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Andrey Klimov: If there are solvent companies, there will be well-paid jobs as well

Andrey Klimov, Mayor of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, talked about how his city was involved in creating the Comprehensive Development Plan, what is happening at the urban sites of the Komsomolsk ASEZ (Advanced Special Economic zone) and what measures are being taken by the municipal authorities to attract investors.



Andrey Klimov: If there are solvent companies, there will be well-paid jobs as well

- Andrey Viktorovich, the Integrated Development Plan for Komsomolsk-on-Amur, adopted by the Russian Government, involves the construction of a number of very specific social facilities in the city. Could you tell us, how they were chosen, and why these facilities were included?

- We took into consideration only our real needs. We worked closely together with the Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Representative in the Far East District Yury Trutnev, as well as with the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Krai Administration. We carried out a survey, which gave us better understanding of the expectations of our citizens.

- The plan is divided into two major parts. One is devoted to the administrative procedures of social and economic development, and the other one - to  the development of the urban infrastructure. Which one is more important for the city?

- You know, everything is important. However, I would pay special attention to the first part, which is mostly devoted to the development of our industrial base, seamless operation of our leading enterprises, their re-equipment with modern technologies, creation of conditions for co-operation between small and medium-sized businesses with  core enterprises. Everything is very simple here - if our industrial giants are solvent, people will have interesting and well-paying jobs. And this is the most important thing.

That is why all aspects of this section of the plan are specifically being monitored. This also applies to the program aimed at localization of production of aircraft and ship components in the Komsomolsk ASEZ, measures to establish seamless operation of Amurstal, the only metallurgical plant in the Far East,  technical re-equipment of the shipbuilding plant and creating an industrial park on its territory, as well as the creation of a certification and testing center in Komsomolsk.

- The Development of Engineering Education pilot project is also included here, is it not?

- Yes, of course. And we have been working in this direction for quite a while already. A short while ago, in June, we hosted the third Far East Congress of Engineers - the "Science-Engineer-Industry". The participants discussed the development of engineering education, the creation of high-tech industries, and the establishment of a regional university center in Komsomolsk-on-Amur. In addition, the Science Slam battle that has already become traditional, also took place during the congress. This time, the science projects showcased at the event belonged to students of Khabarovsk Krai. By the way, the Comprehensive Plan includes a provision to expand our Congress to the national level. We have already started to prepare for this change.

Our technical university has become a center of training for engineers not only for Komsomolsk, but for the entire Khabarovsk Krai. The first regional engineering center in the Far East was also established here. It will focus on studies and practical testing of innovative materials and technologies, technical audits of enterprises, computer engineering, including the development of control programs for CNC tooling machines. Its staff will be composed mainly of university students and graduates. The federal authorities will allocate 100 million rubles to create the center.

We have also started creating an inter-regional expertise center on the basis of the Governor's Aircraft Construction College. The development of its facilities and resources will require about 500 million rubles of state budget funds.

I would also like to add that the project design documentation for the engineering school is fully ready, and we are planning to start carrying out preparation works for its construction this year.

- There is one more interesting element in this plan. It concerns the creation of the Komsomolsk Tourist and Recreational Cluster.

- This element is indeed very interesting, as no one has ever before considered Komsomolsk as a tourist center. Alyhough we do have such potential, and we are working to unlock it.

The project involves the construction of five sub-clusters in the city and its suburbs in the period from 2016 to 2020. We are planning to build more that ten facilities such as the water tourism center, water park, tourist sightseeing platform at the aircraft factory, hotel and ethnographic complex, PROsamolyoty (PROplanes) exhibition and entertainment center, and an all-season ski resort.

The total amount of investments into the Komsomolsk Tourist and Recreational Cluster is almost 5 billion rubles. The federal budget will allocate 900 million rubles, while the consolidated budget of the Khabarovsk Krai will provide around 300 million rubles. The main source of funding will come from private investments. Therefore, this project is only possible as long as the federal and regional authorities cooperate with private investors.

- How are the preparation works to construct infrastructure facilities coming along? According to the plan, these facilities require allocation of 62.9 billion rubles.

- The construction of an underground water intake facility is almost finished. We have launched a tender to develop design documentation for the reconstruction of a school and daycare in the Parus Residential District. As I have already mentioned, this year we will begin works related to the construction of the engineering school. We are also preparing project design documenttion to build a children's medical complex. The land for the construction of the Palace of Sports has already been prepared. Technical specifications are being prepared for the reconstruction and repair of the city's main roads. We have announced on open regional competition for the best architectural and urban concept of the administrative and public center and the riverbank of the Amur River. And I can give as much meaningful details literally for each aspect of the plan.

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- A special section in the plan belongs to the construction of infrastructure for the Komsomolsk ASEZ. More than 1.2 billion rubles will be channeled into that project. The ASEZ was established one year ago. What is taking place now on its sites?

- The city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur has two sites of the Komsomolsk ASEZ. One of them is Amurlitmash, and it already has all the necessary infrastructure. The second site is the Parus. It needs a high pressure gas pipeline, a road, and a residential complex for workers of resident enterprises. The city administration has already made a draft plan to provide infrastructure for a land plot intended for the construction of 60,000 square meters of housing. The general plan of the city gas supply has been completed, and it involves the construction of a gas pipeline at the Parus site. In addition, the Corporation for the Development of the Khabarovsk Krai JSC is holding negotiations related to the construction of an industrial park for potential residents at the site.

- The Komsomolsk ASEZ is primarily regarded as a platform for businesses engaged in high-tech manufacturing. And this is no accident, the city is positioned as an industrial and engineering capital of eastern Russia. How much does real demand from investors confirm these expectations?

- The first ASEZ resident is Epsilon-2. This company plans to establish production facilities following exactly this reasoning. It is going to produce components for the aircraft industry.  We are now at the stage of signing agreements with the Amurlitmash IP MC LLC and Komsomolsk Machine-Building Plant LLC. These are engineering companies.  We also has the Sinotruk LLC, which wants to establish a facility for the assembly of trucks, and Lobnya Lift-building Plant LLC. Both companies have expressed their intentions to become ASEZ residents.

At the same time, the field of activity of ASEZ residents is not limited to just manufacturing projects. The current resident Yukon Trading house is a fish processing company. Karbon LLC submitted a project for the recycling of solid waste by means of fast pyrolysis.  We are considering the application from a Komsomolsk meat-processing factory as well.

In addition, we are investigating the possibility to extend ASEZ boundaries and include the agro-industrial cluster currently being created by the city. There is a new site combining farmland and processing enterprises of over 90 hectares, which is expected to include four residents:  a greenhouse complex, a dairy plant, a meat-processing factory, a farming company growing potatoes and vegetables. The planned volume of investments is about 1 billion rubles.

- The establishment of the ASEZ is not just a successful development of business and manufacturing, but also a way to improve people's quality of life.

- For us the ASEZ, in the first place, is a mechanism for improving the quality of life of citizens, providing them with supportive and comfortable living conditions. The name speaks for itself – it is a Priority Social and Economic Development Area.

- Developing the city and attracting investments for its needs, strongly depends on the decisions of local authorities, am I right?

- Definitely. We understand that if we want businesses to invest and develop Komsomolsk, we must provide the most favorable and comfortable conditions for them.  Therefore, in recent years the city administration has taken a number of steps to improve the business environment: we have introduced the investment promotion standard and the procedure for regulatory impact assessment;  adopted the investment declaration and the program to improve investment prospects; established the Investment and Development Agency; developed pledge fund regulations; launched a special investment website; and initiated public-private partnerships.

Local government bodies are promoting the participation of small and medium-sized businesses in the procurement tenders of large companies, increasing the availability of financial resources, encouraging the city’s entrepreneurs to join ASEZ projects.

I am sure that all this will make doing business in Komsomolsk-on-Amur even more attractive, accessible and prestigious. And our city will become strong, powerful, prosperous, attractive for investments, convenient for living!