Economy Ministry draws conclusions: 1,5% GRP growth against last year

The ministry focuses on PSEDA, support of entrepreneurship and cluster business system

The Tatarstan Ministry of Economy drew conclusions of 2018 for the economy and small businesses of the republic and awarded winners of a contest among journalists on 27 December. Realnoe Vremya tells the details.

Guide to services for business

Before awarding winners of the contest of the Tatarstan Ministry of Economy, head of the Tatarstan Entrepreneurship Support Fund Aydar Salikhov made a short excursion on the Entrepreneur's House on Peterburgskaya Street to tell what's done in the republic for small and medium-sized businesses.

The organisation shares the office with Sberbank from which the fund rents three floors.

The Entrepreneur's House has a multifunctional centre offering one-window services to businesses. Only the MFC has offered 15,000 services this year. It's also possible to make an audit of an organisation or, for instance, turn to the Cluster Development Centre where 16 clusters are supervised. Employees of the centre called the help of Bars Technology in getting 247m rubles of subsidies one of the big merits this year.

The Regional Leasing Centre created by Tatarstan and the corporation of SME also offers its services. The republic invested 500m rubles in the project, federal bodies did 1,5bn. According to the programme, an enterprise can purchase Russian-made equipment at 6% a year and foreign-made at 8%. There are separate bonuses for agricultural producers – the longest leasing term increased from 5 to 7 years. This year, the Regional Leasing Centre has accomplished 31 projects with a total sum of 1bn 100m rubles. All the money has been spent.

The Export Support Centre set a task for the next year to take 90 SMEs to the foreign market and 420 until 2024. But few people ask for help now. This is why Salikhov asked the mass media to write about this supporting measure. It offers to subsidise costs on certification of products sent abroad, take SMEs to exhibitions and organise business missions. Moreover, the centre doesn't help financially to transfer goods abroad because, as Rustam Minnikhanov says, ''I gave you a rod, fishing is up to you.''

The Export Support Centre set a task for the next year to take 90 SMEs to the foreign market and 420 until 2024, Salikhov says

In case of agriculture, export is called unprofitable because logistics require big costs. However, Aydar Salikhov thinks the opposite. He puts an example of Aznakayevo Dairy Factory with whom they're discussing the organisation of supplies to China and Gulf countries now.

Businesses are also attracted to the Factoring Services Centre – financing in favour of receivables not to have a margin between payment and supply of a good. After paying for a good, the company returns the money to the centre and additionally pays 15% a year for services. Mainly companies supplying perfumes and cosmetics turn to the organisation regarding the wholesale sale of chemicals and petrochemicals. Suppliers of such big chains as Leroy Merlin, Tander JSC retailer are among its clients. It's also planned to attract companies working with KAMAZ.

Moreover, businesses ask to increase limits on money withdrawal. But there is no money for it at the moment. The centre has 330m rubles at its disposal, while SMEs coming to it need about 1bn rubles. Now the opening of a credit line at 8,5% a year is discussed with MSP Bank. If it's done, the volume of money will grow.

The microfinance centre where small loans from 100,000 to 3m rubles at 7,5% a year are granted didn't manage to attract entrepreneurs for long – either with the media or with the help briefings. Such a tool as social networks became a solution. ''We launched it, and people started to come,'' Salikhov says.

Feedback on support is expected from businesses

Before the award ceremony, Tatarstan Economy Minister Farid Abdulganiyev himself drew some short conclusions. So this year GRP totalled over 2,4tr rubles, or 101,5% against the last year. Products of the industrial sector were sold for 2,8tr rubles – it's 101,9 compared to the last year. Retail trade volumes increased by 5,6% and amounted to 909,4bn rubles.

Before the award ceremony, Farid Abdulganiyev drew some short conclusions

It has already been said many times about conclusions, and it will be said more. Now we'd like to tell about Priority Social and Economic Development Areas (PSEDA) in Tatarstan in particular. The PSEDA in Naberezhnye Chelny ends the year with 28 residents, another nine are in the process of being added to the roster of residents. Nizhnekamsk PSEDA has three residents now, another three are being registered. Chistopol has two residents, another one is added to the roster. Four companies are getting ready to become residents on the industrial site in Zelenodolsk. Another six investment projects were going to be considered on 27 December, they wanted to join PSEDAs in Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk and Chistopol.

Back to the topic of support of SMEs, Abdulganiyev noted: ''I am really happy that such a wide range of tools was created in the republic and there are so many approaches to support entrepreneurs.'' Though he complained that businesses unwillingly react to the created support services.

''Unfortunately, not all the job done in the republic is communicated to the community of entrepreneurs on time. We have what to show, we have what to be proud of, and we need to provide feedback,'' the minister noted.

He says they presented 34 best practices to the Agency for Strategic Initiatives in 2018, while other regions either don't present at all or present just a few of them. But businesses in the republic don't know what is done for them.

Rimma Ratnikova offered the Ministry of Economy to think of masterclasses for journalists, so that mass media representatives would learn to write on economic topics

''2,800 entrepreneurs of the Republic of Tatarstan got supporting measures in this building, in the Entrepreneur's House. This summer we surveyed them. 50% of entrepreneurs said they didn't know where the Entrepreneur's House is. 70% of entrepreneurs who got supporting measures said they simply didn't get such supporting measures,'' Abdulganiyev provided with the survey's results.

He calls the fact that SMEs take the offered services for granted normal. But he anyway urges to create a positive background.

''We will push up more efficiently for money…''

An honourable guest was sitting next to the minister at the meeting – Vice Chairwoman of the Tatarstan State Council Rimma Ratnikova. She offered the Ministry of Economy to think of masterclasses for journalists, so that mass media representatives would learn to write on economic topics.

Apart from Rimma Ratnikova and Farid Abdulganiyev, the awards were given by Novy Vek TV and Radio Company Ilshat Aminov and Tatmedia Director General Andrey Kuzmin. Ilshat Aminov found a fly in the ointment in the talk about developing entrepreneurship and stated that it was anyway hard to run a business in Russia at the moment.

''People feel the fresh wind, but the presence of corruption, the necessity to bribe and so on… I talk with entrepreneurs very often and in detail. They tell me everything, how good it is in China and how tough it is in Russia. There is what to work on, and the journalist's role is huge here,'' Aminov added a pessimistic note.

Apart from Rimma Ratnikova and Farid Abdulganiyev, the awards were given by Novy Vek TV and Radio Company Ilshat Aminov and Tatmedia Director General Andrey Kuzmin

But Andrey Kuzmin told about another thing – that today the mass media have to work as SMEs – due to the financial load.

''We count every penny because shareholders very strictly control us. At the latest council of directors, we were also set tough profit generating plans. This is why we are the same entrepreneurs whom you help,'' the director general of Tatmedia addressed the minister.

He offered Abdulganiyev to support journalists not only with contests but also ways of financing – targeted orders.

''As we are a small business entity, then you consider promotions in your projects as a business,'' Kuzmin noted.

According to him, in case of grants, 10% can be presupposed in the budget to cover business in the mass media.

''We will push up more efficiently and with a greater desire for money. Your information will reach the target audience,'' the Tatmedia director general said and laughed himself at the analogy he made up.

By Maria Gorozhaninova. Photo: