Tubetey Tower: a tower in the shape of giant tubeteika to be built on Kazanka River

In addition to an unusual viewing platform, the investors are also going to build a confectionery factory, ski factory and medical centre in the capital of Tatarstan

The previous year proved to be very successful for Tatarstan – the investment volume increased by 37%, Head of Tatarstan Investment Development Agency Talia Minullina said at a briefing in the Cabinet. Among the projects, the start of which is very much expected in the country, there is the production of cross-country skis and the first observation tower, which will be crowned by a huge platform in the form of a tubeteika. It will be an entertainment complex with a souvenir shop, restaurant and observation deck of 120 square metres.

The most attractive region

''Today, we position Tatarstan as an international point of entry to the market of Russia and CIS countries — for us this is a key point. We say that our entry point will definitely be more profitable from an economic position due to a number of factors — the location in the centre of the European part of Russia, with the development of logistics, third — we are still a region, and we will never have such prices like in the capital, we will still be more attractive. This applies to land plots, rent, labour force, and so on,'' Talia Minullina, the head of Investment Development Agency, began the meeting with journalists.

According to her, there is a personnel shortage in Russia caused by the outflow of the population, the world championship of working professions (it is held in Kazan this year) is not accidental: ''When investors come, one of the first questions is what universities the region has, what specialties, how high-quality these graduates are.''

For this reason, EDU Russia forum will be held for the second time, which is going to be attended by representatives of more than 40 regions of Russia. The first forum was held in 2017, the head of the agency said: ''It will consider the problems of education — preschool, school, higher, additional, professional, post-graduate. It's free, you're welcome.''

EDU Russia forum will be held for the second time, which is going to be attended by representatives of more than 40 regions of Russia. Photo: gumcollege.ru

''Only five projects find practical implementation''

According to the results of the previous year, in Tatarstan there was an increase in foreign investment by 37% — Minullina referred to the data of Tatarstanstat: ''This is a very large figure, but, unfortunately, our other investments in the structure of foreign are growing, it means that companies enter our region with not direct capital, but borrowed credit funds.''

At the same time, the obligations for these attracted funds are borne by investors, not the state, so it is their risks, and the task of the host country is to minimize these risks, she added. At the meeting with Dmitry Medvedev on the draft law ''On protection and promotion of investments in the Russian Federation'', which is to be attended by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, these issues will also be discussed: ''The next version has been presented, the debate is again being conducted at the federal level.''

In 2018, the investments amounted to 597 million US dollars, out of which a quarter is direct ones. Minullina told about the projects that are under development or are accompanied by the agency.

''A large number of projects are under way, and only about five find practical implementation. The rest at different stages fail: either there are no orders, or there is no co-financing, or a suitable local partner, or logistics — we start a lot of projects, not so many are finished. But if we do not start to spin that big vortex, then these five projects that I am talking about will not take place. Tatarstan today is one of the most successful regions of Russia in terms of investment, that's for sure.''

Minullina immediately made a reservation that she would not name the companies whose projects have not yet been put into operation: ''There is the term such as 'investment espionage', our colleagues are vigilant, they also monitor our success and can lure investors.''

One of the projects is the construction of a cargo terminal on the territory of Kazan International Airport. Here, the approximate amount of investment is 219 million dollars: ''The company already owns such facilities in more than 15 countries of the world and has management experience, we need to develop it. Each terminal is connected with the development of e-commerce in Tatarstan.''

One of the projects is the construction of a cargo terminal on the territory of Kazan International Airport. Photo: Maksim Platonov

One of the major social projects worth more than 1 billion rubles — Gorodskie Termy health and recreation centres. These are bath complexes that are planned to be created in Kazan, Yelabuga, Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk, Almetyevsk, Zelenodolsk and Bugulma (the cities with a population of more than 100,000 people). The Yelabuga complex is already under construction, a land plot has been prepared in Nizhnekamsk. ''A visit to this complex will cost 150-200 rubles a day, that is, it is quite an attractive price.''

Another ''billion'' object — the Chistopol plant for the production of synthetic resins.

The $1 million project with a foreign company to localize the production and manufacture of chocolate products and caramel candies is planned to be implemented near Kazan, Minullina said: ''So far, two sites meet the requirement of the investor — Vysokogorsky and Laishevsky districts. This company is engaged in the production on modern technologies, they have candies, bars with various fillings, dragees, peanuts in chocolate glaze and so on.'' This investor already cooperates with the federal networks Auchan, Fix Price, and cooperates not only with Russian networks, but also with Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and so on.

Investment Development Agency also accompanies projects for the production of feed additives and probiotics, the production of tankers, the construction of 'Ferris Wheel' and others.

According to Minullina, most investors choose Alabuga — because of the benefits, infrastructure development: ''KIP Master is also very attractive, there is well developed Khimgrad, these are three [the most popular] sites in Tatarstan. There is also SEZ Innopolis — but there is its own specifics, so there is no internal competition for the object. There is also Naberezhnye Chelny because of PSEDA, Nizhnekamsk is also actively working.''

According to Minullina, the main part of investors chooses Alabuga — because of the benefits, infrastructure development. Photo: Maksim Platonov

Tubetey Tower

Minullina presented to the journalists the concept of a spectacular project — the observation tower Tubetey Tower with an investment of 300-350 million rubles. These funds are invested by the investor himself, said Minullina.

The tower is supposed to be crowned with a huge tubeteika, it will house restaurants, tourist shops with souvenirs and an observation deck itself with an area of 120 square metres, which will go along the perimeter of the tubeteika. According to Minullina, Chief Architect of Kazan Tatyana Prokofieva saw the project and approved it, there is a positive conclusion of the State Committee for Tourism, the architectural community of the Kazan State University of Architecture and Engineering.

The project has already been prepared, but the details have not yet been approved — for example, the glass floor in the tower is still under discussion. The height of the tower is still being under consideration, because there are restrictions on the height of the objects at a certain distance from the Kazan Kremlin.

While looking for a suitable place for the project, the most likely option is a site near Kazan Arena stadium. Photo: kzn.ru

''If investors have not come there yet, then there is some problem''

During the Sochi forum, the Direct Investment Fund signed an agreement with Philips in the field of healthcare, said the head of the Investment Development Agency: ''We have a high mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases, we would like to have a multi-centre of nuclear medicine with diagnostic treatment clusters — radiation therapy and so on. Specifically, we have an agreement with Philips on two linear accelerators, which will be delivered in the near future. That is, we will work on a number of projects in the field of healthcare.''

The agency is implementing several sports projects. For example, this year one of the investors is preparing a proposal to the Executive Committee of Naberezhnye Chelny on the implementation of the sports arena project in Grenada Park. Last year, the agency signed the first agreement of municipal-private partnership in Russia for the creation of a sports complex in Tatarstan.

''In sports, we have started to work out investment niches — we are trying to understand what needs we have today, which can be closed with orders for a certain investor, that is, we are actually trying to form an offer for him, a package that the investor will be able to take. We are now working out sports complexes, arenas — this is what is already being implemented,'' Minullina explained to the question of the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya.

There are also new projects — for example, the production of cross-country skiing, she continued. ''We are completing this project, they are now to take a decision at this year's meeting of the board of directors. It is planned a meeting of shareholders, and they, from abroad, are to make a decision, which, I hope, will be positive.''

Minullina found it difficult to name the cost of the sports facilities, but noted that the already implemented projects were built at the expense of budgetary funds — federal, partially regional: ''We have very few sports facilities with private capital, for example, fitness centres.''

Minullina found it difficult to name the cost of sports facilities, but noted that the already implemented projects were built at the expense of budgetary funds. Photo: prav.tatarstan.ru

There are many investment niches in sports equipment and uniforms that can be occupied by ''understandable'' investors, she continued: ''We all understand who is engaged in production, right? That is, if they still have not entered here, then there is some problem, it is necessary to remove it. We are still consumers of these products — we just bring them today. This import substitution is what we are trying to do.''

By Leysan Nabieva
Tatarstan

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