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The initiative is approved - EastRussia | Analytics of the East of Russia






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The initiative is approved

Bazhenov: "It does not matter what color a cat is - the main thing is for it to catch mice"

EastRussia found that the implementation of Far Eastern projects rests on the lack of infrastructure, public-private partnership mechanisms (PPPs) and investors.

The initiative is approved

At the conference “Infrastructure Projects in the Far East” held in Moscow, the discussion focused on a long-term strategy of interaction between government and business in the new conditions of development of the DFO regions. One of the key themes was the territories of advanced development (TOP) and priority investment projects.

Half a step ahead

Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East Maxim Shereykin recalled that in March the federal law on TOR came into force, which became a key infrastructure project for the department.

"The main thing that gives TOPs to our potential customers, our investors is the speed and minimum risks associated with the implementation of investment projects. Also important is the cheapening of their implementation. Due to what speed will be achieved? Due to the outstripping development of infrastructure, which should be half a step ahead of investors, due to the creation of a single window based on the management company and the authorized body represented by the ministry, which will lead and be responsible for the implementation of the private investor project at all stages of the project. Price reduction, of course, due to unprecedented tax benefits, benefits related to the wage rate, contributions from the budget fund - such benefits are not available in the territory of other subjects of the federation; Due to the zeroing of import and export customs duties, due to accelerated and simplified VAT refund to exporters, etc., "explained Shereykin.

According to him, nine territories of advanced development have already been chosen in the Far East, "the total volume of budget investments in these territories in the long term is forecasted in the amount of about 20 billion rubles."

"In the budget 2015-2017 years, these funds are provided. They have a very good multiplier: practically per ruble of budget funds 15 rubles of private funds will be spent. It is planned to create an order of 14 thousand new jobs, "the official continued. He noted that the created TORs of various specializations - from universal (logistic Nadezhdinsky site in Vladivostok) to highly specialized: agriculture and processing (Mikhailovsky TOR), production of components for the construction industry (Komsomolsk-on-Amur TOR), oil- And gas chemistry (ТОР "Belogorsk").

The Deputy Minister also spoke about the infrastructure support of six selected large investment projects in the Far East, the essence of which is in subsidizing the project initiator for the creation of infrastructure.

"If we look at the project, if we see that the heavy infrastructure component does not allow the project to be implemented quickly, here and now, if it so worsens the model of this project, that attracting additional investment becomes impossible, we say that we are ready to partially subscribe , Partially to reimburse the investor's expenses for the creation of infrastructure, "Shereykin said. Budgetary investments, he said, to subsidize these projects will amount to about 13 billion rubles, which will allow to "unblock" private investments in projects amounting to about 103 billion rubles and create about 7 thousand jobs. However, it is not worthwhile to rely on state funding for priority Far Eastern projects, and the Ministry understands this.

“We are far from the thought that only budget investments will help us realize these projects. PPP (public-private partnership) is one of the tools we need to use in the Far East, ”Shereykin summed up his presentation.

Igor Koval, Director of the Department for Investment Policy and Development of Public-Private Partnership of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, immediately switched to PPP tools - to concession agreements. He said that in the country at various stages of implementation there are about 430 concession agreements (the total volume of investments in them is about 142 billion rubles). "A lot or a little, we must look in retrospect or in comparison with other countries. But, in our opinion, this is only the beginning. And a positive trend already exists. Certain rates of development of PPP mechanisms have been collected, and this can not but inspire. Nevertheless, the potential has not been realized, "he said.

Today PPP mechanisms come to the fore, the official concluded, because there is an increasing need for infrastructure in the regions, and the budget is becoming less and less. "Last year, 170 concluded new concessions, this is a fivefold increase compared to 2013," Koval said.

However, the concession agreement - as long as the only form of PPP, which is regulated by law in Russia (in the world there are about 20), therefore, according to Koval, for several years the Ministry of Economy is working on the creation of the content database on PPP basics.

"One of the limitations of concessions is that property always remains in the hands of the state. From this point of view, of course, it is necessary to create additional tools to introduce other forms of PPP, where it would be possible to create private property with the investor, and thus the investor could use those facilities that are built under PPPs, as collateral for reimbursement of the loan Financing. These are the conceptual bases laid down in the draft federal law on the fundamentals of PPP in the Russian Federation, which passed the first reading in the State Duma for a long time, "Koval said, adding that the law" is difficult, "but there are serious reasons to believe that by the end of the year this bill Will turn into a federal law.

However, several amendments were made to the concession law, which were earned from 1 in May. This is primarily about private initiative in the concession. “Speaking in simple Russian, we gave investors the right not to wait for the region or municipality to put up a particular infrastructure object for the competition, but to come to the regional authorities with a private initiative on their own,” he said.

As for the specifics of the Far East, today, in the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District, according to the Ministry of Economy, a 61 project is being implemented on a PPP basis with a total cost of about 40 billion rubles, of which 4,5 billion rubles has already been attracted in the form of private investment. The difficulty, as Koval noted, is that in the FEFD regions there are problems with the regulatory framework (with the exception of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)): there are no regulations in any form regulating PPPs in the Jewish Autonomous Region and the Magadan Oblast at the regional level.

“Of the 61 project draft order 52 concession agreement concluded. They are at different stages of implementation, of which 14 is at the stage of operation. At the same time, within the framework of regional legislation on PPP, 5 projects are being implemented, of which 4 is at the concept development stage, one at the investment stage. If you look at the sectoral profile, then the first place is occupied by housing and communal services, the second - social infrastructure facilities. Unfortunately, we state a very significant lag in the field of transport infrastructure: less than 2 percent of the number of PPP projects in the Far East is realized in the field of transport infrastructure, ”the director of the investment policy and public-private partnership development department of the Ministry of Economy concluded.

"In order for the Far East to develop, an economic revolution is needed"

At the conference, the representatives of Yakutia, Primorye and Kamchatka presented the projects of the territories of advanced development, to which they make bets. The Development Fund of the Far East, in turn, spoke about its activities. The General Director of the Federal Center for Project Finance (FCPF, VEB Group) Alexander Bazhenov assessed the results of the activities on the development of the Far East and expressed an expert assessment of what needs to be done to make the region develop.

“The fundamental question is in which development projects of the territories of the Far East can be invested from extrabudgetary sources and how we can support the risk of such investments. For two years nothing new happened, budget projects for the development of infrastructure sites were launched. All the topics proposed by Vnesheconombank two years ago - the development of agriculture, tourism, coal chemistry and gas chemistry, the development of gas sales - today stand in full growth, comes an understanding of their economic feasibility, including in the context of the new strategy developed by the Ministry of Eastern and European Development. But they are still not covered by the Fund’s mandate, ”said Bazhenov. “All these opportunities are objectively there, but they didn’t work, they don’t work either.”

In order to develop the Far East, according to Bazhenov, an economic revolution is needed. “According to general estimates, in the macro-region 80% of the country's economic growth opportunities. The current development mechanism uses budget financing and corporate financing of natural monopolies as the main construction for removing infrastructure constraints. But in the Far East only 5% of the population and 5% of the economy are concentrated. This means that 95% of budget decisions and 95% of investment decisions of natural monopolies are made based on the development problems of other territories. These balances of traditional money, due to which our whole country has been developing the infrastructure over the past 15 years, are not enough for the Far East. The only financial instrument that brings financing to projects at the expense of future revenues is debt. Accelerated development of the Far East will be possible if infrastructure development projects can attract debt, and the economic development that these projects release will make it possible to pay for this debt, ”the general director of the FCPF explained.

How to make a "revolution", how to link private investments in separate infrastructure projects with the economic development of the territory and use of its results for settlement with investors?

Bazhenov noted the fundamental changes that the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia has made in changing the legal framework for PPP. "I would single out the two main ones. First, it is a private initiative that will compensate for the lack of initiative and competence of regional administrations to develop infrastructure projects. Secondly, it is the extension of the "accessibility fee" model to all types of infrastructure, when the payback of investments in an infrastructure project can be linked not with a separate revenue from the use of an infrastructure object, but with its value for the economic development of the entire territory. "

But how to take advantage of these opportunities? “For the development of the Far East, the reform of natural monopolies is necessary,” the expert noted. “The risk of exploring the spaces of the Far East cannot be fully assigned to a private investor.” The impossibility of adequate investments by private investors in network projects is due to the lack of use by the industry of principally possible concession mechanisms for such projects. Now only RZD, RusHydro and Rosseti can invest to remove the infrastructure limitations of the project. But they have their own investment programs and economic restrictions. If 95% of the economy is located in the European part of Russia, then at the expense of corporate financing 80% of the country's economic opportunities in the Far East cannot be ensured.

It is vitally important for the accelerated development of the Far East that the mechanism allows to pay for the infrastructure, based on future tax revenues due to economic growth of territories (the mechanism of deferred tax payments - Tach Increment Financing). "For example, the Udokan project, with a total investment of 7 billion dollars, requires an additional 1 billion dollars to develop the infrastructure of railroads, highways, social networks. The project will repeat the fate of Mechel, if he takes these costs on his own chest. Therefore, the project is and is waiting for the state to become a white angel and find a way to implement these infrastructure projects. But if someone invested in this infrastructure on a concession basis with a payment for accessibility, the project would give an annual tax income of more than 1 billion dollars, which is enough to pay the government for private investments in infrastructure, "Bazhenov said. Unfortunately, there was no such mechanism, and no. They are trying to create it for industrial parks, but as the research of the Research Institute of the Ministry of Finance of Russia shows, this topic is regulated in such a way that it will not work in the near future.

Much has been said about raising capital from such countries as China and Japan as sources of financing infrastructure projects. But today this is hampered by the lack of formed mechanisms for hedging the currency risks of state and municipal infrastructure owners.

Bazhenov noted that the territory of advanced development is a brilliant invention of the Ministry of the Far East. It allowed to isolate itself from the solution of the problems of natural monopolies for accelerated growth, develops territories and attracts investments, coordinating the provision of TORs in the inner-site infrastructure and placing new production there. Previously, such topics were launched as part of the Investment Fund as integrated development projects. Perhaps the new isolated package with a very clear strategy for creating competitive advantages of production in the TOPs in the APR markets will allow the Far East to compete for budgetary investments and, possibly, for private investments in the allocation of new production capacities.

“But if we want to develop faster than the current budgetary possibilities, then the principles of the development of PDA, based on the new economic history of the Russian Federation, require improvement if the ministry wants to attract extrabudgetary investments in the development of infrastructure of PDAs while maintaining the attractiveness of sites for investors” - said the head FCPP. He explained that the ideology of development of the Far East was actually born at one time in the Kaluga region. “But in fact, the tax breaks that were granted to residents in the Kaluga region, then prevented the region from paying for infrastructure investments in a timely manner. As a result of the project, the region ceased to be subsidized, the Ministry of Finance’s participation in leveling budgetary support was reduced, and previously provided tax incentives for industrial investors, along with free connections, began to undermine the ability of the region to settle with the infrastructure investor. Or tax breaks or free infrastructure. Together they work only at the expense of the budget, and the budget, as we agreed, is not a panacea for the development of the Far East, ”Bazhenov explained.

In the current legislative deficiencies, it is clear that there are no projects developed in the Far East. For example, in the FCPF from the total portfolio - in the Far East 10% of projects for which negotiations are under way or financing of pre-design works is started. Bazhenov did not specify the projects. "We do not disclose projects before the implementation. The biggest are those in which today is the best economy in the Far East: projects for the replacement of heat supply systems - there are many of them, they are very expensive, and the order of 6-7 projects of this kind exists. In the Far East, we have one project for the development of the airport. Also, we are negotiating with China to participate in the project related to the cross-border infrastructure, - he shared with EastRussia. - Of course, we do not close a tenth of the project activity in the region. Let there in varying degrees of maturity have 150 projects. But it's still infinitely small to take advantage of all the opportunities that exist in the region. " Therefore, the main reserve for the development of the Far East is the activity of regional administrations to prepare projects to attract extra-budgetary investments in development. "Minvostokrazvitiya solves certain federal tasks, but it is like a life-ring that is thrown to the Far East. And the ship needs to be built independently, and here are just a lot of missed opportunities, "Bazhenov said.

China vs India

According to the general director of the FCPF, entrepreneurs in the Far East live within their limited market — their ability to create production, organize sales, logistics and compete is limited by the fact that the market is very loose and there is no one to compete with. Developing the Far East, Bazhenov proposes, among other things, using gazelles - medium-sized enterprises (by Russian standards) businesses that have shown the ability to grow rapidly in European markets in Russia. According to him, these are enterprises that have managerial, technological and sales experience, personnel potential. But why would they go and organize a business in the Far East? These are additional risks - you need to take money somewhere, find a way to send people there, organize production. But why it is impossible to create tools that will allow them to develop further in the Far East with relative risk and capitalize on this?! As for preferences, which investor is better - Russian or foreign, Bazhenov said unequivocally: "It doesn't matter what color the cat is, the main thing so that she catches mice. "

About how attracted investors in successful clusters of China and India, said the senior manager of EY Moscow, Ilya Suharnikov. "If we talked about the Chinese scale, how very large, requiring substantial government injections (He spoke about the formation of the city of Dalian - author’s comment), you can give another example - Indian (Hyderabad - author's note), when state participation is reduced to coordinating the efforts of various companies, ”said Sukharnikov, noting that in this case, anchor investors are pulling up small residents.

"Interestingly, the relationship in this cluster is built on a commercial basis. All indicators, bodies that oversee these processes, differ from Chinese ones. They look at the amount of tax collections, the revenue of companies that are present, but here it is quite clear. They (Indians - author's comment) They say, here look - here you can earn 20-25% of the invested funds due to the fact that the entire infrastructure is there. There are many different types of outsourcing: the same general infrastructure, thanks to which the development of such complex technologies as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, bioengineering, it occurs and is carried out, despite the fact that this region was not a leader in developing innovative projects in these scientific fields, - he cited the example of Suharnikov and noted that it is not enough to pay attention only to tax benefits, but it is necessary to set a task for whom we want to attract and for what purpose.

Where is the way out?

Alexei Kaplun, Deputy General Director for Strategy and Investments of RAO ES Vostok, in his speech tried to find some optimism in the development of investment projects in the Far East, but, on the contrary, sent everyone from heaven to earth. According to his speech, due to the deplorable state of the Far Eastern energy system, investors with open arms certainly will not have to wait.

Infrastructure restrictions in the Far East are imposed by tariffs. “We are not in the market. Everything we said before is all about the market. From an energy point of view, there is no major part of the market infrastructure. There is a zone of total tariff regulation, which is limited by the maximum level of tariffs. And everything that we would like to do should fit into this Procrustean bed of tariffs, which is also not economically justified. There is a serious difference between the level of tariffs we are given and the level that is needed to recoup the costs of generating electricity or heat. This is a serious problem, which is partially subsidized, and partly goes into debt to us, which only grow from year to year, ”explained Kaplun.

Kaplun noted the high wear and tear of equipment in the Far East: “over the past years, 20-30 has not had any updates and upgrades to our equipment, networks, or generating equipment”. As he said, there is such a thing as a generating cycle. For the Far East, such a cycle was supposed to start in the 1990s, but it was missed. “We are now safely and with fanfare celebrating the 100 anniversary of our stations. It sounds beautiful, but if we understand what we are doing, then it will all come around, and very quickly, ”he thickened the paint. - We understand that the economy in the Far East will grow in one way or another. And this means that, in addition to the tasks associated with the replacement of those capacities that are now being eliminated, we still need to make a reserve for the future. That is, we should introduce more than we should withdraw, otherwise we simply will not connect anyone and those plans that were mentioned by previous speakers, they will remain so plans. ”

The beginning of the implementation of the projects of the territories for advanced development is scheduled for 2017-18. This means, according to Kaplun, that the infrastructure should already be built. "For some reason everyone forgot about this. For some reason, we are inviting anyone to visit us, drawing grandiose plans, not understanding how we will implement them in terms of connecting infrastructure, "Kaplun said.

"Our tasks can not be realized if we do not understand where we can get money from," he said fairly. - Now they talked about large-scale projects ... As soon as the question of how everything will be paid off, no one speaks clearly ... Because most of these projects will not pay off, if the infrastructure does not pay off - it's not only energy, it's roads, and a communal . And infrastructure projects in the Far East do not pay off. "

The investor, according to Kaplun, is unlikely to want to bear this burden, otherwise projects will not pay off at all. Remains a state. “You know the situation with the budget, I will not comment,” said Kaplun. The expert believes that in this situation the problem can be solved by highlighting the long-term tariff for energy regulation. “It's about timing over 20 years. This is the minimum period that will pay off infrastructure projects in the Far East, he explained. - We began to design 5 power plants at our own expense (in addition to those we are building) in the territory of Primorye, Khabarovsk Territory, in the summer we will have to start two more. But at the beginning we must understand how to recoup the investment and, most importantly, whose investment it will be. If we don’t find the money, all these projects will remain projects. ... I hope and I’m convinced that we will solve these problems - there is no other way. "