Investment Message from the Governor
Today, we are adapting to the new economic conditions, acting in a regime of permanent changes, ensuring the balance of the budget, social stability and economic development. For the first time in history the total volume of the regional budget exceeded 100 billion rubles. Measures of support of the real sector of the economy, specifically, agriculture, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as enterprises engaged in import substitution, are provided in the main financial document of the region. We are faced with the task of determining ways to ensure the flow of investment, improve the efficiency of the regional economy, see new «points of growth» in the development of the Altai Territory.
Investment activity is the basis of economic development of any region. Despite the unstable economic situation in 2015-2016, during the last twelve years there have been positive changes in investment activity indicators; as a whole, during the investment period they grew by 34.7%, the total amount in current prices was about 700 billion rubles.
It is gratifying that real sector, being the basis of the economy of the region, forms about half of the gross regional product, has been adapted to the new conditions of the last two years earlier than other spheres . The enterprises of agriculture, mining and manufacturing showed a steady increase in investments in fixed capital in 2016, more than 1.5 times. During the current year there is a positive dynamics of investments in fixed assets in a full range of enterprises: for 9 months the volume index was 105.0%. The total volume of investments in fixed assets for the year is estimated at 80.7 billion rubles, or 101.8% against the level of the previous year.
According to our authority we must consolidate this trend and offer investors the most comfortable conditions: modern legislative support for investment activities, new types of financial support for investors, prepared investment platforms, simple and understandable forms of interaction between business and the state.
I will dwell on the results of the National Rating of the Investment Climate in the Constituent entities within the Russian Federation in 2017. The improvement of the region`s rating by 20 positions and the entry into the top thirty regions with the most favorable business conditions is the result of joint actions of the authorities, including territorial administrations of federal authorities, local governments, development institutions, business associations in solving complex tasks of creation of comfortable conditions for the development of investment activities. The positive results of the implementation of the regional investment policy of the current year do not reduce the priority of the tasks we face with for the further development of the investment climate in the region.
An important trend in the region's investment policy today is the implantation of best practices for creating a favorable investment climate on the basis of 12 strategic models developed by the Agency and approved by the Government of the Russian Federation to simplify business procedures and increase investment attractiveness. Guided by them, the executive authorities created «road maps», established targets and key areas of work. They touched upon such important business procedures as obtaining a permit for building, registering the rights for property and placing it on cadastral records, exercising control and supervisory activities, supporting small and medium-sized businesses, and other. The overall percentage of target model activities realization by the Altai Territory after eleven months was 88%, we are among the leaders in Siberia.
Heads of the relevant executive bodies bear personal responsibility for the implementation of activities envisaged by the corresponding «road maps» of the introduction of target models. I stress the need of improvement of the regulation work and increase the efficiency of interagency cooperation. In the current year, local authorities received 9.8 million rubles from the regional budget to complete work on approving the documents of territorial planning, though such documents have not been adopted in a number of municipalities yet.
At the same time, I believe that in the near future, special attention should be focused on increasing the share of public services in electronic form, reducing the time for obtaining a building permit, connecting to engineering infrastructure facilities, creating a complete list of territorial planning documents and urban zoning in all municipalities where this is provided for, timely submission of information about the borders of the region, municipalities and settlements to the Unified State Register of Real Estate.
Taking into account the simultaneous passing of the procedures, we shortened the time for obtaining a permit for the construction of a standard facility from 230 (in 2014) to 90 days (in 2016), and the maximum period for connecting consumers to electricity (up to 150 kW) - up to 135 days with 4 procedures, 4 (decrease in comparison with 2014 for 45 days and 6 procedures).
We expect to reduce the time of:
setting the land for cadastral registration up to 38 days;
state registration of ownership rights up to 7 days;
connection to gas supply networks up to 135 days;
connection to the heat supply infrastructure, water supply and sanitation up to 256 days.
This should be an unconditional priority when implementing the corresponding «road maps».
As before, the determining factor of the region's effective investment policy is the quality of regional investment legislation. Legal acts that regulate the investment process need to be worked out more carefully. Anything that restricts, hinders, slows down should be excluded, but within a framework that does not contradict federal legislation. In 2014, the law «On Investment Activities in the Altai Territory», which ensured the guarantees of investors' rights, was adopted. During the past period, the law has been further developed, expanding the rights of investors, primarily in terms of state support. A year ago (August 11, 2016) the law of the Altai Territory came into effect, simplifying the access of investors to land plots. Today, thanks to it, work is already underway on two investment sites. The volume of foreign investment in these projects will exceed 1 billion rubles. Both facilities will be put into operation next year. Currently, a number of projects in the field of industrial production claim a similar form of support.
The work to improve the regional legislation in the field of investment activity is ongoing, there are already a number of developments related to the provision of the necessary investment sites with infrastructure. Until the end of next year, we plan to make additions to the relevant regulatory legal acts.
In conditions of restricting the access of enterprises to cheap credit resources, their investment activity decreases, which affects the social and economic development of the regions. In this regard, the issue of establishing a regional development fund is under consideration.
Despite the rigid conditions for the formation of the budget of recent years, we have maintained along with the support of the regional leasing fund, the Altai Micro Fund, the Altai Guarantee Fund, direct regional forms of financial support for investors in the form of subsidies for interest rates on loans, property tax and other forms.
In the past and current year, the basis for cooperation with the federal development institutions was established - the Mono-Towns Development Fund, the Industrial Development Fund, the Federal Corporation for the Development of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Russian Export Center, with which cooperation agreements have been concluded. Today we can already talk about their practical implementation.
In May of this year, the Mono-Towns Development Fund signed an agreement on co-financing the costs of reconstruction of the infrastructure facility - an automobile road in the industrial zone of the city of Zarinsk. The volume of financing from the Fund during 2017 - 2018 for these purposes will be up to 48 million rubles. Reconstruction works of the infrastructure facility and the construction of the plant will be synchronized and in accordance with the schedule should be fully implemented by the end of next year.
I believe that local government bodies and executive authorities of the region, together with public associations, need to maximize the opportunities for raising funds from federal development institutions.
The interest of business to the Industrial Development Fund is expanding. An example of establishment of effective interaction with this Fund is JSC «Altai Precision Products Plant» project, which resulted in the provision of a soft loan to the company in the amount of 300 million rubles, and JSC BMK «Melanzhist Altai», whose application was approved by the Expert Council in amount of 300 million rubles.
Additional financial opportunities for investors` support are provided according to cooperation with JSC «Federal corporation for the development of small and medium-sized businesses». As at September 11, 2017, according to the «Program 6.5», loans total 927.9 million rubles were approved for financing 29 business projects in the region.
The current topic of the year is the creation of priority social and economic development areas (PSEDA) within the mono-towns of Zarinsk and Novoaltaysk. Appropriate applications for the establishment of PSEDA in these single-industry towns have been formed and sent to the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia. Providing significant benefits for the investor in the profit tax, property tax, insurance premiums and their connection with state support of the mono-towns, the development fund will have a cumulative effect and will provide these single-industry towns the opportunity to become the epicenters of investments. It is necessary to maximize the usage of this tool for the development of these mono-profile towns. Our entire and foreign investors evaluate the processes of the creation of such territories attentively, so the task of all executors is to become more involved in the active work.
Taking into account that since April 2018 federal legislation will allow creating of PSEDA not only in the territory of single-industry towns, it is also necessary to assess the possibility of their creation in other territories of the region.
We expect a significant expansion of the practice of applying the mechanism of public-private partnership in the coming years. All conditions and prerequisites for this already have been created: federal and regional legislation has been formed, and responsible structure has been identified at the regional level. Now we need to prioritize correctly, directing the main efforts to work in the social sphere and housing and communal services. The next year the Government of the Altai region, taking into account the opinion of municipalities, needs to form a detailed list of project initiatives in the public-private partnership sphere, discuss it publicly and, having determined with pilot projects, to launch competitive procedures.
In addition, I consider the modernization of municipal engineering communications by concluding concession agreements as a promising direction of public-private partnership. The specialized agencies need to study in details the experience of concluding the agreements on heat supply facilities in Rubtsovsk and, if it is possible and expedient, to extend this practice to other territories of the region.
Solution of a complex of tasks to improve the investment climate and attract investments is impossible without the active participation of municipalities. However, practice shows that there is often no understanding yet: what, when and how to develop, how important is the professional interaction with investors and quick response to their appeals. It is necessary to improve the institution of investment commissioners.
It is advisable, with the assistance of representatives of the expert community, experts from the regional development and business institutions, to organize and implement in the municipalities a pilot project of «Control Purchase» aimed at checking the efficiency and quality of work with potential investors, and subsequently, as a result of its spread throughout the region, take into account the results when drawing up the investment rating of municipalities.
Also, local authorities, in conjunction with the relevant executive authorities of the region, need to conduct a detailed audit of investment sites.
An important direction of the region`s development is the creation of such branches of the regional economy, which are able to form principally new capacious sales markets already in the medium-years term. Intensive introduction of innovative technologies makes it possible for enterprises of traditional industries of the region and small innovative companies to integrate into commodity flows on the basis of available competencies. It is necessary to focus on the state support of enterprises engaged in the production and processing of agricultural raw materials, precision farming, biotechnology, pharmaceutics, chemistry and new materials, information systems and technologies, alternative energy and energy conservation, precision engineering and additive technologies.
A key role in the formation of the sufficient competencies for the effective functioning of the regional economy is played by highly qualified personnel. The main areas of our work in this sphere are personnel training for modern industry, agriculture, infrastructure facilities, providing the innovative component of the economy with personnel, creating opportunities for continuing education and retraining, creative education, preservation and development of talents in the region. The profile ministries need to continue active interaction with universities and secondary specialized educational institutions, pay special attention to the formation of professional standards and approaches to training.
Creating a comfortable business environment is a priority and an urgent task. Recognizing that an entrepreneur is the most important participant in the process of creating an effective economy, the executive authorities of the region should make every effort to ensure that entrepreneurial comfort in all spheres and directions is a reality. Regional authorities are open to dialogue and are oriented towards equal partnership with business.
Executive authorities of the region need to work out a mechanism to accompany investment projects, primarily initiated by companies in the region, I think it is necessary to take into account and provide the maximum possible support under the current legislation for each such project. We will be able to realize the most ambitious investment projects for the benefit of the Altai Territory and its residents only through well-coordinated and high-quality work.
Summing up, I would like to note that the fulfillment of all the outlined tasks will allow to create effective interaction between business and the state in order to build a competitive economy of the Altai Territory with development rates outstripping the average Russian.