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Yakutia Presents Investment Projects at VEF - EastRussia | Interview

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Yegor Borisov: "The Chance to Defend Economic Interests"

Yakutia presented to the WEF 19 investment projects

The head of Yakutia, Yegor Borisov, in an interview with EastRussia summed up the results of the participation of the delegation of the republic in the Eastern Economic Forum (VEF), held in Vladivostok 3-5 September.

Yegor Borisov: "The Chance to Defend Economic Interests"

- Yegor Afanasyevich, how do you assess the results of the Eastern Economic Forum for Yakutia?

- We have worked very fruitfully in the fields of the forum. Our mission was to provide conditions for the consistent integration of the republic into a single system of priority development of the Russian Far East.

Firstly, we successfully presented 19 investment projects that are very important for the development of large-scale industry, as well as medium and small businesses in the country.

Secondly, during the forum Yakutia signed 13 agreements in various fields, among them 6 - between enterprises. Among them - agreements on cooperation with Rosneft in the implementation of programs that contribute to the integrated development of our region, with the Chinese investment company Hua Qing An Tzu on the construction of an IT park in the country. It is worth noting the cooperation agreement between JSCB "Almazergienbank" JSC and Chinese company "Hua Qing Anh Tszyu", which is based on the implementation of projects within the strategic Russian-Chinese direction "Silk Road". Also great prospects for attracting additional investments are opened by an agreement between the republic, the Corporation for the Development of Yakutia and the Fund for the Development of the Far East.

Another impetus to the development of renewable energy is given by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Yakutia, JSC RAO Energy Systems of the East and the Japanese concern KomaiHaltec Inc., providing for the implementation of a project to build a wind park with a capacity of 1 MW in the village of Tiksi, Bulunsky Ulus. The widespread introduction of an aspiring future project will solve the problem of energy consumption in isolated and remote areas.

It is necessary to note the projects for the construction of infrastructure for the Inaglinsky GOK and the first stage of the Taiga mining and processing plant based on the Taezhnoye deposit, which were presented by federal structures and found support from interested investors at the sites of the Eastern Economic Forum.

In addition, we familiarized ourselves with the experience of holding the First Eastern Economic Forum, which is important for Yakutia, since we hold events of various levels in the republic, including those aimed at attracting investors. For example, we organize the "Diamond Week", where we gather the largest international players - manufacturers of diamonds. Meetings with industry experts contribute not only to successful business development, but also allow you to keep abreast of the latest trends.

We were impressed by the speech of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at the plenary session, where he laid out all the priorities for the development of the Far East. It was important for us to hear the words of his support, which will stimulate the further development of the Far East, including the Republic of Sakha.

Such forums as WEF are definitely important. This is a platform where we can get answers to many questions.

- For the republic, the theme of building a bridge across the main water artery is the Lena River. The project was also presented at the forum?

- Yes, this project gained federal status, therefore, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation presented its investors at a separate session of the Eastern Economic Forum. Following the discussion, investors confirmed their interest in promoting this proposal by inviting the representatives of Rosavtodor to bilateral negotiations to work out legal, technical and financial details.

- What projects, presented at Yakutia forum, caused the greatest interest among investors?

- It is encouraging to note that investors drew attention not only to projects related to the extraction of minerals, but also to those that are aimed at the development of the manufacturing industry and the introduction of high technologies. In particular, we have an interesting project to create an IT park, because our guys are actively working on the production of software products.



- You mean the "Kangalassy" TOP?

- No, IT-park is an absolutely separate information technology project, for it we are also looking for investors. There is no such project in the Far East yet.

- In addition to the TOR "Kangalassy", you will soon create new territories of priority development?

- We will organize projects for the future territories of advanced development in two districts of the district, where there is the availability of infrastructure, railway, energy, etc.

Today there is an erroneous opinion that TOR "Zarechie" is represented by only one project for the creation of a gas chemical center. This is not true. The second project will be the agrarian cluster. In particular, in Vladivostok, we met with local investors who want to start producing pork within this advanced development area. I looked at their farm in Spassky district, and I really liked it. It would be desirable, that similar manufactures appeared in all subjects of the Far East.

- Meanwhile, foreign investors are very careful in signing various agreements. What do you think scares foreign partners?

- We understand that today the situation is ambiguous. First of all, investors are afraid of investment risks. We need to create conditions in the country that provide for certain insurance and provide guarantees that foreign investors feel at ease.

Foreign companies are afraid of administrative barriers, although over the past two years in the Far East a big step has been taken in their elimination. For example, the head of Minvostokrazvitiya Alexander Galushka in his report at the forum told how far in the Far East we have advanced in improving the legislation. We can not fail to note the growing interest of foreign business in the new mechanisms developed for the implementation of projects in the Far East, the territory of advanced development (TOP), Vladivostok Free Port.

It is worth emphasizing the main outcome of the first meeting of the Cooperation Council between the regions of the Russian Far East and the northeastern provinces of China. Namely, the elimination of Chinese concerns about investment risks and the achievement of complete agreement on the need to create conditions to increase the capacity of customs points and speed up the work of the frontier posts.

"For more than a year, sanctions have been in place in Russia. Yakutia somehow felt these restrictions on yourself?

- In Yakutia, we still felt sanctions only in terms of the availability of financial resources, because the banking system suffered first of all. Yes, there are problems with mortgage and leasing. However, there is no massive recession in the republic’s economy. On the contrary, in the first half of the year, the main indicators in the economy — gross regional product, enterprise turnover, industrial indices, and even investments — show an increase over the same period last year. Surgutneftegaz has been successfully working with us, despite the fact that the price of oil is falling, production is increasing. It is necessary to note the role of the leader of the diamond-mining industry of the world - the company ALROSA, which set the tone for the Eastern Economic Forum, strengthening the authority of the region as a whole and the confidence of new business partners to the government bodies of the Sakha Republic.

The main resource of Yakutia is its human capital, an original culture of peoples. The whole point of participation of the governmental delegation is, in fact, reduced to improving the quality of life in the North. This forum gives us a chance to meet the inevitable tendencies of globalization as equal partners, able to defend not only their economic interests, but also to preserve the traditional way of life and ecology.