The Japanese promised Tatarstan a housing cheaper than Talgat Abdullin offers

At today's briefing on the working trip of the Tatarstan delegation to Japan, it became known that in the coming years the Asian company that builds prefabricated houses of economy class can enter the real estate market of the Republic. Also, as the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya having visited the briefing found out, Tatarstan has managed to develop and strengthen partnerships of Innopolis and the plant Ammonia with the Land of the Rising Sun.

Why is Russia attractive?

Recently, Tatarstan participated in the event as part of the large Russian delegation. The Republican working group was chaired by Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, in his team were the head of Agency of Investment Development of the Republic Taliya Minullina, a chairperson of the Board of Directors of JSC Ammonia Rinat Khanbikov, the director of Investment-venture Fund of Tatarstan Ainur Aideldinov and Director General of SEZ Innopolis Igor Nosov.

At the briefing, the speakers repeatedly emphasized that Japan has one of the largest economic powers in the world, which share in global GDP is 7.9%. According to Taliya Minullina, such major player is interested in partnership with Russia: today in Russia there are 2 170 Japanese companies and $ 200 billion have already been invested in our infrastructure and production.

'According to Japanese businessmen, Russia is attractive from the point of view of the vast territory, resources, large market and growing demand for infrastructure development,' told Minullina. 'It's infrastructure projects, alternative sources of energy, logistics and transport that are the most promising for investors.'

The speaker also noted that in 2014 foreign trade turnover between Russia and Japan amounted to about $31 billion, while export from our country is increasing and import is decreasing. In 2015, there was a decline in trade turnover, what cannot be said about Tatarstan-Japanese relations – in 2015 the turnover amounted to $ 111 million against $ 106 million in 2014.

According to Minullina, in 2015 the trade turnover between Tatarstan and Japan amounted to $ 111 million against $ 106 million in 2014. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Unfavourable regulatory environment and complex customs procedures of the Russian Federation

During the sittings, the Japanese side outlined a number of barriers that complicates business relations with Russia. For example, Asian partners indicated insufficient favorable regulatory environment and challenging legal system. Also, a lot of criticism was addressed to the customs legislation. According to Minullina, facilitated customs procedures are already operating in two Russian ports in pilot mode, which might entail changes in the legislation of the Russian Federation.

Head of Investment-venture Fund of Tatarstan Ainur Aideldinov, the purpose of whom is to find mechanisms for investment and financing for local entrepreneurs, reported that now there are some Japanese companies that are seriously considering the possibility of establishing a business on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan.

'We are considering how to create conditions for a soft entry into the local market, despite numerous barriers. We have a lot of work to do: business structuring, organizational and legal form, transactions, how to bring in money without making any mistakes, from the point of view of Russian legislation – all it takes from six months to two years,' told Aideldinov.

Cheap houses from Japanese producer

In 2015, the Japanese company Iida Sangyo, which constructs prefabricated houses (the construction of one house takes about a month), expressed a desire to open a center in Tatarstan. During the year the specialists have studied the Russian market and now are ready to construct a demonstration house in Kazan.

'They have already bought a company in Vladivostok that will be the main source of raw materials. They are planning to open a company in Tatarstan in the SEZ Alabuga,' informed Aideldinov. 'Their houses will be constructed on a turnkey basis, with interior decoration, partly furnished. If this project goes through, their partners who engaged in 'stuffing' of the house, are also ready to come to us. In the first stage, 200-300 new jobs can be created.'

After the construction of the demonstration house, the company will adapt Japanese technology to the Russian market and the local climate during the year. The deadline for entering the enterprise to the local real estate market depends on these processes. By the way, the price of houses will be lower than the price of housing that now are being implemented under the programme of dilapidated housing. And as you know, apartments built by the Fund of Talgat Abdullin cost 27-30 thousand rubles per square meter for social mortgage holders.

On 29 February, the Republic, represented by Ammonia and Tatneft, signed a memorandum on project Ammonia-2, told Khanbikov

Falling in price IT-specialists and the second Ammonia

The partnership between Tatarstan and Japan was established a few years ago, and in all that time they implemented numerous joint projects, one of which is Ammonia.

'We started the project Ammonia-2. On 29 February, the Republic, represented by Ammonia and Tatneft, signed a memorandum. The plant will be built where there is gas, next to the first one. The cost of the project is a matter of negotiations, but it is, of course, will not be higher than the price that was before. The products will be the same as in the first plant, but there will be added a number of products. You know, we are in a competitive environment, so I will not answer all the questions today,' explained a chairperson of Directors Council of JSC Ammonia Rinat Khanbikov.

The speaker added that the JSC Tatneft will be the investor of construction of the complex Ammonia-2.

Also, the Director General of SEZ Innopolis Igor Nosov puts great hopes on cooperation with Japan. According to him, the partnership with the country of the Rising Sun has a great potential for special economic zone, as well as for the University.

'Japan is a leader in the production of robotics, and robotics is one of the main directions of development for Innopolis. In the framework of the visit, we visited one of the largest factories manufacturing robots,' said Nosov. 'Despite the leadership of Japan, one of their universities has gained an innovative production complex in Tatarstan. We are sure that Tatarstan is the best partner for Japanese companies choosing a Russian site.'

According to Nosov, the situation with the Russian ruble plays into the hands of our country because 2 years ago a Russian specialist in the field of IT or robotics was not so attractive from the point of view of wages. Now, the experts of Innopolis are actively developing special programmes in order to increase the attractiveness for Japanese partners.

By Lina Sarimova

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