them without understanding the return on investment, in our opinion, is impossible. We need to count everything. This can also be a material for the WEF. As you can see, we are preparing in all directions, and all ministries have such a task. All the same, neither I, nor the Ministry of Color Industry should be specialists in all branches, each of them has a federal body responsible for its development.

(RIA News") Is it planned to sign some important agreements on the forum?
- Signatures will be. But we do not set this as an ultimate goal and do not consider it as a criterion for assessing the forum. Negotiations on large investments do not go for several days, the process takes at least months. The forum is the first, we will gather people on the site for the first time. Accordingly, for projects on which work was already carried out before the WEF, contracts can be signed. But where this is just a start, the result may appear in the second or third forum.

- (RIA News") What is the fate of the project to expand the port special economic zone in Sovetskaya Gavan? Documents were sent long ago, but somehow it does not work out.
- You know, I honestly say: there is no bureaucratic procedure that needs to be done. The question is not in the bureaucracy, but in the fact that any project can enter the meeting of the government subcommission only when it is fully tested, balanced, understandable and transparent. We will not consider projects where there are any question marks: by participants, the volume and source of funding, the economic model. So far there is nothing, we simply will not consider it, since the outcome of the discussion at the commission is the decision to allocate budget investments. And they can not be distinguished, if we doubt something.
The project for Sovgavan in the work, there are no tricks, we do not have quotas for projects from the regions, everything goes according to the degree of readiness.
The same problem with the consideration of the expansion project of the Khabarovsk airport for the participation in it of the Fund for the Development of the Far East. There, too, you just need to prepare everything. While investors have questions, we do not do this work for them. Moreover, we have everything in order with competition, the projects are quite enough. Still about 20 projects now lies in a high-capacity basket.

- ("Russia") Last year you were on the Shantar Islands, they made a great impression on you - as well as on everyone who happens there. Given the trend, is it worth making a tourist Mecca on the Shantar Islands, preserving the unique ecosystem that exists there, this will attract tourists to the Far East?
- First of all, you are absolutely right: the unique nature in the Far East. Here is where to rest, where to explore our country, get an unforgettable experience. Last year, when I had the opportunity, I traveled in one of the subjects of the Far East. We made a decision to create a territory of advanced development of tourist-recreational type in Kamchatka, because there God himself ordered. As for the Shantar Islands, there are people who suffer from their development, they appealed to me, I helped them to move administratively. As far as I know, they have begun work, we will continue to help them - like any applicants who want to do something to develop our ability to get to know the Far East. But to some larger form, to the creation of TOR, this project has not yet grown, although it may be growing.
I would like to emphasize one simple thing. We have this kind of thinking very paternalistic, we believe that the state should create everything to continue working. I honestly have absolutely the opposite approach to this. I am sure that the state should help people. It is a structure that is created so that people can more easily realize their needs. Therefore, we do not create investment projects for anyone. We do not invent them. We say: colleagues, everyone who wants to work, who has ideas, please come, let's look together, than we can help you.

- ("Russia") The next question concerns the fate of the largest in the Far East metallurgical enterprise "Amurmetal". Next week there are tenders, trades are already going down. Do you think, maybe it makes sense to intervene with the state? And then private traders will disassemble such a powerful giant in pieces?
- Let me see it as your task rather than as a question - in that part that I did not deal with the problem of Amurmetal. If you think I need to see what is happening there, I will see.

- (TASS) Agreements have been created, agreements have been signed, resolutions have been issued on three TORs. There's a huge number of projects, but when you look at each one in particular, you see that those investors who claim are counting not so much on their own funds as on the funds, attracted from banks, development institutions. How realistic is this attraction in the current conditions?
- Absolutely real. Moreover, I want to emphasize one simple thing. First, almost all organizations use attracted finance when implementing investment projects. This is a worldwide practice, and in Russia everything works that way. The situation when the investor has so much money that he took everything from his pocket and invested in the project is extremely rare. Usually, some part is invested by own funds, the rest is funds raised. This is an absolutely normal practice. Second: we do not consider projects in which there are uncertainties, let's say, with sources of financing. As a rule, the people who come to us with the projects have already agreed with the banks, have already signed the necessary agreements that they will receive these funds. And the third is very important: what you are talking about as private investment in TOR, is actually the volume of anchor guarantees, and no more. What is TOP? This is a platform where, due to high investment demand, we believe that a new venture will definitely arise. In order to create an infrastructure there and not make a mistake, not to invest in an empty space, we are looking for anchor investors - two or three who say they will work. We are absolutely sure that in the overwhelming number of TORs this is only anchor investment. As soon as the infrastructure is created, we will attract more investments, and this is just the beginning. This entire system is thought out so that we do not have empty TOR, so that they all work.

- ("Vostok-Media ») This year, the Vladivostok site was chosen for the WEF, is it possible to consider participation of other sites of the Far Eastern Federal District, including the Khabarovsk Territory, at least as additional sites?
- Yes, I already received, let's say, reproaches, why Vladivostok? We will not change the venue of the WEF, because, on the contrary, we want to make it traditional, hold it regularly, because the task of developing the Far East is for a long time. What we are in a hurry to begin with does not mean that we do not understand that this is the way for many years. We need to work hard, build communication with investors, listen to their comments. It should be one area - and they should get used to this place, and we need to learn how to hold a forum. Now we are doing everything to make the first "pancake" turned out. We will certainly make a survey of the WEF participants, find out what we liked or did not like, which sessions were the deepest, which moderators conducted the discussion in fact, knew the topic, and what were not prepared, which was done well organizationally. Then we draw conclusions, make the next forum better than the previous one. To begin now to jump on platforms is to lose an audience. With all my sincere respect for all subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District, I must say a simple thing - there is no longer such a base as the Far Eastern Federal University. It is unique. Even a simple thing is absolutely - we can provide accommodation and work for all participants on one site, do not carry them around the city, do not block traffic - it's worth a lot.

- (Khabarovsk Territory Today) You mentioned in the forest topic that people are giving up state support, too complicated a system of control and management. Are there any concerns that something like this will happen to the TORs - are not there many agencies, managers of companies, funds?
- No, I am absolutely sure that we will not step into this puddle. Firstly, because every day we listen to the reaction, we are constantly in the Far East, we meet with business, the leadership of the regions. Those principles, the violation of which has led to the fact that regional investment projects are not working so far, the institute of state support for forest projects does not work well for me. Therefore, I will not allow the same violations in my segment of responsibility. You cannot offer any services, measures of assistance, linking them with the whole complex system of subjective decisions of officials. It is perfectly clear what is happening here is what kind of story, if there is a long list, and you need to correspond to this and that: then the prosecutor’s office comes and says, but now let's see, satisfy? Do not satisfy - prison you home. And after a certain amount of time, businessmen say: Listen, we don’t need help, we are somehow on our knees, but I want to live with families, free. There is nothing like this in the TOR management system. We specifically, when creating regulatory acts, cleaned all possible subjectivism there. To avoid such that someone came to the government or the Ministry of Development of the Far East and said: this is the TOP is good, and this is bad. There is no such mechanism.
There are many organizations that we want to create, but they are all very specialized in tasks. For example, the Corporation for Development of the Far East was established for management. A lot of questions have been asked: will you manage business through it? We will not. We will manage all public services necessary for this business. The business will have “one window”, well, it will have to look for Rosreestr to get a land plot, municipal authorities, Rosprirodnadzor and so on. This is a reduction and simplification of procedures, and not a complication.
Other structures that you mentioned really exist. For example, we plan to create a separate agency, which should deal, as a matter of fact, with advertising promotion of all TOP. What we are doing now is a big part of the work of this agency. But for the time being we are proceeding from the fact that we need to convey information to every potential investor. I communicate quite a lot with investors, mostly, naturally, with Russian ones. I can say this: we have large Russian companies that know almost nothing about changes in legislation. You meet with them, they say: what is it already working, already accepted? To say that the companies of Singapore, Korea, Japan, China know about us are much less. Therefore, we must convey. We are competing for attracting investment, for creating new industries, and for this we will know what our regimes should be our neighbors.

- (Khabarovsk Territory Today) I would like to clarify more on the Sovgavan-Vaninsky site. There, in my opinion, everyone is already confused about what will be there: either TOSED or PSEZ. What will be there, there is some kind of understanding?
- There is. There is such a story. There was a long way to design the SEZ. Moreover, this SEZ has already been allocated funds - 3 billion rubles. And this way is passed, though for a long time, the question at the decision-making stage. The territory of advanced development we create much faster than the SEZ, and in the TOP more preferences, just preferential treatment there is more profitable for enterprises. Therefore, we discussed with Vyacheslav Ivanovich (Shport). He says: we have already prepared everything, we have money allocated. I say: the regime is better there. He says: but you can still, we want this money to come to the destination. You are welcome. We will support the creation of the SEZ, this is the choice of the region's leadership, we will not impose anything. If the region believes that it is possible to follow the path of the SEZ - there will be SEZ. The main thing for us is that the business should be provided with the most comfortable conditions for a quick start.

- ("Interfax") I would like to ask about the possible volumes and terms of participation of the Far East Development Fund in the project of upgrading the Khabarovsk airport, but now I understand your words, that the investor is hesitating and has not yet decided on the fact of his participation?
- There are difficulties with negotiations with a foreign investor, they are not the only ones entering the project. Therefore, the question is not exactly on our site. This issue is still an arrangement within the foundation. We are waiting for this project, we hope that it will be debugged. If the help is needed in order to create it sooner, it is ready to deal with it with VI, but so far there are negotiations between investors.

("Kommersant") Continuing this question. The Fund recently received the first three agreed projects. In the portfolio, they say, they are about 10, even closer to 15. Will this mechanism really work for the WEF?
- Oh sure. It was such a categorical condition. You know, unfortunately, some bureaucratic procedures last longer than we would like. The fund was created poorly. In its preparation, people came up with redundant administrative barriers, seemingly out of good intentions, so that money would not go anywhere. They, in fact, did not go anywhere - stayed in place for four years. Therefore, I had to change the system, all the leadership. But when we did all this, we helped in this much, the fund itself could not cope with this - the decision had to be taken at the government level, Dmitriy Anatolyevich Medvedev addressed repeatedly, he helped. The condition was very simple. We said: Colleagues, this year you have to spend half of the fund's capital, 7,5 billion rubles, and the first projects should be accepted to the WEF. We can not go out to the forum and tell investors that we will soon start working, because "soon we will start working" said four years. It is unacceptable. If you do not have time, once again say that "soon", consider it your own professional incompetence. The fund knows this very well, works within this framework. Three projects he must take before the WEF, and in general invest half of the authorized capital. And then we have the following task, perhaps more complicated than just launching - this is capitalization through new projects. To fund received funds for new investments and became a real, serious tool.
The fund is very necessary. There are a lot of projects that are needed, but sometimes because of the lack of very little money, they are not implemented. Today, at a meeting on forest, for example, such a project in the field of seed farming, on valuable forest species, was called in the JAR. There money is necessary, in my opinion, 290 million rubles. What, big money to help develop forestry in the Far East? Can the foundation provide it? Easy. It is only necessary to figure out how the repayment of funds will be ensured and calculate the project.

- (Kommersant) You can clarify, on the recapitalization - meaning the proposed mechanism for the redistribution of taxes from new earned projects?
- Oh sure. This is a mechanism supported by President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, and this is an honest, understandable, transparent mechanism. We are working on launching new projects all together - business, regional authorities and the federal government. Do we have the right to reinvest part of the received budgetary profit for the development of the Far East? I think this is an understandable and very good incentive.

- (RIA News") The head of the company "Karat" previously stated that Russia and China want to create an exchange for the trade in diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones. Do you know anything about this project? Do you think this is relevant?
- You know, my desire that we in Russia increased the processing of stones, there was a trading platform for the sale of diamonds mined in our Far East, was, is and remains unchanged. Despite the fact that someone criticizes, it's their problems, I think it's right. Another conversation is that each sphere has its own technology of business. Here you can not rush. If we can say to the foundation as the state structure, here's the task for you, dear ones, you exist for this, you will continue to eat up salaries, not benefiting the economies, we'll fire you. This is normal. But companies need a little differently. Despite the fact that there we have large companies with state participation, it is always a separate economic organism. Command it without taking into account the specifics of the work is impossible - you will break. We expressed this as a wish. This is perceived by the company's management positively, they are working in this direction. But to set them a task, for example, to make a trading platform for 1 January - I do not consider this to be correct. We will help, monitor the negotiations, that they do not trample on the spot. Whatever we say - fish, timber, minerals - the more we process in Russia, the more jobs we have, the more we are stable in the crisis, the more the economy of Russia. These are major advantages, if we do not learn how to use them, it will be very difficult to be prosperous.

(RIA News") Did you talk about the Karat company or ALROSA?
- About the industry. We will welcome everything related to the increase in the degree of processing. Will sell - well, granite - wonderful, create the final product, ornaments - even better.

(RIA News") And it was also expressed as an idea to create a diamond exchange. In Khabarovsk.
- Let's do that. We will not command companies, as I said. They are now preparing proposals, where, what place will choose. Here we listen to what they offer, then we decide.

(TASS) Again returning to the TOP - what are the plans for the creation of subsequent TOPs, what kind of specialization will they be, how many can be launched before the end of the year?
- We, let's say, have already practically accepted nine territories - they passed a government subcommittee. I do not think that we will go far beyond this figure this year. It is possible to create another three or five TOPs by the end of the year, hardly more. It seems to me that here we need to focus now not on quantity, but on effectiveness. It is necessary to ensure that every TOP, on which the government has decided, began to work. In order to build an infrastructure on all sites, and effectively, without delaying the deadlines. It seems to me that this is a matter of principle. If we now create another 10, 20 TOP, it can happen so that we simply do not have enough human resources to run them at the same time. Namely, the quality and efficiency of this tool at the beginning is the determining factor. If we now start well, and I'm sure that there are all the possibilities for this, then the tool can be multiplied further. If we now run after all the hares at the same time, we may accidentally catch no one.

(The Khabarovsk Territory asks about the cooperation between the regions and the competition between the regions on the example of the recent situation on the Vanino-Kholmsk ferry and others. "There is a system problem - this is the quality of the work of individual officials," Yuri Petrovich replies).
- I made a report to the president, said that I consider it expedient to extend the regime of the free port to other ports of the Far East. He said - well. I hope my colleagues in the government support me, we are organizing this work now. If this happens, it is also a very powerful impetus for development. So, step by step, increasing the pace, we will ensure that the Far East moves faster. If you know any other recipes, we will listen with pleasure and think together. But we need measures that will be effective: it is impossible to create TOPs that are overgrown with weeds, you can not put a free port on the signboard, behind which there will be broken berths and drowned ships - this is impossible. I myself when it came out with this proposal - to expand the regime of the free port - but there are still plenty of things to worry about. The supervisory board of the free seaport of Vladivostok, I will lead myself. I can not say that it was such a thirst for ambition that I was overcome. I understand perfectly well how big this extra work is. With me, no one takes responsibility for the development of all industries, but I will need to find the time to solve all problems. I understand, this is a new product, this regime in Russia did not work in recent years. We must start it, solve all possible contradictions with the authorities, solve all the problems that the business will put up. But you need to figure out who will take up all the other ports - I'm definitely not going to do it - at the subject and federation level.
I will say a very simple thing. So we created these shells, not so little: we created a law on TOR, a mechanism to support investment projects, a law on free port, now the law on the allocation of free land in the Far East is being finalized. Legislative support is more or less moving. But a lot of work has to be done to make all this legislation work.

(Interfax) I would like to return to the topic of overcoming water barriers. Our neighbors in the EAO are building the Nizhneleninsk-Tongjiang bridge. The Chinese promise to finish their part in October, our unit has not been started. Did not the government consider a radical solution to the issue?
- We have already decided this issue radically. A decision was made to finance this facility at the expense of the Fund for the Development of the Far East and the Russian Direct Investment Fund. A meeting of the subcommittee was held five days ago in Moscow. This decision has already been taken, the work will be started this year. All questions are removed.

("Interfax ") And what can you say about the timing?
"Look, there's money. Therefore, this question is purely technological. As far as I know, there are issues of pairing projects, combining general contractors, so that it does not happen that one bridge is built in one point, and the second part in another. There must be a single project. Once we have a complete understanding of the project, the time frame will also be clear. This will come only from the terms of the work of government organizations. There should be no other delays.

(Kommersant) When foreign investors become familiar with the TOP regime, they have two questions that are associated with the use of the word "long." First, they ask why the regulatory framework is being introduced for a long time, although the president said this at the end of 2013, and second, there are concerns about how long this system will last. It is clear that a base can be laid as with the Sovgavan SEZ, there is standardization for five years, nothing is done, and the question is this - in the context of difficult economy and budget constraints, what guarantees are there that the Far East is called a priority and will remain a priority in, let's say, summary paintings of the Ministry of Finance?
- Answering the first part of the question, I do not agree with you. Because the regulatory framework is not done for a long time - it is done faster than the deadlines set by the government. Moreover, we made the normative base in parallel with the development of the law. And after the adoption of the law, that part of the regulatory regulation that was previously impossible to do is carried out, because some forks were not understood. Everything is compact there. And the fact that ... Listen, well, the intensive work on the preparation of the law was started this year, this year it was adopted, and in the same year the normative documentation was adopted, we have already approved nine TORs, and, I apologize, there are already construction works there by the end of the year On the sites begin. This is a good pace. If everything were done at such a pace, we would live very well, believe me.
As for the issues related to how we will look in the corresponding line of the federation budget. You know, the guarantees are very simple. Russian President Vladimir Putin always has words and deeds. And this is absolutely in this case, the concrete is an example. He declared the development of the Far East a national priority. After that, all this work was reorganized, and then the Ministry of Finance brought to us a reduction, in my opinion, interest on 37. I talked to the minister, he told me how hard it is to live. I collected all these papers and asked Vladimir Vladimirovich to accept us. There was a meeting under the leadership of the President, attended by me, the Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Minister of Finance. The meeting lasted about 15 minutes, after which Vladimir Vladimirovich said: The Far East should not be cut. All. Therefore, it does not change its position, it remains a state priority, and this is the main guarantee that the Far East will continue to develop.

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