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The team of Galushka is a punchy character and great prospects
Saito DaisukeSenior Researcher, Institute of Economic Research, Japan Association for Trade with Russia and the Newly Independent States (ROTOBO)
An unprecedented superzone is being created in the Russian Far East, which should stimulate the economic development of the region by attracting domestic and foreign manufacturers. This "maneuver" was resorted to by the Putin government, which had previously shown the effectiveness of such decisions on the example of the APEC summit. At first, both the population of the region and business were skeptical about this maneuver, but thanks to the active work and the punchy character of the “Galushka team”, their skepticism was replaced by hope.
But let's think about it. What is in the Far East of Russia besides the abundance of natural resources? Serious personnel problems associated with the difficulty of attracting skilled workers. The tricky system of payment for utilities (besides relatively expensive). Enumerate the disadvantages of the business environment in the Far East can be long. When enterprises with foreign capital require an abundance of labor with low wages, they transfer their main production to China and Southeast Asia. Can the Far East change and compete with these countries?
All over the world, people who have been working for a long time already have less power to change something than active young people. This is a common phenomenon for all countries. But in the case of the Far East, the situation is a bit more complicated. Due to the small number of people and the shortage of promising workers, rotation of staff is rather meager. This is because there are not so many organizations that are able to adjust to the new order of things.
The forces that can change something, have young and active people. They have no obstacles, no chilling past. In all epochs of change, it was youth that gave birth. Just as many innovations are introduced by young startups, so the power that can change the Far East comes from young people, for whom barriers do not exist.
From the former Minister for the Development of the Far East, Viktor Ishayev and the then leadership of the regions did not come up with any new ideas. After all, the changes are closely connected with the denial of the past, and the leaders of that time were not ready for this.
A new generation encourages the Far East to develop
The main highlight of the project for creating territories of socio-economic advanced development (TOR) in the Far East is a team of 30-40 years old specialists, headed by the Minister for Development of the Far East, Alexander Galushka. The members of the "Galushki team" have such an active and assertive character, which is not characteristic of an ordinary Russian. On their own initiative, they developed the concept of creating a TOP in October last year. Less than a year later, the draft law on the establishment of the TOP was submitted to the government for consideration. The fact that the team at the same time quickly managed to overcome "resistance" from the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development and other similar structures, as well as partial resistance of regional organizations, is the merit of Galushka's team. A team that is fully focused on achieving our goals, regardless of any obstacles. This vigorous activity became the driving force that led to a real breakthrough and imperceptibly turned into a new support for the development of the Russian Far East.
Among the most notable members of the Galushka team is his deputy, Maxim Shereykin, on whose account are extensive achievements in attracting foreign capital to the Kaluga Region. Mr. Shereykin brought together a team of young people who have extensive experience in the field of business. They have an incredibly well-coordinated team. They have a delicacy, which is often lacking for representatives of the older generation of Russians. And if they are instructed to attract investments, then they take up the matter with all the zeal and demonstrate an ardent desire to implement the TOP project, using all their activity and assertiveness. And when you see it, willy-nilly, there is a desire to help them with it.
One of the members of this team is the “face of the region”, Albert Rakipov, who is responsible for finalizing the project for creating a TOP. He is the Deputy Director of the Department for Attracting Investments, Export Support and Foreign Economic Activity of the Ministry of Development of the Far East, and, more importantly, the right-hand man of Maxim Shereykin. Mr. Rakipov has a decade of experience working in banks with foreign capital behind him. Talking to him, you are surprised at his diplomacy, which you rarely find in an ordinary Russian. He perfectly knows business etiquette, speaks in essence, so it is simply impossible to experience negative emotions from a conversation with him. Director of the Department of Advanced Development Areas and Infrastructure Rustam Makarov, Mr. Sidorenko and other team members speak fluent English; they understand how difficult it is to do business in the Far East, and that the reason foreign capital does not come to Russia is in Russia itself. In fact, when looking at the whole team of Alexander Galushka and their style of work, there is confidence: "This time everything is serious."
Their position is to strive to make every effort to improve the situation in the Far East; although at some points there has already been noticeable progress. They want to learn from examples of foreign countries. And that's fine. It's surprising how courageously they perceive and with what intensity they respond to unfriendly attacks by the Ministry of Finance and other similar structures that are losing money and power due to the effectiveness of capital raising measures in the Far East. And when Maxim Shereykin modestly addressed representatives of Japanese enterprises with the words: "We understand that our special economic zone is not yet perfect, but we will certainly take into account your wishes and will try our best to create a favorable climate for business and investment here," I was Extremely amazed.
Alexander Galushka is engaged in the development of the Far East, prompting the region to move forward. At first, I had doubts about how well the process would go, but now they were replaced by a feeling of confident hope. Territories of advanced development are so far only projects, none of which has been realized yet, so what will happen next is unknown. And yet, in my opinion, in the project developed by a young team of Alexander Galushka, you can participate. Whatever you say, in the realm of the prospects for the development of the Far East, a fresh wind has blossomed, and letting it incarnate into something concrete means contributing to the creation of a new image of the region.
Activity and pressure will help the development of the Far East
For what would a man for the first time took up, with whatever new challenge he faced - he will necessarily be tormented by anxiety. Even if the bill on creating TOPs is adopted without changes, will the investors come to the region? Will the fate of the Special Economic Zone in Sovetskaya Gavan, which arose in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, fail to comprehend the new economic policy? Or, to put it bluntly, will not the project of creating TOP be just a cunning game of Moscow? Probably, just in order to dispel these fears, the new structure rushed from the very beginning to create the most open. But at the same time, even on the run, they have time to reflect. It's just awesome. And inside begins to seethe curiosity: how will things develop further?
Of course, if we take into account the economy and the population of the Russian Far East, and also the fact that it is not easy to make profit in a region that is torn away from Moscow by as much as 10 thousand kilometers, it becomes clear that the Far East is not the place where the team Galushki will be able to win with a swoop.
Previous Minister of Development of the Far East Viktor Ishaev insisted that in order to stimulate the development of the region entrusted to him, he needs special powers. At one time he even demanded to give him power comparable to that of the head of an independent state. As a result of such demands, cardinal personnel reshuffles began, accompanied by a redistribution of powers. It may have somehow affected the situation, but in any case - as a result, Viktor Ishayev's stormy activity as Minister has subsided considerably.
Today, both in the choice of the region for a special economic zone, and in an attractive tax system - all this feels a new mentality, a new approach. I'll venture to assume that now in the structures working in the Far East, there are many who are dissatisfied with the activities of the Galushka team. This is recognized in the Ministry of Development of the Far East. But when the TOR project starts, and Russian and foreign enterprises are drawn into the region, the attitude towards the Galushka team will change.
I personally looked at the work of Alexander Galushka's team, and it seemed to me serious. They face the difficult task of creating a superzone in the Far East and attracting domestic and foreign investments. The team is working cheerfully, step by step bringing the project closer to implementation. It is the activity and pressure of its participants that contribute to the development of the Far East. Judging by these young people, the Russian Far East, although a difficult job, still has many important factors that can attract investment. Talking with members of this team, carefully analyzing their messages, I feel that times have changed.
But on the other hand, perhaps the Japanese enterprises that these young people are hoping for have also changed. Maybe this is just my impression, but it seems that the active work of thought in them has stopped. At a time when the Russian Far East is ready to change, maybe Japan will have enough spirit to react accordingly? That's what I was thinking about, returning to Vladivostok after the end of the Presentation of investment opportunities at promising sites in the Far East.
Published in the magazine ROTOBO