Opening Asia for Russia

16.02.2019 63 просмотров

Governor of the Ulyanovsk Region Sergey Morozov gave an exclusive interview to the Big Asia TV channel. In a conversation with correspondent Alisa Klimantovich, the head of the region told how the Ulyanovsk region has become one of the most investment  attractive regions, why Japanese companies seek to develop business in this constituent entity of the Russian Federation, and how important it is to cover the international activities of the regions in the media.

- Sergey Ivanovich, I know that for the second year in a row the Ulyanovsk region has been ranked tenth in the ranking of regions with the highest investment attractiveness. Please tell us what is being done in the region to attract investors and maintain positions in the ranking?

- Thank you very much for your question. I would like to provide more detailed information for clarification. You probably know that in general the Russian Federation began to pay professional attention to the entrepreneurial investment climate in 2012. When the World Bank first published such a rating: which regions are the most investment-attractive in our country. If you look, you will see that the city of Ulyanovsk and the Ulyanovsk region were number one in that ranking. Then we firmly settled in the top ten and believe that this is really our place, because a huge number of investment companies with which we are negotiating.


How do we do it? Probably because we have a great formula for success. You are unlikely to find in many regions of the Russian Federation, which are at least not included in the top ten, your formula for success and your success story. Here is the formula for success we literally consists of ten “I”. In this way, we have prescribed values for ourselves, from which we must not depart. Let's say investment. This is the only way we can develop. We don't have oil, we don't have gas. And if so, then, of course, this means that we must create aktivnosti-po-vneshnim-svyazyam/">business climate.

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Infrastructure. We say that it is extremely important for us to deal with infrastructure, because this is the way to a good future. And you, if you look at other indicators, such as such a large economic financial channel, then the Ulyanovsk region during 2016, 2017, 2018 is literally in the first 5 regions, which every year show the best results in terms of increasing their own taxes and get good premium. Last year we received almost 500 million rubles. The year before last, we received 470 million rubles. And such a formula for success gives us the opportunity to position ourselves well. And, of course, a success story. When we say that we succeeded, and we began to engage in such a professional activity in 2006, we were promoted already in 2007, over these 10-odd years we have managed to attract private foreign and Russian investments by almost 1 trillion rubles. Agree, in general, for a small Russian region with a little over 1 million 200 thousand people, this amount of investment is excellent.

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- As far as I know, Japan is one of major investors…

- The most!

- The most major investor in the Ulyanovsk region. Why did the Japanese like the Ulyanovsk Region so much?

- First of all, here you can even see who discovered Japan for you and me? Well, not for you and me personally, but for Russian citizens. This is Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov, when he traveled on the frigate "Pallada" and then a famous work appeared. And it was Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov who spoke about Japan.

When we determined the priority countries for economic, trade and investment cooperation, we noticed that this is one of those countries that, perhaps, not so quickly, like Europeans, make decisions, but move very consistently towards trading with the Russian Federation. And when we saw the plan, including that of Mr. Abe, consisting of eight points (meaning the "Plan of cooperation with Russia from 8 points", presented by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Vladimir Putin in 2016 - ed.), we saw that this is very close to us in spirit, in terms of our economic program. And there, as they say, one began to cling to one. The first companies appeared, the first organizations appeared: ROTOBO, Jethro and other organizations that began to tell about us in Japan and us about Japan. And today Japan is indeed number one in our foreign trade cooperation. Every year we add somewhere between 20 and 40%. In 2018, foreign trade turnover with Japan increased by 40% at once. Today it is worth more than $200 million.

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- What are the prospects for this year?

- I can say that not so long ago I was in Japan, and we agreed that this year will undoubtedly be very successful, because, for example, BridgeSton e", which built the largest tire plant just a couple of years ago, decided to build the largest logistics center. Moreover, she decided to build another almost the same enterprise. There [investments amounted to] more than 100 million dollars only in the plant itself. We have interesting developments at the Takata company. We have good developments with the Isuzu company, and this year it will probably be one of the largest investments in the economy of the Russian Federation in general, because Isuzu and the Sollers company have decided to build a full-fledged and full-scale automobile plant . With localization, not just “feathers” for a car and some simple things, but this is a gearbox, this is everything related to frames, and everything related to the security system and much, much more. All this will be entrusted to us, Russia and the Ulyanovsk Region.

- I know that you have repeatedly held meetings with the leadership of Japan. Are there any plans to develop new areas of joint activity?

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- We are now very actively studying two areas of Japanese experience. This is all that is connected with the creation of eco-cities. Agree, for Russian cities this is now more than a hot topic in the context of this big reform with municipal solid waste, which began and caused a lively discussion in society. We saw that Japan has been doing this for a long time and has gone far enough. I came to Japan several times, including Fukuoka Prefecture, I went specifically to see what to do and how to do it. We have decided that in the Ulyanovsk region we will test this model of creating such environmentally friendly communities in small settlements.

And secondly, we are now actively engaged in renewable energy in the Russian Federation, specifically in the Ulyanovsk region. We already have the power to solve problems with the wind. We have a complete understanding, we are already able to solve issues with the sun: not only to generate electricity, but also to earn money. We have seen that Japan is very active in renewable energy in terms of bioenergy and related to hydrogen. I even went and looked: a very interesting direction, very promising. And now we are already conducting preliminary negotiations with a number of companies on the possibility of implementing our common projects in the Russian Federation, in Ulyanovsk.

- What did the Ulyanovsk region get from such interaction with Japanese investors and investors from other countries ?

- Of course, the great competencies that we have as a result. We are a region with a very complex economic structure: engineering, aircraft, automotive, everything related to nuclear technology, and so on. etc. This is an industry that makes you think, think and think. Because the world is developing quite quickly, something is being abandoned, something new is coming. Therefore, of course, it is very interesting for us to cooperate with Japanese companies, with Japanese organizations, to understand where the world is heading. This is the first one.

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Secondly, we received, of course, a huge amount of investment in the economy of the Ulyanovsk region. This gave us the opportunity to create more than one thousand new jobs, and high-tech ones at that. After all, the Japanese are a very generous people if they understand that the people they cooperate with are interested in taking from them, learning from them.

We are now carefully studying at least two such very important directions: this is everything that concerns upbringing and education. We noticed, and the Japanese themselves told us that in the 60s of the last century, Japan, just like us, stood at a big crossroads. And they did not immediately rush to purchase a huge amount of some kind of equipment, they first looked: is a person, is he ready to work better, is he ready to work faster? Is he ready for the quality to be high? Is he generally ready to be proud of his country and his enterprise? After all, you must admit, in our country very often, unfortunately, at many enterprises a person leaves the enterprise and scolds this enterprise for what it is worth. But they do not have this, they have this sense of pride, they fully share the mission of this enterprise. We are taking it now too. We need to introduce this in our country, because it will really increase labor productivity and really give us the opportunity to earn a decent amount of money, and, therefore, make Ulyanovsk residents richer.

And secondly, we are very actively using their experience, and they help us in terms of technical audit of enterprises. And, probably, to be honest, we have medium and small companies, business companies, which are very poorly engaged in strategic planning. But the Japanese do not have this, they [everywhere], from such a small company to an already very large company, a corporation, we see that everyone there understands what should be tomorrow and what should be in five years. And we are now also conducting such a technical audit with them in many of our organizations.

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- The Russian-Chinese enterprise NTM Group has become a resident of the Ulyanovsk Special Economic Zone and, to the extent I know that it is planned to create the largest medical cluster in Russia on its basis. At what stage of development is this project now? Does this strategy exist: today and in five years?

- There is such a strategy. You know our common position in the country, that we are now looking very carefully not only at the West, but also at the East. And we must pay tribute, the People's Republic of China is interesting to us from all points of view, starting with cultural projects, tourism projects - and we, as the birthplace of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, are quite attractive from the point of view of Chinese tourism. Therefore, we launched a large joint project related to the Red Route, with red tourism, and we see that this brings us an additional decent amount of dividends. Starting with a large number of tourists who come to us, and ending with the exchange of various interesting projects. For example, we now have a large exhibition dedicated to Mao Zedong, one of the great representatives of the People's Republic of China.

But at the same time, we see that the Chinese, to be fair, are very active in economic terms as well. We have several large Chinese companies doing business with us. Now we have more than a dozen companies in our investment portfolio, for which we will, I hope, make announcements about the signing of our agreements in the near future. As for the NTM group, I would like you to pay attention: unfortunately, while setting grandiose tasks in the Russian Federation for serious changes in the field of healthcare, we still do not produce enough medical products at home. Everything related to mammographs is what is now in great demand for diagnosing women's health, tomographs, a lot of other devices, both large and small, but multifunctional. And we saw, if so, why can't we cooperate? The company has now created a separate company with its Russian partner, registered, received all the patents and is now preparing to start production. I think that this project will be launched in 2019.

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- I wish the Ulyanovsk region great success. My last question: what attention do you pay to the information support of the activities of the Ulyanovsk region in the field of international cooperation? How important is interaction with our media resource for you?

- You know, I have been working for a long time and I understand that a huge number of people who could be useful to each other, whether in the Ulyanovsk region, China or Japan, they are unlikely to learn about us and will perceive us well if I only go to forums, make presentations, but, I beg your pardon, working through you, working with you, we, of course, will conquer the world faster. Therefore, we we are sincerely grateful to you for your attention to us, and we would like to cooperate, including oblasti/">and with you.

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