Summing up the year
We decided to sum up the results of the year in the form of an interview with Viktor Yuryevich Sobolev, General Director of the Avangard Special Economic Zone.
Viktor Yuryevich, in December it is customary to sum up the results of the outgoing year. What was this year like for the Avangard SEZ?
– SEZ “Avangard” was created exactly two years ago and today is in the development stage. In the first year, all organizational issues were resolved, the necessary regulatory and legal framework was created, and interaction was established with the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. And most importantly, the first two residents appeared. Last year, the number of residents increased to four, we focused on solving the issues of infrastructural support of the SEZ, attracting new residents.
Special economic zones are an effective tool for attracting investments, providing the investor with tax benefits and simplified access to infrastructure. But, of course, it cannot be argued that these, of course, significant support measures, fully protect against the influence of external factors. Unfortunately, it is impossible not to take into account the fact that in 2022, due to the introduction by a number of foreign states of restrictive and prohibitive measures in force against the Russian Federation, negotiations with several potential residents were “paused”, and the deadlines for the implementation of projects of existing residents are being delayed. Nevertheless, looking back, we consider the outgoing year to be quite fruitful for our SEZ, with the support of the Government of the Omsk Region, many concrete steps have been taken to further the effective development of this territory.
What are the most significant results achieved in 2022?
– I have already mentioned the most significant result: in the first half of 2022, two enterprises with a total declared investment of more than 45 billion rubles became residents of the SEZ. In November, the Expert Council of the SEZ was held, at which the project of another resident was approved – the conclusion of an agreement on industrial and production activities is planned at the beginning of the coming year.
In the outgoing year, issues related to the provision of land plots were resolved with residents, in some cases, the preparation of construction sites. Significant progress has been made in solving problems related to providing the SEZ with engineering infrastructure facilities. In this part, the most significant result was the provision of technological connection to power supply networks. A limit has been obtained for the total power consumption of 19.5 MW at a voltage of 10 kV – this is enough to implement several energy-intensive production projects. For the electrification of the SEZ, the region received an infrastructure budget loan from the federal budget, which was transferred as a subsidy to our management company by the Ministry of Energy and Housing and Communal Services of the Omsk Region. A number of practical steps have been taken to ensure connection to the gas supply line in 2023, including the construction of an overpass and a platform for a crane unit. The necessary conditions for technological connection for connection to technical water supply have been obtained.
The Department of Road Facilities of the Omsk Region signed a contract for the development of design estimates for the construction of a motor road in the territory of the SEZ, parallel to the Krasnoyarsk tract.
Thus, in 2022, effective work was carried out to ensure the infrastructural development of the territory – and this is one of the key factors in ensuring the attractiveness of the SEZ for residents.
In the middle of the year, information was published in the media that the access of residents to the SEZ would be simplified. Have there been any changes in this process?
– Indeed, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation prepared amendments to Federal Law No. 116-FZ “On SEZs in the Russian Federation”, which provide for changes in the mechanisms for creating and managing a SEZ, as well as simplifying the procedure for obtaining the status of a SEZ resident. In May, the draft law was adopted by the State Duma of the Russian Federation in the first reading, but it was not submitted to the second reading last year.
At the same time, other additions were made to the mentioned law in 2022 twice. In March, the production and processing of ethane, liquefied hydrocarbon gases and liquid steel was allowed on the territory of the SEZ. And quite recently, in November, the specifics of the placement on the territory of the SEZ of residents concluding concession agreements were legally determined. Thus, we can say that the opportunities for investors in the territory of the SEZ have expanded in 2022, but more global changes await us next year.
At the regional level, it is impossible not to mention the Decree of the Government of the Omsk Region No. 737-p adopted on December 15, which opens up the possibility of placing not only industrial, but also technical and innovative projects on the territory of our SEZ. The legislator understands innovation activities, the creation, production and sale of scientific and technical products, the creation and implementation of computer programs, databases, topologies of integrated circuits, information systems, the provision of services for the implementation and maintenance of such products, programs, databases , topologies and systems. Thus, companies operating in these areas can also become our residents.
How does the management company promote the Omsk SEZ? What significant events did you participate in 2022?
– Given that the main target audience for the SEZ is industrial enterprises, we use appropriate promotion methods. The most effective tool for promoting the SEZ is, of course, personal meetings and negotiations with investors – potential residents. Most often, this kind of interaction is the result of participation in various public events in the industrial and production sphere. These are exhibitions, conferences and forums. Typically, SEZ employees act as speakers or participants in round tables on various topics related to production, petrochemistry and processing. In 2022, we visited 8 such sites, for example, Innoprom-2022, MashExpo-2022, Neftegazsnab-2022 and others.
At the same time, we consider events not only by thematic content, but also by organizations that are declared as participants in a conference or forum. For example, in November we visited a site that seemed to be not directly related to the SEZ – the international conference IT-Dialogue-2022. In this case, we were interested in the composition of the organizations of one of the round tables dedicated to the introduction of innovative technologies in the public sector. Among the participants were representatives of large industrial enterprises and ministries of industry and oil refining from the countries of the Middle East, such as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Syria. We made a presentation of the Avangard SEZ at this event, and representatives of the Arab countries showed interest in the region, Omsk enterprises and the SEZ. Negotiations are underway to organize a visit of a delegation from the UAE to the Omsk region. In total, in 2022, during the participation in the events, contacts were established with more than 40 potential residents.
What are the plans of the Avangard SEZ for 2023?
– We expect that at least two of the current residents will complete the design stage and proceed directly to the implementation of construction work. It is planned to conclude at least two agreements with new residents on activities in the territory of the SEZ. In terms of infrastructure support, we expect to complete the work on providing the SEZ with gas supply and implement solutions for water supply. In 2023, according to the plan, the construction of the previously mentioned highway should also begin.
Also, with the support of the Ministry of Economy of the Omsk Region, we are already working on the development of the SEZ, including the expansion of its territory, the inclusion of additional land for industrial construction. At the beginning of 2023, a list of measures to solve this problem will be formed.
Thus, in 2023, the progressive development of the SEZ will continue, aimed at the industrial development of the region, the creation of new jobs, and the solution of import substitution issues that are relevant for the country.