The program of Russian-Indian cooperation in the trade, economic and investment spheres in the Far East until 2025 and the principles of cooperation in the Arctic are planned to be adopted at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

Minister for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov held a working meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India Venkatesh Varma.

According to the ministry, in 2020, the volume of foreign trade of the Far Eastern Federal District with India increased by more than 5% and exceeded $ 764 million.

"The regions of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation increased the turnover of foreign trade with Indian partners by 12.6% – up to $ 800 million," the report says.

Venkatesh Varma noted the prospects for expanding cooperation in the field of education. "According to the ambassador, the student flow can be increased to 25 thousand people, provided that educational programs in such areas in demand among young people as IT, international law and other areas appear in the Far East," the press service said.

The Russian government has approved a list of investment projects in the Arctic entitled to state support, including large ones with a total investment of more than 214 billion rubles.

President Vladimir Putin has given an instruction for the roadmap of the petrochemical industry development until 2025 be updated by adding measures providing for the establishment of promising petrochemical clusters in the Arctic. The instruction was issued as a follow-up to the meeting on the petrochemical industry strategic development.

The Government has decided to overhaul the system of development institutes of the Russian Far East and Arctic, which will be reformed as a single development institute.

The reform will involve the Human Capital Development Agency in the Russian Far East and Arctic (HCFE), the Far East Investment and Export Agency (FEIEA), the Far East Development Corporation (FEDC), and the Far East Development Fund (FEDF), which will be integrated into a single Far East development institute.

“As a result, our Russian and foreign investors and partners implementing projects in the Russian Far East and Arctic will be able to deal with one institution,” reads a press release of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic.

This consolidation will “enhance the effectiveness of interaction between the state and businesses, and will make the procedure as simple and convenient as possible for the people, Russian companies and their foreign partners.”

The reform will also promote the systemic development and creation of more favorable conditions for doing business in the Russian Far East and Arctic.

Deputies of the Arkhangelsk regional Assembly adopted the regional law on regional benefits for residents of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation in two readings on Wednesday, said Viktor Ikonnikov, Deputy Chairman of the government of the Arkhangelsk region for project activities.
In the Arkhangelsk region, nine municipalities belong to the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation: Arkhangelsk, Novodvinsk, Severodvinsk, Onega, Primorsky, Leshukonsky, Mezensky, Pinezhsky districts and Novaya Zemlya.
"Today the decision was made in two readings. At the regional level, income tax benefits will be provided: for the first five years from the date of receipt of the first profit, the rate will be 5%, and for the next five years-10%. For property tax, the first five years 0.1%, the next five years 1.1%, " said Ikonnikov.
In addition, within five years, when applying the simplified tax system, rates will be at the minimum level that the Tax code of the Russian Federation currently allows. "This is 1% for the object of taxation of income and 5% for the object of taxation of income minus expenses," the source added.
The Deputy Chairman of the regional government noted that Federal benefits for residents of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation can be applied only if the region establishes its own preferences for investors. "The Federal component of 3% in the income tax is reset to zero, but it only works if the region has made a decision on its benefits. It doesn't matter what, but that the benefits are accepted," he said.
Ikonnikov noted that now there is even competition between the Arctic regions to attract investors who are looking at both local preferences for residents and the opportunities of the subject of the Federation. "We looked at what decisions other regions make," he explained. - For example, the company decided where to register the business, in the Arkhangelsk region or not. And at first they planned not in the Arkhangelsk region, because at the first stage of development, the main contracts, the main work will be outside of our region. We showed the draft law that was formed by the regional government that the benefits are better than in the region where they planned. This, in our opinion, also influenced the decision to register and conduct business in the Arkhangelsk region."
As explained by the Agency's interlocutor, we are talking about the company "Arctic invest Stroy", the volume of investment is planned to be 717 million rubles, 108 jobs will be created. "This is a transport project that will work throughout the Russian Arctic," he added. - This is a good project for the Arkhangelsk region: more than a hundred jobs. The company will provide transportation services in the Russian Arctic for the development of oil and gas projects in the first place. Perhaps further plans will be adjusted and there will be other orders."
According to Ikonnikov, the advantage of the Arkhangelsk region is that a fairly large part of the region's territory is assigned to the Arctic zone, while a significant part of the population lives in the Arctic municipalities and most large industrial enterprises are located. "This is a good incentive for the emergence of new projects and existing enterprises, and the arrival of new business here," he said.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday, October 21, made the acceptance of the world's most powerful icebreaker "Artika" and discussed with colleagues the development of the region of the same name.

The head of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers expressed confidence that the expansion and modernization of the icebreaker fleet would fully reveal the transport potential of the Northern Sea Route, reinforce the interest of international business in it and ensure Russia's primacy in the Arctic.

What difficulties will the Arktika face, in addition to the ice mass?

Valery Zhuravel, head of the Center for Arctic Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the Northern Sea Route is already functioning successfully and the main task now is to increase the volume of cargo transportation. According to the plans, by 2024 it should reach 60 million tons with the current 32 million tons.

However, Dmitry Lobusov, captain of the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, FSUE Atomflot, expressed concern, admitting that the obsolete infrastructure of the sea route could hinder this. He is sure that, first of all, it is necessary to modernize the ports, since so far they cannot effectively support not only the planned, but also the existing cargo and ship traffic.

A similar opinion was expressed by the former commander of the Northern Fleet, Admiral Vyacheslav Popov: “Indeed, it is necessary to work on the equipment of shelter sites and service points for the NSR. For example, modernize the mooring front system, improve the rescue system. Now all this is there, but the level should be higher. " According to him, the existing problems have already been identified by the authorities, but the deadlines for the implementation of relevant projects may be delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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