Taliya Minullina: ‘If only investors were chiefs, and the rest listened to them’

The head of the Investment Development Agency reported on the “investment” calm at the annual board meeting of the department: 700 billion private investments in the fixed capital of the Republic of Tatarstan are expected

“Every madness has its own logic," Taliya Minullina, the head of the Tatarstan Investment Development Agency (TIDA), quoted William Shakespeare the day before, assessing the “investment” results of the “paramilitary” 2022 year. Under the conditions of international sanctions, Tatarstan has achieved an increase in investments in fixed assets by 6% — they can amount to 850 billion rubles. However, an impressive figure is supported by budget injections, purely private investments have decreased to 451 billion rubles. PSEDAs are behind a little, but even without the two residents missing according to the plan, 52 billion rubles of accumulated investments have been attracted to single-industry towns. Deputy Prime Minister of Tatarstan Rustam Nigmatullin urged to join the fight for investors and heads of municipalities-owners of land at the local level. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

Everything went topsy-turvy

About investments either in verse, or in no way. Recently, the head of the TIDA more than once shone with aphorisms from literary works, putting in the predicament of private investors in the Russian market an allegorical form. No matter how the situation develops further, the republican authorities, on the contrary, are in a hurry to strengthen the investment attractiveness of the region, eliminating the remaining barriers and obstacles.

“Topsy-turvy," Taliya Minullina began her report with a reminder of this children's story by Viktor Dragunsky.

Thereby she made it clear that relations between investors and officials are still being built “not like among normal people”, and sometimes priorities are set contrary to investment goals.

“If only investors were chiefs, and everyone else, including officials, had to obey them in everything...” the head of the TIDA rephrased the famous author. In this case, she believes, “the economy would be different”.

However, according to official data, investment activity is not declining, but, on the contrary, has a chance to rise to the level of 2021. According to the head of the TIDA, for 9 months of 2022, investments in fixed assets in Tatarstan increased by 6% — in general, they can amount to 850 billion rubles. This is comparable to the all-Russian dynamics — an increase of 5,9%, she stated. In terms of the volume of investment inflows for 9 months of 2022, Tatarstan ranks 6th in the country.

Foreign investments on the stop

However, the inflow of private investments into the fixed capital of Tatarstan during this period decreased to 451 billion rubles (by the end of 2021, this figure was 652 billion rubles — editor's note). The results of the passage of the last quarter of 2022 remain unknown. The head of the TIDA hopes that autumn and the beginning of winter will make adjustments for the better.

“The annual forecast estimate is more than 700 billion rubles of extra-budgetary investments," she concluded.

However, the probability of a decrease is quite understandable. Taliya Minullina recalled that a lot of foreign trading and manufacturing companies left the Russian market last year. But new players have appeared.

“Russian owners appeared at Finnish Huhtamäki and YIT, American companies McDonald's and Ford, French Schneider Electric and Societe Generale," she noted.

According to her, the new owners are actively working in the republic, and the existing foreign investors Haier, Drylock Technologies, Hayat Kimya, Sunrise Capital are planning to capitalise their businesses. However, Turkish investors have vague feelings.

“The year 2022 can be compared to a survival quest that no one ordered, and they left no choice. We were moving in the dark, we were stormed, knocked down and had to reshape the business," Ali Yalchyn, CEO of Koluman Rus PLC, was quoted as saying.

In record-breaking 7 days

Last year, 51 petitions for the provision of land without bidding were received from Russian investors. The Investment Council with the participation of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov approved 36 applications. Here Taliya Minullina complained about the long approval process, explaining that the local authorities are slowing down the allocation of land.

“The federal centre indicates the duration of the procedures, but the Agency conducts the examination as quickly as possible," she explained. “Long delivery periods are associated with improper preparation of land plots — this is urban planning documentation at the municipal level.

After the appeal to the president of Tatarstan in December last year, the approval took place in a “record 7 days”. Later, Minullina noted that it took Udmurt investors 4 years to implement the baths complex Termy in Nizhnekamsk. Another “fly in the ointment” is associated with offset contracts. A couple of years ago, the TIDA was trying to conclude an offset contract with an elevator manufacturer, but the efforts did not bring results. Later, Taliya Minullina said that the company had started cooperation with Chinese partners, since the Ministry of Construction of Tatarstan could not separately trade this position, as required by the legislation of the Russian Federation.

From the crematorium in Kazan to the paradise for sellers

Currently, 167 projects are in the “individual support” mode, the head of the TIDA stated. Among them — the construction project of the first crematorium in Tatarstan. Last year, a plant for the production of reinforced concrete products with an investment volume of 1 billion rubles was put into operation. Currently, work is underway on the selection of land plots on the outskirts of Kazan for the construction of warehouses in four locations, which will entail additional investments.

And Cotton Way, a company from Moscow, plans to expand its production facilities in Khimgrad (engaged in laundry for hospitals). It is planned to invest 100 million rubles in addition to the existing 1,5 billion rubles.

“If earlier the company served institutions in the field of healthcare, now we are talking about servicing preschool educational institutions," she noted.

Boom of investments in e-commerce. In the Verkhneuslonsky district, a private investor intends to build a country complex for sellers. It will be located on the territory of 375,2 hectares and is designed for 25,000 residents.

“The concept includes the idea of attracting sellers from other regions of Russia on marketplaces. Such project supports the concept of an electronic and logistics hub in Tatarstan," the head of the TIDA explained.

Alabuga took out a loan for 51 billion, PSEDAs were prescribed two more years

PSEDAs are little behind. According to the plan, 134 residents were to be attracted by the end of 2022, but in fact, there are 132 of them, Taliya Minullina said. Accumulated investments in single-industry towns amounted to 52 billion rubles. In 2022, it was possible to conclude agreements with 15 residents with an investment volume of 2,5 billion rubles. This year, the PSEDA regime has been extended in the country for another two years. By the end of 2025, it is planned to increase the number of residents to 146. The head of the TIDA sees prospects in cooperation with Russian companies.

Alabuga SEZ remains another point of growth. Last year, 5 projects were launched with a total investment of 7,7 billion rubles. Besides, 200 thousand production facilities were built here ahead of schedule to accommodate projects. For this purpose, Alabuga SEZ took out a loan for 51 billion rubles. Together with SIBUR Holding PJSC, agreements were signed on the creation of the Ethylene 600 park. Over 20 years, investments will amount to 1,3 trillion rubles. Within the framework of the project, a logistics centre with an investment volume of 20 billion rubles will be built.

Not cooling heels

In his closing speech, Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Nigmatullin called on the heads of municipalities to join the fight for investors:

“Attracting investments is a common synergetic work. It should be of interest not only to the TIDA employees, but also to everyone. I am deeply convinced that if the head does not personally deal with this, then nothing will work out for you. Rustam Nurgalievich is doing this — the results are obvious.

According to him, co-financing from the republican budget is needed to pay for the work of a responsible employee, but “money alone cannot buy attention”.

“There are sites where a lot has been invested, but the results are not impressive yet," Nigmatullin reprimanded.

Fedotov's defense, or Who “holds” the investment portal

At the end of the board meeting, the head of the TIDA traditionally awarded investors and partners of Tatarstan. Among the awardees — programmer-developer Sergey Fedotov, whose team provides technical support and protection of the Investment Portal of the Republic of Tatarstan. As the head of the IT team told Realnoe Vremya, last year they had to focus on ensuring the safe functioning of the portal.

“State websites are still being hacked," he explained. “It is clear that the task is purposefully set to paralyse their work, hack or slow down the response.

However, it is not easy to hack the resource, since its platform originally has safety functionality. Nevertheless, Fedotov's team has to “hedge”: update the software, monitor work processes. Have there been failures?

“After strengthening the software safety, there have been no failures, but before that it happened. But we updated the programmes in a timely manner, so there were no stops, the site worked smoothly," he said.

In addition to preventing cyber threats, Fedotov's team had to “rack their brains” over the technical “binding” of the investment map, which is posted on the geoportal of Tatarstan, to the investment portal of the republic. The investment map is a mandatory element of the investment standard, which contains the necessary data for the investor (for example, about the technical possibility of connecting to utility networks). A huge array of data is currently being entered by 173 people from various resource-supplying organsations and authorities of the republic.

Fedotov's team ensures uninterrupted data transfer from the investment map to the investment portal. Since the introduction of the regional investment standard 2.0, 10 new sections from hundreds of layers have been implemented on the geoportal. A separate “button” according to the investment standard was quickly created on the portal. Each new technical task is solved either instantly or, with high complexity, in 2-3 days. The investment standard requires a minimum of quarterly data updates, the map is regularly updated. Sergey Fedotov's team has worked in the field of information security since 2006. For the last 7 years, he has been actively engaged in the development and support of websites for government agencies.

Luiza Ignatyeva. Photo: Maksim Platonov
Analytics Tatarstan