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Denis Manturov: Business Is Ready To Create Research And Development Centers On Russky Island

Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (WEF) told TASS about what business is ready to develop projects in the Far East region, which areas have become the locomotives of export development from Russia this year, why car sales continue to decline in the country and how the ministry intends to slow down this trend.

A feature of the Eastern Economic Forum is its emphasis on the development of the Far East. This year, the President held the Presidium of the State Council on the Development of the Far Eastern Region within the framework of the WEF, and last year he urged corporations to place engineering centers on Russky Island. Was this sentence heard? What large industrial enterprises are working in this direction?

What results were achieved in a year? We have supported and will continue to support the industry of this region. We have long been working on tools and support measures for both current and future industrial centers, investment projects in the region. As a result, we have already strengthened the industrial blocks of the national program for the development of the Far East in each of the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District.

In the Far East, both the aviation and mining industries are developed. The Zvezda shipyard is under construction, and recently the modernization of the Zhataysky shipyard and shipbuilding plant has begun. On this site we will build modern river vessels. And on Russky Island, the deployment of research and development centers has already been planned. Together with the Ministry for the Development of the Far East and other departments, we worked on attracting large companies to the island, and many of them positively accepted the idea of ​​such a development of the region. So, now it is planned to open six engineering centers. This will create more than 100 new jobs in the region. Implementation of the projects is planned from 2019 to 2025. 

I can give specific examples. Russian Helicopters, together with OAK, plans to create an engineering center for the development and implementation of innovative technologies, such as robotics, augmented reality, and big data processing. On the basis of the center, it is also planned to develop training programs and train personnel in the interests of aviation enterprises.

Rosneft is creating an engineering center in the areas of shipbuilding and ship repair, and the development of innovative technologies. We see that in the Far East a variety of industrial sectors can develop. And those projects that are being implemented now are a small part of the potential that the region possesses. We want to work both on industry and on exporting goods from the Far East.

As regards exports: the government previously forecasted that non-commodity exports from Russia would reach $ 160 billion in 2019, which would mean a slight increase over last year. Do you think this forecast will come true?

I do not exclude that the forecast due to market factors will be adjusted relative to the figures included in the draft. This is primarily due to fluctuations in world exchanges. But in a number of industries, we see a positive trend: for example, in the first half of 2019, exports of engineering products increased by 2%, two-percent growth also shows exports in the light industry category. An increase of 4% shows the export of pharmaceutical, perfumery and cosmetic products. The export of agricultural products such as oil and fat products increased by 20%. Drivers are the chemical, petrochemical, metallurgical industries.

Russian automobile giants - both local and localized companies - are also largely export oriented. But the Russian car market continues to fall. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has traditionally been working to maintain demand for cars. Will you make any additional efforts now?

Unfortunately, the main reason for the decline in sales of new cars lies in the decline in real incomes of the population. Starting July 1, 2019, we extended the state support of the Russian car market through preferential car loans and preferential car leasing programs. For these purposes, in 2019, 10 billion rubles will be additionally allocated - 6 billion rubles for the social programs "First Car" and "Family Car" as part of preferential car loans and 4 billion rubles - for preferential leasing of commercial vehicles. This will allow for the additional sale of more than 75 thousand units of equipment in 2019. A program to stimulate demand for gas engine equipment with a budget of 2.5 billion rubles will also continue.

Let's go back to the Far East and to the topic of export. Mazda-Sollers produced a batch of engines at its factory, which is designed specifically for export to Japan. Will these engines be sent to other countries?

The launch of mass production of engines at the Mazda-Sollers plant is the first high-tech project in the Far East, which is integrated into the global chain of a large international concern. Now 100% of the engines produced are shipped to Japan for the needs of automobile enterprises of Mazda Motor Corporation. In turn, Mazda cars with engines produced in Vladivostok will be delivered to all international markets where the brand is present. So we can talk about indirect exports to third countries.

The test batch of engines has been successfully tested and is fully recognized by all international Mazda quality standards. In 2020, Mazda-Sollers expects to increase production volumes and reach capacity of up to 20 thousand engines annually.

In June, you said that a pilot project on the use of payments by QR code in retail could begin in the fall. Are there any specifics for the project? When does the “pilot” start and what trading networks will participate in it?

The quick payment system is an infrastructure project of the Central Bank, in which retail is very interested. Almost 20 banks have already joined the project, including systemically important ones and banks with a universal license (VTB, Rosbank, Alfa-Bank, Raiffeisenbank, Gazprombank, Tinkoff Bank, etc.). The functions of the operator and settlement center in this project are performed by the Central Bank, and the details of this project should be clarified with them.

In order to develop exports, you planned to expand the tax free system launched last year to all regions of Russia by the end of 2019. Will you succeed?

The tax free project has been successfully implemented in Russia for more than a year, the pilot regime has been extended to 2019. We are constantly expanding the list of locations participating in the experiment: at first these were specific addresses in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Moscow region, and Sochi. Then the list of locations was supplemented by the cities hosting the events of the World Cup 2018: Kazan, Saransk, Volgograd, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Yekaterinburg. In July this year, the list of locations was supplemented by another city - Veliky Novgorod.

Increasing the list of locations, we proposed switching to the principle of including specific streets and cities, as in the case of Veliky Novgorod, and not addresses. This made it possible to make the main shopping streets of Russia more attractive for tourists and for shopping. For example, Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg, Stoleshnikov Lane and Tverskaya Street in Moscow. In addition, this allowed to stimulate the opening of new trade and service enterprises.

As a result, from April 2018 to July 2019, more than 130 thousand tax free checks were issued in the amount of about 13 billion rubles. Tourists were paid about 1.5 billion rubles of VAT refunds. Now, at the stage of the experiment, the tax free system is implemented through paper workflow. In 2020, having debugged the system of electronic forms of tax free checks, we plan to make changes to federal laws and regulations to replicate the project throughout the country, removing restrictions on the number of retailers and the list of their locations. An electronic check as a more technological alternative to a paper check allows you to automatically validate it, and if there is a link to a bank card, then automatically reimburse it. These technologies are already used in France, South Korea, Uruguay, Singapore.

The electronic tax free check system is being implemented by the FCS of Russia together with the tax service. Its debugging will be completed before the end of 2019.

Regarding the spread of tax free throughout the country, we must submit these proposals to the government by May 2020, to the State Duma in September 2020. From January 2021 we will have to accompany the consideration of federal law by the Federation Council. These deadlines are set by the business climate transformation plan of action, approved by government order.

By 2024, all municipal solid waste will have to be either disposed of or recycled. What are the prospects for this task, if now often even separately collected garbage is taken to a regular landfill? And will waste incineration plants solve the problem, because ecologists already have serious questions for the projects on which they will be built?

First of all, I want to note that the term “processing” is absent in the regulatory field. However, in fact, it is identical to the term "disposal", which means the use of waste for the production of new products.

Until 2024, we plan to build more than 200 facilities for sorting municipal solid waste. New facilities will guarantee that the waste will be disposed of rather than sent to a landfill, as it was before, because it will allow sorting out secondary resources from MSW, which are valuable raw materials and will be in demand by the market. Over the past two years, more than 15 such facilities have already been built, and the pace of their commissioning will only grow.

Regarding the issue of incinerators, it should be noted that the problem of waste should not be solved solely by burning waste. A more promising and modern solution is the processing of waste in order to extract secondary raw materials to be returned to the economy. At the same time, the incinerator is one of the effective ways to deal with garbage, especially with the “tailings” in sorting MSW, which cannot be used as secondary resources. From the point of view of environmental safety, the waste incineration plants planned for construction and under construction require the use of the best available technologies. In particular, technologies involving the burning of MSW on grate with further use of a closed three-stage gas purification system.

-Interviewed by Yuniya Polyakova, Maria Amirjanian




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