16 Oct 2020 09:49

Investors file 133 applications for Arctic residency with 198 bln rubles in projects

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) - Investors have submitted 133 applications for residency status in Russia's Arctic Zone to implement projects worth 198 billion rubles, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, who oversees the country's Far East and Arctic, said.

"A total of 133 applications from investors with investment of 198 billion rubles are at the preparation stage. Five entrepreneurs have already received the status of resident. Binding agreements for 15.3 billion rubles have been signed with them," Trutnev said

The government commission for the Arctic met in Moscow on Thursday to discuss several issues. It considered seven projects from investors seeking infrastructure support from the state with projects involving 212 billion rubles of investment and the creation of 4,500 jobs. Trutnev said there are plans to allocate 13 billion rubles for such support in the period to 2023 from the 17 billion rubles in the new state program to develop the Arctic.

The commission also considered support for two investment projects from the Far East and Arctic Development Fund (FEDF) - the development of EuroChem's Kovdorsky GOK and an apatite and nepheline deposit in Murmansk Region. Both projects are being implemented in single-industry towns with difficult social and economic situations.

Another issue concerned the development of the Russian Arctic national park, which is located next to Norway's Spitsbergen.

"And for comparison, 1,300 tourists visited it in 2019, while more than 70,000 visited Spitsbergen. The park's administration has prepared a program for its development. We will consider it today. The main aspects were reported to the prime minister. There was an order to the Finance Ministry. I ask the Finance Ministry and Natural Resources Ministry to report on its implementation today," Trutnev said at the commission meeting.

The meeting agenda also included a proposal from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology to set up the Snezhinka research station to conduct international research in various fields of Arctic studies.

The package of federal laws on state support for business activities in the Arctic signed by President Vladimir Putin went into effect at the end of August, and a system of preferences was launched, Trutnev recalled.

"The whole Russian Arctic, essentially, became a big economic zone. Any entrepreneur prepared to invest at least 1 million rubles in a new project can receive the status of a resident of the Arctic Zone," he said.

"We have tried to make the application process as transparent, simple and convenient as possible for businesses. For this purpose, all processes of the investor's interactions with the management company and the [Far East and Arctic development] ministry are laid out in a special online account. All documents are submitted in electronic form. I ask you to continue work on improving the services," Trutnev said.

He also asked regional leaders not to drag their feet and pass laws on the regional component of the preferential system by the end of the month. This refers to profit, property and land tax breaks, and preferences under the simplified taxation system.

The Far East Development Ministry is finalizing a new version of the government program for the development of the Arctic, and the government has decided to provide 17 billion rubles in funding for it in the next three years, "50 times more than was provided in the current three-year budget," Trutnev said.

"However, this is not the end of the work, more like the beginning. As the number of investment projects increases, we will also raise the issue of increasing financing," Trutnev said.