Model range: interview with Ivan Fedotov, the Director of AIRR, for Rossiyskaya Gazeta
The Director of AIRR unveiled to Rossiyskaya Gazeta what regions managed to introduce their own investment models and launch some new productions.
According to Rosstat, in the first quarter of 2016 investment into fixed capital in the territorial subjects of the Russian Federation were reduced in comparison with the same period of the previous year almost by five percent and made 2,1 trillion rubles. Ivan Fedotov, the Director of Association of Innovative Regions of Russia, explained to Rossiyskaya Gazeta how some regions manage not only to keep afloat but also to attract some foreign investors.
Ivan Vladimirovich, why are investments cut?
Ivan Fedotov: Last year we observed the most considerable for the last 15 years in the global economy capital outflow from the emerging markets, according to IMF, it exceeded 730 billion dollars. Russia was not an exception, and in the conditions of deceleration in growth of the Chinese economy, slowdown in the global trade, recession of the prices of resources and general destabilization, the international investors preferred hedging. Thus, the global environment formed an adverse background for investments into the Russian economy. At the same time internal Russian economic conditions − weakening of the ruble, import substitution policy and active work on improvement of investment climate (including creation of SEZ and development of special investment contracts (SIС) − allow saying that is the conditions for capital inflow into Russia are the most favorable right now. It concerns both portfolio and direct investments in production − new plants are actively opened in the regions, large infrastructure projects are created.
Can you give some examples of successful models for investment-driven development in the regions?
Ivan Fedotov: The Republic of Tatarstan can be called the most successful based on all its indicators. For 2015 the volume of investment inflow in the Republic from abroad made nearly 816,7 million dollars. It is 48% more in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year. At the beginning of 2016 the companies based in the region accumulated more than 2,6 billion dollars of foreign investments.
The largest trade partners of Tatarstan are the Netherlands (23,7% of the total amount of export), Poland (9,4%), Germany (6,3%), India (4,9%), etc.
What other regions manage to attract large investors to their territories?
Ivan Fedotov: The investment model of the Ulyanovsk region is curious. It moves on the following trajectory: starting from attraction of foreign investors with assembly productions, then moving to localization, formation and expansion of production of components and services in the cluster system, and, finally, emphasizing the development of technology entrepreneurship, creation of innovations inside the region. In the long term it will allow creating unique advanced products able to be competitive in the new markets.
A continuous evolution of administrative system based on development institutions is observed here. The Ulyanovsk region acted as investor itself, having made budgetary funds in creation of its infrastructure, in financing of development institutions and investment climate improvement. Development Corporation spent about 450 million rubles for these purposes.
The created infrastructure could spark the interest of serious investors, the leaders of the market. 16 large investors with investment volume making 25 billion rubles and planning to create 3 thousand jobs came to the area in 2015 only. The Ulyanovsk region managed to attract the Japanese Isuzu starting with SKD-assembly of trucks. Then the foreigners involved their Japanese component industries.
But finally, a seemingly solely foreign story turned into an integrated automotive cluster in partnership with domestic UAZ.
What is the experience of Kaluga remarkable for?
Ivan Fedotov: The Kaluga region became a role model for many territories long ago. The region has a well-established balanced system of development institutions assisting almost all investment projects implemented.
It all started with the anchor investor − Volkswagen, then in 2007 there was a Development Corporation of the Kaluga region, that got involved in the infrastructure of development territories and financing of projects with attraction of proceeds of credit under the guarantees of regional government. At first the area lacked its own means. The partnership with VEB predetermined the starting success of the Kaluga model in many respects. Today the area provides to investors a package of privileges including profit tax relief depending on the volume of their investment.
In total from 2008 to 2016 the Corporation has invested 14,3 billion rubles in infrastructure development projects for industrial parks of the region. Following the results of last year its net asset value made 4,8 billion rubles, this is more than its authorized capital (3,9 billion rubles). Liquidity ratios exceed the standard values.
At the same time the Government of the Kaluga region moved beyond the creation of automotive cluster. The region has gradually built its pharmaceutical, agro-industrial, transport, logistic and aerospace clusters. Such diversification supported the region’s economy during the crisis which very painfully struck exactly at vehicle production. Investors were attracted following past practices thanks to the fine-tuned management model.
It is extremely important that in the Kaluga region investors are not divided into Russian and foreign ones − all of them have equal conditions. But what’s curious: from 18 new investment projects which entered the register of the Ministry of Economic Development of the region in 2015, 70% are the Russian companies. For reference: five years ago the share of domestic projects made only 43%.
If we consider the map of Russia beyond the Urals, then we can mark Tyumen. For several years in the territory of the Tyumen region have been launched 5 large companies with participation of foreign capital. In 2016 the opening of the second turn of DynaEnergetics plant in the Nizhnetavdinsky district is planned. Meanwhile the innovative solutions of the InTekh company are successfully exported in the market of Serbia.
In what sphere innovations take root most rapidly?
Ivan Fedotov: If defense industry complex is not considered, then the shortest chain for introduction of innovations is traditionally in the petrochemical industry, in the fuel and energy complex.
Innovations are also frequent in the industry. Moreover, one of the highest rates of innovative goods share and services in the total amount of the shipped goods constantly belongs to the iron and steel industry. So, for instance, across the Lipetsk region this indicator makes nearly 16%.
The source: Rossiyskaya Gazeta