President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Manturov, we regularly hold meetings with investors, both Russian and foreign, and we always discuss the so-called special investment contracts. This issue is currently in the development, so let us start with that.
Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov: Mr President, considering that special investment contracts have been around for three years, we can now take stock and draw conclusions on this instrument’s efficiency.
In this period, we have signed 40 special investment contracts worth a total of 1 trillion rubles, and these are private investments. As we implement these projects, we will generate over 20,000 new highly productive jobs in various sectors. This includes, first and foremost, the automotive industry, pharmaceuticals, power engineering, oil-and-gas machine building, chemicals and other sectors. You participated in the launch of three of these projects: Mazda Sollers in the Far East, which manufactures engines, GEROPHARM in St Petersburg, which produces insulin, and the Mercedes-Benz plant in the Moscow Region, which opened in April.
You instructed us to update this mechanism, and we carried out the relevant work and introduced a range of significant changes. First of all, they concern the extension of contracts from ten years to twenty, given the long cycle of a range of projects.
The second change concerns the obligatory inclusion of municipalities, in addition to representatives of the Federation’s constituent entity, in the list of signatories. And the third change is the cancellation of the entry barrier. As of today, the entry barrier is estimated at 750 million; from now on, instead of attracting greater investments, we will focus on attracting technologies, the list of which will be approved by the Government. As the new areas necessary for the industry and the economy in general appear, we will, naturally, keep updating this list.
We kept the stabilisation clause for businesses, which proved to be highly relevant and sought after in granting tax benefits, among other things. All these laws passed the first reading in the State Duma in late May, and we remain in close contact with the deputies in order to complete this work before the end of the spring session.
In addition to special investment contracts, we provide an additional impetus for investment by expanding the programmes of the Industrial Development Fund, which was created at your instruction four years ago. Since then, the Fund has supported over 500 projects.
Vladimir Putin: The most efficient tool in this area.
Denis Manturov: We tried to make it as accessible and non-bureaucratised as possible.
The Fund allocated over 100 billion rubles for these projects and businesses provided an additional 200 billion rubles.
There is a long list of industries that receive concessional loans. At the moment, we lowered the interest rate to 1 percent for key national tasks that you outlined. Mr President, first of all, this concerns the conversion programme to diversify the defence industry facilities and to introduce technology to increase labour productivity and digitalisation of enterprises.
In addition to the main federal fund, regional authorities also began creating local funds. They established 60 regional funds with a total capitalisation of eight billion rubles. We signed agreements with almost all of them, thus providing the opportunity for co-financing of up to 70 percent of projects that are selected at the regional level. This relates mostly to small and medium-sized businesses, which is absolutely essential for their development.
Therefore, we made digitalisation, one of the most pressing issues, the main topic of the upcoming INNOPROM 2019, which will take place in Yekaterinburg on July 8–11. In addition to an eventful business programme, the exhibition space will be expanded; 14 countries will present their national exhibitions. Turkey will be our partner country this year.
You once supported the initiative to hold the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit GMIS 2019 as part of INNOPROM. This year’s summit will be dedicated to nature-like technology and its development, as well as to finding a balance between biological and technological areas. You touched upon this issue when you spoke in 2015 at the 70th UN General Assembly, and since then these issues have become even more pressing. There is a discussion on this topic in the global business community, between ministries and government agencies. This issue lies at the confluence of the economy and industry. We hope that you will find the time and attend these events this year.
Vladimir Putin: Certainly, I will try.
I also took a look at the sectoral distribution of the fund’s projects. I consider attractive the following areas: engineering, chemistry, metal processing and medical, biological and pharmaceutical sciences. These are the most interesting and promising areas, in my opinion.