Experts: Leningrad region knows how to attract investors

The interviewed experts note that the region is actively working to reduce administrative barriers.

S.-PETERSBURG, 15 Dec. Leningrad region remains attractive to investors; the region regularly ranks among the leaders of the various ratings at the expense of a favorable investment climate and low investment risks. The interviewed experts note that the region is actively working to reduce administrative barriers.

Improvement of the investment climate

“The activities of the authorities of the Leningrad region in the sphere of improving the business climate looks like in recent years, a very focused and concentrated, as evidenced by the corresponding estimates of the regional business community and experts. In the National rating of investment climate in subjects of the Russian Federation, represented by the Agency for strategic initiatives at SPIEF 2015, Leningradskaya oblast rounded out the top twenty Russian regions, ahead of, for example, St. Petersburg, Lipetsk, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod and Sverdlovsk region,” — said the Director of the Center for applied research and development HSE — St. Petersburg Bezhin Eugene.

Investors in Leningrad oblast attracts not only advantageous geographical location. The region has developed a long-term Investment strategy created by the Investment Council under the Governor, in September last year launched the headquarters for the reduction of administrative barriers and improvement of investment climate.

According to General Director of the regional branch of “Union of Industrialists and businessmen” Alexander Gabitova, regions that have a fairly high level and opportunities to attract investment. “Made fundamental infrastructural improvements that allow investors to more easily enter the region, in particular, created the investment Agency of the Leningrad region. In addition to the Agency, which operates successfully at the level of each municipality on each Committee allocated a special staff who are engaged in attracting investments,” he said.

The head of representation of Agency of strategic initiatives in the North-Western Federal district Igor deviatko noted that the authorities are able to hear business and work together for a common result. “I would like to mention is the integrated approach of the region to improve the investment climate. All are involved: the regional government, municipalities, business community, local entrepreneurs. Nobody remains indifferent,” he added.

Active support

The regional authorities have active business support: significantly simplified the procedure of obtaining tax incentives, regional and municipal investment standards, are formed industrial clusters, industrial parks are being built. Also, the region has developed an open information system with detailed information about land plots for location of industries. A year ago was created the front-office for investors that allows you to follow the project on the principle of “single window”.

“I believe that from the beginning the arrival of the Governor of the region Alexander Drozdenko and his team, they actively took up the case. And there were many legislative initiatives, among which was immediately to simplify the tax laws for the purpose of obtaining investment incentives. In principle, the authorities of the region quickly enough to react to macroeconomic changes and work with existing on-site fields. From the beginning of next year it is planned to reduce the rate of property tax for manufacturers,” said head of tax and legal at KPMG Alisa Melkonyan.

She noted the importance of creating a center of subcontracting in the region. “Interesting initiative, it is very correct, aimed at supporting not only large companies but also small and medium businesses, is creating a center of subcontracting in order to help small and medium-sized companies of the Leningrad region to find their customers among large companies,” she added.

According to the head of representation of Agency of strategic initiatives in the northwestern Federal district, Leningrad region tries to be one step ahead of those initiatives that other regions have yet to implement. For example, in the region actively introducing municipal investment standard, while in some regions this work is just beginning.

“In the Leningrad region the work on reduction of administrative barriers in the energy sector and the construction is carried out in the framework of the Headquarters for the reduction of administrative barriers. So, the results of Narrating, in the Leningrad region in terms of “Average time of connecting to the grid”, the value decreased from 256 days to 120 days. In terms of “Average time to obtain construction permits”, the value has decreased more than twice from 318 days to 141 days. The region showed a good result, but you can not stop, need to continue to use best practices and to improve the regional system of support of investors”, — said Deviatka.

Experts also note that in the region particular attention is paid to the formation of industrial clusters. “In terms of high monopolization of the markets and preservation of the weakness of institutions in cluster policy is one of the few instruments of support for small and medium-sized companies, which will in the long term to ensure their competitiveness in both domestic and foreign markets,” said running.

He also believes the successful experience in the region to establish an Integrated regional information system “Investment development of the Leningrad region”, providing access to relevant information about infrastructure and resource potential of the territory. In the system currently contains information on more than 350 investment sites and industrial parks, including English.

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