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On July 21, 2020, as part of the Russian Business Week, NIIKPU experts took part in the investment forum “Infrastructure Business Initiatives”.

Heads of federal authorities, development institutions, as well as large infrastructure companies in the videoconference mode discussed the development of infrastructure business initiatives, proposals of the business community to stimulate investment in transport infrastructure.

The meeting was chaired by Igor Vdovin, Chairman of the RUIE Committee on Investment Policy, Development Institutions and Export Support.

President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin noted in his welcoming speech that the high multiplier effect of infrastructure projects could ensure a quick recovery of the Russian economy from the crisis, as well as a successful post-crisis economic breakthrough, especially given the slow recovery of consumer demand.

At the same time, the lack of well-developed projects is a key problem that hinders the development of the infrastructure investment market. Often, projects at the regional level are faced with the need to attract additional federal funds for implementation, which leads to a situation where the public side and the investor are ready to conclude an agreement, but are forced to wait for approval of the possibility of federal funding or conclude an agreement with a clause on entry into force in the event if the federal budget allocates additional funding for the capital grant. This slows down the development of the project and discourages potential investors from financing the development and structuring of such agreements.

Alexander Shokhin noted that by now the instrument of perpetual corporate bonds has begun to work, which have already been used by some state-owned companies.

“The work is nearing completion on a temporary procedure for concluding agreements on the protection and encouragement of investment, including in terms of compensation for investors' infrastructure costs. The Ministry of Finance shows maximum constructiveness in organizing this discussion. We are waiting for the algorithm and the procedure for concluding the SZPK, modified taking into account the proposals of the member companies, ”said the president of the RUIE.

He suggested that the forum participants focus on three topics: problems of attracting investments for the implementation of the activities of the Comprehensive Plan for the Development and Expansion of the Backbone Infrastructure and ways to solve them; new instruments for financing infrastructure projects; regulatory restrictions and legislative initiatives of business aimed at ensuring the implementation of large infrastructure projects.

First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Ivanov noted that the task of the ministry for the current year is "to form a maximum of tools and build basic partnerships, and next year - to take advantage of these partnership opportunities." He also dwelled on tradable financial instruments, in particular, perpetual bonds, green bonds and a number of others.

He announced that the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade is planning to raise funds in the horizon of 20-40 years with Moscow and St. Petersburg to finance infrastructure projects.

“We are now with two cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, looking at the possibility of attracting 20-40-year-old funds in order to finance large infrastructure projects in these cities,” he said.

Deputy Minister of Transport Innokenty Alafinov announced the proposal of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation to create a new banking institution to help private investors with financing the construction of infrastructure projects at the initial stage.

“It is very important for the ideas that exist in the transport sector to discuss the possibility of creating or using one of the existing institutions to provide funding for projects at the initial level,” he said. - It is clear that the very beginning of projects is the most risks, both regulatory and project, as well as the risks of relations with state authorities. One of our proposals is the creation of such an institution. Maybe on the basis of existing ones, or maybe on the basis of a new development institution, which could help start projects with the help of a multiplier. And to help not the state, but private investors. "

It is assumed that the new institution will finance projects by analogy with the Russian Agricultural Bank.

Pavel Chistyakov, vice-president of the Center for Infrastructure Economics, stressed that now the volume of investments in transport is about 2.5 trillion. rubles.

“To fulfill the order of the President of the Russian Federation, it is necessary to grow to 4 trillion by 2024. per year, this is a significant increase, ”he said, adding that about 2 trillion. rubles will have to be taken from extra-budgetary sources, including user payments. Also, in order to receive funds, it is necessary to stimulate the business so that it invests most of the profits, introduce mandatory deductions for carriers. In total, by 2024, about $ 7 trillion should be invested in infrastructure projects in Russia. rubles.

“In 2019, there was 240 billion in revenue from rail transport, and if we are talking about 1%, then somewhere around 2 billion rubles a year with a ticket load of more than 40 rubles per passenger. We believe that the load is quite bearable, ”said Pavel Chistyakov, specifying that the funds transferred in this way could be used for the reconstruction of railway stations and stations, since this area today practically does not receive investments.

He also elaborated on why today it is profitable, with public and private support, to invest in public transport, in particular in tram services.

Igor Koval, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Committee on Investment Policy, Development Institutions and Export Support, General Director of IC Holding for Russia and the CIS, noted the insufficient level of investment in the preliminary phase of project development, which leads to a shortage of projects on the market.

“The most effective solution to this problem could be the mechanism of cost compensation prescribed in the federal law under a private concession initiative. At the moment, all the largest public-private partnership projects are launched precisely under the CHI, both at the regional and federal levels, ”he said.

Deputy Chairman of the RSPP Committee on Investment Policy, Development Institutions and Export Support, Investment Director of RVC JSC Alexey Basov spoke about the conditions for the development of the industry. He mentioned, in particular, the need to create a specialized financial leverage, organize a center capable of generating financial support, as well as a development institution to develop a strategy. Alexey Basov named the investment and financial community as one of the possible sources of funds. As an example of investment management, he cited the work of one of the funds supporting the infrastructure of the Far East, taking into account state interests.

The chairman of the board of directors of the VIS group, Igor Snegurov, emphasized that infrastructure development is the engine of the economy and GDP of any country.

“One ruble invested in infrastructure gives 1.6 rubles for GDP,” he said, insisting on using world experience to promote Russian projects. Igor Snegov also proposed using pension money to finance infrastructure projects.

The discussion was attended by First Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities of the Russian Federation Irek Fayzullin, General Director of DSK Avtoban JSC Alexey Andreev, Head of VTB Infrastructure Holding Oleg Pankratov, First Deputy Chairman of the Board for Economics and Investments of Avtodor Group of Companies Sergey Pernikov, Managing Partner Vegas Lex Alexander Sitnikov, President of Crocus JSC Aras Agalarov and others.

The speakers discussed all stages of the implementation of infrastructure projects. In particular, it was proposed to create a mechanism for the competitive selection of such projects at the regional and federal levels to provide state support.

It was noted that the state continues to work to improve the legislative and regulatory framework. In particular, the estimate documentation is being updated, which will allow solving the problem of discrepancy between normative and real prices.

The participants in the meeting came to the general conclusion that in the current conditions, when the recovery of consumer and investment growth in the Russian economy is quite difficult, it is the infrastructure that can become one of the main drivers of the country's economic development.

Summing up the results of the meeting, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin noted that the proposals made would be systematized in the near future and submitted to the government. Accelerating Russia's economic growth by expanding investments is a major strategic task, and its early solution requires close cooperation between business and government authorities.

Source: http://rspp.ru