Natalya Yushko, the acting CEO of Moglino SEZ, participated in the PNA LIFE project of the Pskov Region Media Holding. In the format of a conversation, she answered several questions about the activities of the management company of Moglino SEZ
Natalia, in your opinion, is everything all right now in Moglino SEZ?
- Despite the epidemiologically justified restrictions, the residents of the SEZ have not changed their strategy and are ready to implement their projects in accordance with business plans.
New investors in a state of deferred demand, many who could not even think about the Russian direction of investment - are in a state of rethinking their strategic development plans. The ones, which decided on investments before the events - clearly step through the stages of implementation of their projects. There were no refusals.
Each resident is in touch, we work in the mode of an instant response. Our feedback is a wide range of activities ranging from applications for the entry of residents who are not Russian citizens, the clearance of customs procedures for incoming equipment and to the organization of special events of a scientific and educational nature.
Indeed, a process of termination of agreements with several residents is underway, these are Bionik Felser and Streamtex, which did not show "signs of life" even before the pandemic, and therefore should not be included in the list of victims of the epidemic. The procedures for losing the status of "Moglino SEZ Resident" are coming to an end.
From current activities in the investment attraction - We entered into a strategic partnership with institutions for the development of science and are working on adapting financial programs implemented at the federal level in Moglino. We are actively working to attract residents whose investment projects are high-tech and their basis is research activities.
Everyone who drives past the territory of the SEZ turns their heads and waits, waits, waits for new buildings to appear there, the movement to begin. When? Is it worth waiting for such a day when an "anthill" will appear there? Or is the development of any special economic zone a leisurely and progressive process?
- Currently, 15 organizations are residents of the Moglino SEZ. Their areas of activity are crystal synthesis, polymer synthesis, sublimation technologies and extrusion methods. All production processes of residents are high-tech and form an economy of high added value. While the commercialization of scientific developments is a worldwide practice, in Russia we need to manage to form our own driving force in this direction. Considering our specifics, we are a unique platform for the localization of high-tech industries of Industry 4 generations. We are selective in the placement of not only technologies, but also the environmental standards that these technologies bear and the social responsibility of our residents.
Today, 2 residents are engaged in the production of paints and varnishes, food products by freeze drying. Most of the residents are carrying out design work and will soon start building factories.
Syntechno (for the production of synthetic diamonds) and Vellarand Automative Rus (for the production of exhaust gas treatment systems for cars), which are planning to launch their production facilities on rented areas, are already working on the arrangement of premises and installation of equipment. According to the plan the launch of production will be implemented by the end of this year.
In addition, 2 more residents are planning to enter the construction site this year - Elme Messer Rus LLC (production of liquefied gases) and Eurobit LLC (modified bitumen production).
We provide customs clearance procedures for our residents. At the moment, about 3.8 billion rubles have already been invested in the project.
Is Moglino competitive on the Russian market? Has the pandemic added pluses to our SEZ?
- In our area, the concept of competitiveness is primarily the presence of competencies, internal organizational culture and guarantees of the power of the region. When choosing a site for the construction of a plant, an investor takes into account many factors, depending on the specific area of production. For someone, the decisive factor is logistics, for someone the cost of resources, someone pays attention to the availability of raw materials in the region.
Of course, Moglino SEZ has a number of distinctive characteristics, which we can call the advantages:
- favorable geographical position close to the European market
- tax incentives
- customs preferences
- affordable cost of energy resources
- low cost of rent and redemption of land
- fully finished infrastructure (Moglino 1)
And perhaps one of the most important advantages of Moglino SEZ is compliance with business ethics, the absence of administrative barriers and guarantees of the regional leader, Governor Mikhail Vedernikov.
Has the pandemic added any pluses to Moglino?
We are a Management Company, an organizational element of the modern economic system. Our direct responsibility is to quickly adapt to changes, this is the basis of our organizational culture and business processes.
Investors which facing the problem of supplying raw materials and equipment, including from abroad, are currently diversifying their supply chains. Thus, the micro-economy strategy, when a supply chain is formed based on the geographic proximity from raw materials to the consumer, is being implemented at full speed in the global economy. It is also called De-globalization.
Considering the prospect of attracting foreign investors to Russia and to us in Moglino specifically, we focus on establishing partnerships to promote the site of the Moglino SEZ on the international market. Considering the importance of partnership and information support of residents online, conducting webinars and videoconferences, Moglino SEZ develops services in the field of digital marketing and industry research.
The primary features of digitalization are the fact what Moglino SEZ passed into interaction with residents from abroad. Together with the Administration of the Pskov Region, Supervisory Boards and Expert Councils were adapted with new investors in the videoconferencing regime. Moglino-2 is under construction, tender procedures, interaction with the Federal Antimonopoly Service and other supervisory authorities in the videoconferencing regime. We work closely with experts, according to preliminary estimates, of our Terms of Reference, as this helps us to make better projects. In addition, we have 4 strategic paradigms for the development of Moglino, including the already announced Intermodal dry port and the localization of the Industrial Technopark.
Moglino SEZ will receive 900 million of federal funding. What will this money be spent on?
For the construction of the infrastructure "Moglino-2". At the moment, active work is underway to design infrastructure facilities for the Moglino-2 site. The planned projects are being implemented according to the approved schedule. The regional administration and Moglino SEZ closely cooperate with contractors for the construction of each facility. We promptly develop plans to resolve all emerging problematic issues.
Together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, possible options for providing financing are being worked out so that we can complete the construction of facilities on time. Since our main task is to ensure the launch of the 1st stage of the Titan-Polymer plant at the end of 2020.
Like money, the work with investors loves silence. Nevertheless, can you announce new investors in Moglino, or at least the directions of their activities?
- Moglino SEZ continues to work in investors attracting. Priority industries, which we aim to attract, have been identified:
1. Production of new generation civil engineering electric trolleybuses
2. Biochemical engineering and pharmaceuticals
3. Food industry using deep processing technologies
There is an active interest from the pharmaceutical sector and additive manufacturing technologies.
A couple of investors from Moglino leave (Streamtex and Bionic Rus). Do you keep track of the situation with the exodus of investors in other SEZs?
- Unfortunately this is the case. A similar trend is observed in all special economic zones of Russia and is caused by a number of factors, among the main ones are problems with project financing.
Is this our private phenomenon or is it happening everywhere in Russia?
- Global statistics confirm, the proportion of success in high technologies introduced into production is 1 to 4, for comparison for startups is 1 to 100. The saling of high-tech industries is a very attractive statistic.
Not so long ago, you optimistically stated that "the pandemic has pushed foreign investors to the Russian market."
- A situation of general confusion - when all established supply chains have been disrupted - is the best strategic moment to exit with a ready proposal. The concept of a ready supply means the investor's demand for a complex offer, where prospects for the integrated advantages of science, technology, tax preferences exist, and an unconditional resource is the center of competence and the ability to provide guarantees promised.
Tell us, what is this idea with a tea party? Is this an attempt to create a business club?
- "5 o’clock" sessions are, first of all, communication between experts representing different spheres of industry, science, government to establish informal contacts, collect ideas, experience in solving issues, this is an environment where ideas are born and teams for their implementation are formed. Rather, it is a club that integrates the business, scientific environment and government as a unified force for moving Russia forward into the age of digitalization, new 4th generation industry and the formation of a value system focused on prosperity and sustainable development.