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EastRussia: Business Portrait of the Far East on the Eve of the Eastern Economic Forum - EastRussia |

Irkutsk
Ulan-Ude

Blagoveshchensk
Chita
Yakutsk

Birobidzhan
Vladivostok
Khabarovsk

Magadan
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk

Anadyr
Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
Moscow

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Business portrait of the Far East

Expert EastRussia Rostislav Turovsky - on the new economic policy in the region

The Far East today is a promising territory and at the same time a territory of internal contrasts. Expert EastRussia Rostislav Turovsky analyzed the investment potential of the region

Business portrait of the Far East
Special project TORA and Free Port
Assessment of the business and investment climate

In 2014, the volume of investments in fixed assets in the Far Eastern Federal District amounted to 820 billion rubles, exceeding the 2013 indicator of the year (814 billion rubles).

In the 2014, the share of funds from the federal budget decreased to 15,1% in investments, but it is still high enough in relation to the all-Russian indicator (8,6%), and in 2013, the figure was even higher - 19,3% (nationwide figure - 9,8%) . The main volumes of investments are now being received in the Far East in major raw materials and infrastructure projects implemented by state and private companies. The Far East is one of the priorities for such leading state corporations as Rosneft, Gazprom, Transneft, RusHydro, etc. At the same time, the task of using private business more actively is put and gradually begins to be solved by creating preferential tax regimes .

If we talk about foreign investments in fixed assets, their volume is not yet high and amounts to about 20% in total. Probably, the investment attractiveness of the region for foreign companies is negatively affected by the geographic features of the Far East, namely, the combination of large uninhabited territories with underdeveloped infrastructure and difficult climatic conditions. These factors increase the costs for investment in fixed assets, labor, transportation costs, etc. At the same time, the huge resource potential of the region can not but interest foreign investors. In Russia in 2013, the Far East accounted for about 9,22% of all foreign direct investment (FDI) of the country (previously 11,64% and 17,31% in 2012 and 2011, respectively), which is generally a good indicator. Concerning FDI in the Far East, it is also worth noting some important features.

First, the inflow of foreign direct investment is unevenly distributed among the regions of the Far East and shows unstable dynamics. The Sakhalin Region stands out, which in terms of foreign direct investment has been a leader in the Far East since the beginning 2000-x (Its share reached 96,41% in 2005 year), in 2011 the share of this region was 70%, and in 2013 significantly decreased to 40%. The Sakhalin region is the most prominent region of the Far East and other parameters of the investment climate. For example, in terms of the volume of investment in fixed assets per capita, the Sakhalin region is in the lead not only among the regions of the Far East, but also 4-e place in the country with the index 429,47 thousand rubles per capita. The Sakhalin region also has the largest budget surplus among all the constituent entities of the Russian Federation (15,7% in 2014), while all other regions of the Far East (like most Russian) have a deficit.

Secondly, FDI is mainly concentrated in the field of mining. In particular, the implementation of oil and gas projects in the Sakhalin region for a long time provided virtually the entire amount of foreign direct investment in the Far East. In general, the direction of investment investment tends to diversify. For example, in the Primorsky Territory for the first time in history, the automotive industry is developing, namely, the production of Sollers-DV was created.

Thus, investment processes in the Far East are contradictory. On the one hand, it is necessary to reduce the presence of the state and increase the inflow of FDI, and on the other hand, it cannot be done by the regions themselves, without federal support. Probably, in the near future it is impossible to achieve uniform development of all regions of the Far East, but in any case, the emergence of individual growth points will stimulate business activity in the entire macroregion.

Key markets and external trade turnover

Unlike the unstable investment process, the Far East is characterized by a fairly stable picture of foreign trade turnover, as well as the configuration of permanent trading partners abroad.

Last year, the FEF foreign trade turnover was expected to decrease (for the first time since 2008 of the year) and amounted to 39,01 billion US dollars, which is 2,6% less than in 2013 year. The negative dynamics is explained by the decrease in imports (by 12,8%), which is the result of the devaluation of the ruble, the increase in prices for imported goods (including due to the increase in customs duties linked to the euro), which, consequently, led to a decrease in consumer demand . Exports, on the contrary, increased (by 1,7%), but the difficult economic situation in the country slowed down the export growth rates.

The foreign trade turnover of the Far East is mainly connected with the states of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is due to the peculiarities of the geographic location of the region. The key counterparties are the Republic of Korea, China and Japan, these countries account for about 80% of the total foreign trade turnover of the Far East. The largest export partners in 2014 were the Republic of Korea (32,0%), Japan (29,7%) and China (19,1%), the import structure is represented by these same states, but in a different percentage. The leader is China with an import share of 45,1%, then Japan is 16,9% and the Republic of Korea is 10,6%.

Sakhalin Oblast, Primorsky Krai and Yakutia provide up to 90% of the total foreign trade turnover of the Far East. Before 2009, the Khabarovsk Territory was one of the top three, but its foreign trade turnover began to decline. As a result, the region moved to 4-e having missed Yakutia, which, on the contrary, continues to increase the growth rate of foreign trade turnover.

The Sakhalin region, which for the last 8 years has been the leader in terms of foreign trade turnover among other regions of the Far East (in 2014, its share was 46,14% or 18,0 billion dollars), mainly cooperates with Japan (43,4% of foreign trade turnover). The economy of Sakhalin has a pronounced export orientation. Recently, liquefied natural gas (LNG), produced as part of the Sakhalin-2 project, in which Gazprom, Shell and the Japanese companies Mitsui and Mitsubishi are participating, is one of the main export products of Sakhalin. Japan is the lead buyer for Sakhalin LNG. In 2014, Sakhalin's trade turnover with the Republic of Korea increased by 7,2 billion dollars (by 11,5%) due to the growth in exports of crude oil and coal, and this country now accounts for 40,2% of the total foreign trade turnover of the Sakhalin region. Sakhalin exports are mainly represented by products of the fuel and energy complex. (94-95%), Import - machinery and equipment, metals, which provide technological realization of oil and gas offshore projects on Sakhalin.

Primorsky Krai is in the Far East for many years in the second place in terms of foreign trade turnover, which in 2014 amounted to 12,9 billion US dollars or 29,48% of the total foreign trade turnover of the Far Eastern Federal District. The main trading partner of the Primorsky Territory is located across the border of China (51% of the total turnover).

The region, by virtue of its border and seaside geographical position, is distinguished by high rates of imports, which are significantly superior to exports. There is a particularly close cooperation of the region with the bordering Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, which is facilitated by the presence of ports and five checkpoints across the Russian border. Modernization of transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" will significantly reduce the cost of transportation costs and further increase the trade turnover between Russia and China, actually creating a single transport space. The cooperation of Primorsky Krai with the Republic of Korea and Japan - by 17% from each country.

The Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) took the third place in 2014 in terms of foreign trade turnover -5,1 billion dollars, or 13% of the DFO. The main export partner is Belgium (about 55% of the total foreign trade turnover), followed by India, China, Israel. Unlike Sakhalin and Primorsky Krai, the republic's exports to 2014. On 85,7% is represented by precious stones and precious metals, as in Yakutia there are the largest deposits of diamonds in Russia. It is not surprising in this regard that the bulk of the production goes to Belgium, where one of the world's largest diamond markets is located.

The Khabarovsk Territory is located at 4 place (its share is 5,7%) with the volume of foreign trade turnover of 2,2 billion US dollars. The positions of this region in foreign trade relations are variable due to the lack of reliable and guaranteed demand for the products it produces. However, the region in the past year showed the highest index of growth of foreign trade turnover - 124,8 2013% of the previous godu.Osnovnym largest export partner is China (84%), and the export structure is mainly represented by the wood and pulp and paper products (about 90% of total exports).

Regarding the foreign trade turnover of other regions, it is worth noting some features. The Amur Region exports ore, iron and titanium concentrates, timber, its main partner is China. The Magadan region cooperates more actively with the Republic of Korea (79,1% of exports), supplying mineral products (share - 66,8%), fish products (28,8%), food products and agricultural raw materials (29,2%). Special specialization of this region in the foreign market are silver and gold.

Fish products (97%) prevail in the export of Kamchatka Krai, the main trading partners are the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, the USA. Chukotka also exports mainly fish products (about 85% of turnover), the main partners are the Republic of Korea, China, and the USA.

Foreign trade cooperation of the Jewish Autonomous Region is almost entirely (in 2014, 94,5%) is focused on China. The commodity range of exports of the Jewish Autonomous Region by 71,5% consists of wood and 23,2% of soy.

Thus, the import structure varies from region to region insignificantly and is represented mainly by machinery and equipment, metals. A significant part of imports passes through Primorsky Krai, and China is the main supplier. The structure of exports has its own characteristics from region to region, the main sales markets are the Republic of Korea, Japan and China. In the future, we can expect an increase in the diversification of the Far Eastern export products, and in particular of its lagging regions. This is due to the launch of new raw materials projects, in particular - for the extraction of coal, iron ore, gold, etc.


Human Resources

The implementation of large projects is impossible without adequate labor supply. In the Far East, at the moment there is a question of attracting qualified workers, as there is a shortage of personnel. This is due to the peculiarities of the organization of the labor market in the region, which are largely determined by its geographic location and the current all-Russian peculiarities of social development.

С 90-x The population of the Far East decreased by 1,8 million people, the largest population losses were incurred by the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the Kamchatka Territory, Magadan and Sakhalin Oblasts, about 49% of the decrease was given by these most remote regions.

First, the Far Eastern regions did not bypass the all-Russian trend of population depopulation. Although in 2014 the birth rate in the Far East exceeded the death rate for 9334, one can not speak of a stable positive trend. The birth rate actually in 2014 was higher (14,1) than in 2013 (13,9), but this difference is negligible. At the same time, the values ​​for subjects are not deviated very strongly (exceptions: Yakutia with an increased value of 17,8% and a low value of the Magadan region - 12,2).

Over the past years, mainly due to Yakutia in the DFO, the natural population growth rate takes a positive value (+ 1,5). At the same time, it is important to note that the birth rate in the DFO now exceeds the same Russian indicator, which is equal to 13,3. Therefore, you can still talk about the prospects for population growth by increasing the birth rate.

Secondly, the problem of migration outflow of the population (especially able-bodied) to other regions of Russia is even more acute, it accounts for about 84% of the total reduction in the population of the Far East over 20 years. The value of migration loss changes every year, then increasing, then decreasing, but at the same time the migration balance always remains negative. In 2014, it was 24 752 people. The migration balance has a negative value for all regions, which has become a stable trend in recent years. In 2014, the outflow of the population increased from the Sakhalin Oblast and from the Kamchatka Territory; other regions showed a decrease in the migration outflow, but not less than 90% compared to the previous year. To change this negative trend has not yet succeeded.

At the same time, the region does not experience problems with the training of professional staff. In total, 44 universities and 80 branches operate in the Far East, and the Khabarovsk Territory (14 HIGH SCHOOLS and 12 branches), Primorsky Krai (10 HIGH SCHOOLS and 26 branches) and Yakutia (7 HIGH SCHOOLS and 13 branches) can act as educational centers of the region. Particularly distinguished are the Far Eastern and North-Eastern Federal Universities (included in the top ten federal universities established in Russia) located in Primorsky Krai and Yakutia respectively. Higher educational institutions offer a wide range of educational programs (totaling about 300 specializations) in areas in demand for the region related to Sea transport, fisheries, mining and manufacturing, and others.



But, despite the favorable conditions, applicants are often focused on non-productive professions (socio-economic profile), while there is a need for engineering personnel. In addition, the mass desire of school graduates to get higher education (this is not only a problem of the Far East) creates a bias in the labor market, since in addition to qualified specialists, representatives of working professions are urgently required. The imbalance of supply and demand is felt now and may worsen in the future.

At the moment, the regions of the Far East are facing the task of retaining existing human resources and attracting new ones. At the federal and regional levels, the authorities are discussing initiatives that would encourage the recruitment of personnel to the Far East. In particular, at the moment there is a discussion of the bill, according to which any resident of the Russian Federation will be able to allocate 1 ha of land in the Far East with the possibility of its further acquisition into ownership when developing a site in five years. Undoubtedly, this measure will not completely eliminate the shortage of labor resources, but at the same time, such initiatives indicate that the federal center is concerned about this problem and is ready to take further steps to eliminate it.

New incentives for investors, prospects

In recent years, the federal center has taken many steps to improve the investment climate in the Far East.

The TOR project and other projects of the Minsk region have also become an impetus for the creation of organizations in order to accompany them. Minvostokrazvitiya initiated the creation of the Agency for Human Resource Management, which will engage in the recruitment of professional personnel, coordinate the recruitment of specialists, facilitate their relocation to the Far East. Also, the ministry plans to create an agency to attract investment and support exports of the Far East to attract investors. In addition, almost every region of the Far East has an agency (or fund) for investment development, for example, the Agency for Investment Development of Yakutia, the Agency for the Development of the Kuril Islands and Investment Programs of the Sakhalin Region, the Fund for the Development of Economics and Direct Investments of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, etc.

On the agenda is the task of maximizing the potential of the region. First of all, the points of growth of the economy of the Far East will be the areas of advanced socio-economic development (TOP), which should attract investors to the region.30 March 2015 came into force the federal law No. 473-FZ "On Territories of advanced social and economic development in the Russian Federation ", which the federal authorities have been training since last year. The areas of priority socio-economic development are economic zones, in respect of which a special preferential tax regime operates, as well as simplified administrative procedures.

At the moment, 9 TOPs are being created, each of which has its own specialization: two territories in the Khabarovsk Territory, these are the Khabarovsk TOR (industry, transport and logistics direction) and TOR Komsomolsk (industry), two in the Primorsky Territory - Nadezhdinskaya "(light and food industry, transport and logistic direction) and TOR" Mikhailovskaya "(livestock, crop production, food production), two in the Amur Region - TIR" Priamurskaya "(industry, transport and logistics direction ) And TOR "Belogorsk" (agro-industrial orientation). In addition, Kamchatka will specialize in tourist-recreational, port-industrial, agro-industrial activities in the Kamchatka Territory, in the Chukotsky Autonomous Okrug - TOR "Beringovskaya" in the mining industry, in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), an industrial park of "Kangalassy" . It is also planned to create a TOP in the Sakhalin Oblast - in the Kuril Islands and in the Jewish Autonomous Region. As a result, at least one TOR will be created in each constituent entity of the FEF Federation, and in a number of subjects there will be two.

The minimum requirement for investors is an investment of 500 thousand rubles, which is a small amount. Investors are provided with a large set of benefits: residents of the TOP pay only 7,6% of insurance premiums (instead of 30%) for the first 10 years, 0% is VAT on imports and refining , 0% - import and export customs duties, income tax for the first 5 years from 0-5%, The next 5 years - not less than 10%. Applied lower rental rates (0,4 from the base rate) and the mineral extraction tax (0-0,8 in During the first 10 years). The free customs zone for residents will also operate in the territories, namely duty-free and tax-free importation, storage, consumption, (use) of foreign goods inside the TOP, as well as re-export export of goods and equipment.

Simplification of administrative barriers is as follows. The environmental impact assessment of infrastructure facilities will last only 45 days, and the time required for obtaining permits is also reduced. To solve the problem of labor resources, it is allowed to attract foreign workers without obtaining additional permits and quotas. The state undertakes to finance the construction of infrastructure for the facilities of the Tor. It is important to note that the law does not regulate the number of ABDs, which means that in the future the emergence of new territories of priority development in the Far East is possible. At this stage, the creation of TOR is possible in the Far East, as well as in single-industry towns with a difficult economic situation in other parts of the country. If successful in the future, TOR will be created outside the Far East, as already provided by law.

At the same time, the idea of ​​TOR was born in view of the critical analysis of the work of the previous SEZs. First, the projects of PDA provide for a more comprehensive approach to improving investment attractiveness, as they provide not just special preferential conditions, but a set of measures for the overall improvement of the socio-economic development of territories. In addition, as mentioned above, within the framework of the PDA, the development of the infrastructure of projects is provided by the state. If we talk about the detailed features, then the tax benefits of PDAs exceed the preferences offered in the framework of the SEZ, as well as administrative barriers are significantly reduced.

In many respects the idea of ​​TOR continues the creation of the Free Port of Vladivostok (12 October 2015, the Federal Law No. 212-FZ "On the Free Port of Vladivostok"), which unites 15 municipal entities in the south of Primorsky Krai and offers a number of tax incentives, customs preferences for investment activities. Among the benefits - reduced rates of insurance premiums (7,6%), residents for 5 years are exempt from taxes on profits, property, land and others. An important feature is that the visa regime is simplified, in particular, 8 day An entry visa directly at the border. Also, a free customs zone regime for residents is offered, similar to the terms of the TOP. According to the law, the port is created for 70 years, but it is possible to extend this period. It is assumed that in the future the free port regime can be created in other coastal regions of the country, but so far the experiment is being conducted only in Vladivostok.

In addition to the large-scale projects of the TOR and the Free Port, it is worth noting other initiatives by federal and regional authorities to provide tax incentives to stimulate investment activities in the Far East.C 1 January 2014, the Federal Law of the Russian Federation of 30 September 2013 No. 267-FZ “On Amendments to Parts One and Two of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation in terms of encouraging the implementation of regional investment projects in the territories of the Far Eastern Federal District and certain constituent entities of the Russian Federation”, which implies special preferential taxation conditions for investors. It is important to note that the law introduces the concept of a “regional investment project” (previously there was no such term in the Tax Code), the purpose of which is the production of goods in one of the subjects, including all regions of the Far Eastern Federal District, as well as a number of regions of Eastern Siberia - Republic of Tyva, Irkutsk Region, Trans-Baikal Territory, Republic of Buryatia. The investment project cannot be associated with the extraction and / or processing of oil, the extraction of natural gas and (or) gas condensate, the provision of services for the transportation of oil and (or) oil products, gas and (or) gas condensate, the production of excisable goods (except cars and motorcycles), the implementation of activities to which the corporate income tax rate is applied in the amount of 0%. In addition, investments should be focused solely on the production of goods, and therefore activity in the services sector (for example, the development of railway and road infrastructure facilities) is taxed in a general manner.
To receive benefits, an investment project must meet a number of conditions. The amount of investment must be at least 50 million rubles (in the period up to 3 years) or at least 500 million rubles (in the period up to 5 years). In general, these amounts are quite acceptable and do not constitute a significant barrier. Instead of the usual 20% income tax rate, the preferential regime presupposes its reduction to the range 0-10% for the first 5 years and at least 10% for the next 5 years. The starting point is the moment of the first profit from the project. The regions on the territory of which the implementation of regional investment projects takes place also adopted the relevant laws, which regulate income tax rates. In Yakutia, the Amur Region, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Chukotka Autonomous Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Sakhalin Region, the Primorsky Region, the rates correspond to the minimum values ​​specified in federal law, Kamchatka Territory offers less loyal conditions for investors during the first five years, and also the Magadan region - for the first five years - 10%, the next five years - 9%.

In addition, the law suggests decreasing coefficients for mineral extraction tax rates: 0 for the first 2 years; Next 0,2 up to 4 years; 0,4 up to 6 years; 0,6 up to 8 years; 0,8 up to 10 years. However, this procedure applies only to gold, coal, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, but does not include oil, gas, gas condensate, common minerals, mineral waters and therapeutic mud.

Restrictions have also been introduced that exclude the possibility of turning the regions of the Far East into offshore zones. First, the participant of the investment project should not have isolated units outside the entity in whose territory the project is being implemented. Secondly, at least 90% of the participant's income must be received from the sale of goods produced as a result of the investment project. These requirements will not allow the creation of enterprises to receive benefits without real activity on the territory of the entity where it was registered.

Also in July 2015, the procedure for recognizing priority investment projects for the Baikal region and the Far East was simplified, in particular, the requirement was canceled that the actual investment should be at least 10% of the planned private investment. In addition, the government decree strengthened the fact that financial support will come directly from the Fund for the Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region. The main condition - the total cost of the investment project should be more than 250 million rubles. Due to these changes, the RF government approved six priority investment projects of the Far East in July, the total amount of funds allocated, which will amount to 13,8 billion rubles.

Thus, investors now have many new opportunities for doing business in the Far East. Favorable conditions of the tax and customs regime, and most importantly - the reduction of bureaucratic barriers significantly increase the investment attractiveness of the Far East, allow us to count on serious changes in the social and economic situation and a deeper integration of the macro-region into the APR.