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Elena Sudakova - on the investment policy of the Sakhalin Region - EastRussia | Interview






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Money promised to return

Elena Sudakova, acting Minister of Investments and External Relations of the Sakhalin Region, told EastRussia why the island does not want to build its economy only on oil and gas

Money promised to return
- Elena Viktorovna, that investors should be attracted to the regions of the Far East is said everywhere and constantly. But there are obviously few good intentions for this, and the crisis does not affect the investment climate in the best way. Nevertheless, the Sakhalin region in this respect is ahead of many other regions, a number of ambitious and long-term projects are announced and are already being implemented. Why are you doing this and why are you better than others?

- Life itself forces us to be active in this direction. We are trying to use all the opportunities that we see to attract investments in the regional economy. By the way, there are a lot of them, regardless of the crisis. For example, the just-held Eastern Economic Forum allowed us to show our achievements and demonstrate the economic and investment potential of Sakhalin and the Kuriles. And we immediately felt a clear interest in the region from Russian and foreign businessmen.

- And how things were before?

- Good too. The investment situation is assessed positively. Over the past year, the increase was 16,% of investment in fixed assets. The economy of the region has accumulated 45,8 billion US dollars of foreign investment, we are one of the leaders in the country. The economy is developing dynamically. The volume of GRP is 793 billion, rubles, industrial output - 772 billion rubles.

But we look at this situation realistically, we try to foresee and solve problems before they appear. It is clear that the basis of our economy is the offshore projects in oil and gas production. After in the middle 90-x yy Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) were signed; Exxon Mobil, Shell, and other major global companies that came together in Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 projects came into the region. A huge amount of funds was invested in them, and now we have already entered industrial oil and gas production. There are no problems with sales: all gas has been contracted, oil is also sold in the APR countries, oil and gas production revenues have allowed the region to make a real leap forward in the last decade. For comparison: in 1996, our budget was 2 billion rubles, now it is almost 200 billion rubles. Even when adjusted for inflation, the difference is colossal.

All this is wonderful, but it carries one danger - we risk getting a "mono-economy" based only on the extraction of raw materials. It is necessary to diversify, move towards high technologies, involve all natural potential in economic circulation. Now we can afford it - and let's.

Money, as you know, does not happen much. No matter how many of them there will always be a shortage. We still have a lot of problems, and the main one is caused by geography, not by politics or economics. We are still an island region. And although this is a dignity on the one hand, as the sea service allows us to expand the range of supplies, but on the other hand there is a shortage: we are cut off from the rest of the country in transport relation, we have a closed energy system and low infrastructure security. We face such problems not only with us, for example, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the largest of the subjects of the Federation, experiences the same difficulties. And they have to be solved in the most logical way. For example, Sakhalin now needs to develop its own food complex, including the fishing industry, diversify and introduce into economic circulation all that we are rich in-subsurface (on Sakhalin there is peat and gold), forest, natural objects for the development of tourism. ..

Under new production infrastructure will be supplied. This is rational in relation to budgetary expenditures, efficiently for the purposes of their use, since the creation of new industries generates future budget revenues. This principle is realized in the new mechanisms of economic development in the Far East - the territories of advanced development, the Fund for the Development of the Far East, the support of specific projects.

- In the Sakhalin region will be the territory of advanced development (TOR)?

- We have prepared and sent applications for the creation of three TORs with the specialization “agriculture”, “tourism”, and TOR in the Kuril Islands. The TOR mode can be extended to 46 residents who implement 19 business projects and spend 30,7 billion rubles in private investment. As a result, modern livestock breeding complexes for the production of 5 thousand tons of meat, 33 thousand tons of milk will be created in the Sakhalin region. The tourist complex “Mountain Air”, on the basis of which one of the TORs will be created, will become a modern ski resort, with the widest geography of skiing in Russia (4 mountains) on natural snow. More than 250 thousand tourists will be served per year. The development of the economy in the Kuril Islands requires additional preferences. Along with the new federal program for the development of the territory, the TORs will create the best favorable regime for business. Mostly these will be new projects in the fishing industry - salmon fish farms, feed farms, fish processing, fish waste processing. Also in the Kuril Islands balneological tourism and the extraction of precious metals (gold and silver) will develop.

We expect the creation of more than 3 thousand jobs and 4 billion rubles a year of tax return, taking into account the tax benefits provided, from the implementation of investment projects in the framework of the declared TORs.

- Have you managed to conclude any important agreements with potential partners during the Eastern Economic Forum?

- Perhaps one of the main events of this event for us is the signing of an agreement on the establishment of a fish exchange in the Sakhalin Oblast. The document was signed by the Governor of the Sakhalin Oblast Oleg Kozhemyako and the President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of Russia German Gref.

The idea of ​​this project was put forward by the head of the island region. At the first stage, it provides for conducting pilot electronic auctions for the sale of aquatic biological resources, the development of the concept of auction trade.

At the second stage, it is necessary to select the fish exchange operator, attract investors and create the necessary infrastructure in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. It will include a refrigerator for 10 thousand tons, storage and office space, fish processing and waste disposal facilities. All this is planned to build in 2017 year. At the third stage, a full-fledged fish cluster will be created, which includes a large number of suppliers of fish products and wholesale companies.

Only a few weeks have passed since the conclusion of the agreement. The trading section “Fish Market” is already working on the universal electronic platform of Sberbank-AST.

At the first auction, which will take place in the coming days, large batches of aquatic biological resources are exhibited for the sum exceeding one hundred million rubles.

The range of fish products is wide: pink salmon, caviar, cod, pollock, flounder, navaga, scallop, shrimp. The number of participants is constantly growing. All interested persons can participate in the auction - enterprises not only of the Far East, but also of other regions of the country.

Before the start of regular trading, various technical issues are solved that will make it as convenient for sellers and buyers as possible. Bidders will be able to play not only a raise, but also a price reduction.

- How will this affect the end user of fish products?

- Today, fish products fall on store shelves mainly through a long chain of second-hand dealers. As a result, the price rises. The implementation of a fish exchange project launched in the Sakhalin Region will lead to the conclusion of direct contracts between suppliers and retail chains. It is planned that fish products will become noticeably cheaper for the end user. Winner and fishery. He will increase sales, there will be guarantees of product sales. And trade networks, receiving directly fresh and without additional margins, will be able to increase sales.

The project, which we are launching, fully corresponds to the long-term policy of our state aimed at providing the population with fish products at an affordable price.

However, the fish market is not the only result of the participation of the Sakhalin region in the work of the Eastern Economic Forum. In particular, we signed four agreements in the sphere of the agro-industrial complex with the Belgorod region (JSC Agrobelogorye, a group of companies "Prioskolie"), which is the leader in the production of agricultural products. For us in this case, it is especially important that such partners have personnel, competencies and technologies that will quickly solve the problems of our food security. Now 70% of products on Sakhalin are imported. Own dairy production now provides only 27% of the region's needs, meat at 7%. It is clear that we will not be able to refuse importation completely, but it is still important to start projects related to providing the local population with local vegetables grown in the open and covered ground, meat, milk, and feed for agricultural enterprises. And the projects in question are designed for the near future, their horizon is three years.

- Large agricultural holdings, like Rusagro, have already come to you? In Primorye, they are already working.

- No, specifically "Rusagro" while on Sakhalin there. But there were also Primorye. The company "Mercy Group" introduced in September a pig complex for 12 thousand heads and completes the design 2-oh Queue for 50 thousand goals. The first stage of production was built in fact for half a year, then the uterine stock was brought in, within three months the objects of the main production were completed and now they are ready to start production in full. In addition, the company plans to open a breeding and breeding center on Sakhalin, which will work not only for domestic consumption, but also for export.

As for the agreements already mentioned with the agro-industrial complex Belogorie, the regional authorities are ready to finance up to 90% of the capital expenditures for the construction of modern farms from the regional budget. This is a complex production in terms of return on investment, so this support is extremely important. Taking into account other projects (including by agreement with Green Agro), we hope to get to 2018 year approximately by 55% of our own milk supply. This would be very good for us.

But one agricultural industry is not all. In addition to food, the region still needs a lot. That is why, together with the Development Fund for the Far East, we are now discussing several complex infrastructure projects. With the arrival of a new team headed by Alexei Chekunkov, the work has finally become lively and has entered a constructive direction. The Sakhalin Oblast Fund and the Government have already begun to create a platform on which combined methods of supporting investment projects will be applied at the expense of the region and the Fund’s resources.

- What are these projects and in what amounts are they estimated?

- I’ll not mention the specific figures now, because at this stage we are talking about intentions and the process of discussing prospects. We expressed readiness to invest in the modernization of the airport complex Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. The fact is that the airport itself is federal property, and the airport terminal is regional. And this object is morally and physically obsolete. If we strive to develop tourism (and we strive to), the main air gate of Sakhalin must be thoroughly restructured and ennobled.

There is also a very promising project in the field of utilization of solid household waste, for which our region is selected as a pilot one. We have already held preliminary negotiations with Eco-System, it is ready to build waste sorting stations in several areas of Sakhalin that meet the highest environmental standards. The regional ministry of natural resources is now evaluating the production and technologies that are planned to be applied in this project. Our department calculates its financial model, considers and evaluates legal and other aspects of investing funds.

Naturally, projects will be implemented in the traditional fishing industry and fish processing for Sakhalin. We are leaders in the country for aquaculture, and in the APR we occupy, if I'm not mistaken, a niche in 15% of the entire market. We have 41 salmon hatchery (including 25 private, the rest - state-owned), for feeding is produced about 830 million fry per year. This provides a return of approximately 80 thousand tons of salmon fish annually - this fish, as is known, once in 4 year to spawn comes to where it was born. Fishermen express their readiness to double the number of plants, make investments in fish breeding science and improve processing technologies. Just by the way, our competitors - Japanese, Americans in Alaska, etc., also arrive.

There are a number of interesting ideas - for example, to create joint ventures with the Japanese for the cultivation of seaweed, which they form the basis of the diet, and we are not too popular. Or engage in the cultivation of scallops, sea cucumbers, shrimps, crabs. The process is long and painstaking. And we need to hurry with the construction of such industries - if only because Chinese competitors are not asleep, and at some point they can “stifle us with volumes” in the market for similar products. But to taste we still leave them far behind: our seafood, grown in natural conditions, are much more in demand.

- And how will the Sakhalin ports develop?

- Governor Oleg Nikolaevich Kozhemyako has already signed an agreement of intent with Rosmorport. According to this document, the development of port infrastructure is planned in Nevelsk, Korsakov and Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsk.

"Only in these three ports?" But what about Poronaisk and others?

- You can not build a port for the port. He must have sufficient cargo base for the project to be profitable and pay off over time. Back in Soviet times, Nevelsk was a large fishing port, a large-scale and solid enterprise, where about 12 thousands of people worked. Bases of the trawling fleet went there, bunkering of vessels was carried out, fish processing enterprises worked. After the 2007 earthquake, the water area and the fairway of the port changed. But even before that, in the post-Soviet period almost all port structures and services had fallen into disrepair. Now Nevelsk is being reborn. It all started with the fact that coal mining began in the Nevelsky district several years ago. Our domestic market for this raw material is limited, since the key power generation facilities are now balanced and are being converted to gas, except GRES-2. This means that coal is being exported, and Nevelsk is the best fit for shipping it. Naturally, other general cargo will be shipped from the modernized port. Need a port and fishermen: the documents for the caught fish is still drawn up near the shore, where the relevant veterinary, border and customs services are located. The Gornyak-2 company is currently engaged in the Nevelsky port (and Gornyak-1 has mastered the Shebuninsky coal deposits in the Nevelsky district, the company is now relocating to the central part of Sakhalin, will increase coal production and is extremely interested in developing the port services system).

With the port of Korsakov, everything is also clear - last year 1,2 million tons of cargo passed through it, it receives cruise liners. In Korsakov, it is necessary to make a marine station and a normal checkpoint, to improve service at the raid. Now there are difficulties when a tourist vessel arrives - a three thousandth with tourists, and we cannot provide them with the necessary level of comfort on the shore. Meanwhile, tourism for us is one of the priorities. And our tourists are quite specific - on 90%, these are elderly Japanese, for whom Sakhalin was home before 1945, many of the old people still have graves of relatives here, Shinto temples, etc. There are many of them, and they require special attention, if only because of their age.

As for the Aleksandrovsky port in the northern part of Sakhalin, this area is rather depressive. The development of the woodworking industry is called upon to improve the economic climate somewhat. The project is being implemented with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, funds from Russian and foreign banks are attracted. On Sakhalin, the conditions are more complicated than in the Khabarovsk Territory - our forest is located in hard-to-reach places where logging roads need to be punched. But the costs should pay off.

- What will the Sakhalin forest do?

- The project provides for the creation of modern woodworking production, the production of a sawlog, and from waste - technological chips (shavings, from which you can do anything from MDF to briquettes). It is also planned to produce wood pellets - they are in demand in Japan, China and Korea on the wave of aspiration for "green energy" and in accordance with the Kyoto protocols, according to which a certain share of the energy market should work on biofuel. In addition, enterprises will produce products for wooden housing construction. And we build a lot of housing - in five years should put into operation 1 million sq.m., that is, 250-300 Sq.m per year. In rural areas, houses are mainly wooden.

All these examples are a clear demonstration of the fact that Russia really can do much more than is expected of it. 10 years ago, we had almost no conditions for anything that we talked about today. We had a huge budget deficit and a business that was completely unprepared for something to invest. And now we are witnessing a huge leap in development. We start small, we do not aim at unrealistic megaprojects, but slowly and confidently follow the intended path to success. I think that in five years we will be again, to talk about and for what to have sincere pride.