Deputy Governor Andrey Antonov talked about the recent economic trends discussed at the XII Sochi International Investment Forum – Sochi 2013.
Attracting investments to Russian regions became the main topic for discussion at the most Southern and one of the most representational forums for government and businesses in Russia. A record number of 9.000 participants from almost 30 countries were looking for new approaches and milestones for Russian economic development.
Regional law on government support of investments to be updated
“Path toward the new economy can only be ensured by moving away from the policy of keeping employment rate at any cost – layoffs of some inefficient work places will be inevitable. Implementation of the objective set by the President in May, which is to create highly efficient work-places, will potentially lead to the growth of unemployment.
It makes sense to review the law on government support of investments passed back in our region in 2003. Now it has to promote not just the new additional work places in the region, but work efficiency and productivity, technology retooling, take into account the new economic paradigm.
For instance, having installed automated lines in processing industry, we see the growth of profit, but the need for new employees is decreasing. Hence, the productivity and efficiency are on the rise while the number of employees has not changed. Previously such companies wouldn’t be taken into attention by the regional government, since they don’t meet the 11 criteria needed to create new work places. Today, this situation needs to be changed,” – Andrey Antonov is convinced.
Investors to the regions
“Today investors don’t know any regions [of Russia] outside the Golden Ring and don’t want to operate there due to insufficient infrastructure – transport, utility-wise etc.
Therefore, the main question on our agenda in Sochi is increasing awareness of the investors about the advantages of the regions and current projects.
Private-public partnership projects have an important role in this respect. Tomsk region is prepared for such path of development – a regional law on private-public partnership was passed, a Project Management Center for important investment initiatives was created mutually with Gazprombank and Russian Academy of Agriculture”.
Main investment agency of Russia
“Another important result of the Sochi Forum is the announcement of Russian Agency on attracting investment to the regions to be formed. This is particularly important for us since the idea was developed during the Development Institutes Forum in Yekaterinburg back in March, 2013, with participation of Tomsk region delegates, Strategic Initiatives Agency and Delovaya Rossia business association.
There are two reasons for this Agency to exist. First, different development institutes have different requirements for investment projects, which increases the time needed to get an approval for implementation.
Today we need to streamline investments to the region. But the main difficulty is to launch an investment project – it takes up to 1.5 or 2 years to prepare the design estimate documentation since the projects are very long-term and large-scale.
Standard requirements, single standard for regional investment projects, accumulating information about them on Federal level in one institution seem to be the solution here”.