The Yalta International Economic Forum Fund was one of the organisers of the Republic of Crimea Day held at the All-Russia Public Organization Delovaya Rossiya venue in Moscow.
Among the organisers of the event aimed at attracting investors from other Russian regions to Crimea were the Government of the Republic of Crimea and Delovaya Rossiya. The central event of the Forum was the plenary session Invest in Crimea, when businesspeople were briefed on the business climate in Crimea and the region’s economic outlook by head of the Republic of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov and regional government ministers.
Mr Aksyonov stressed that one of the authorities’ key tasks was to provide support for each investment project. “We are aware of the problems that investors who come to the Republic face with regard to new rules and conditions. We think Crimea is a greenfield where one can start creating an investment climate from scratch that can be one of the best in the Russian Federation. Through our colleagues, we take part in various meetings of the Russian Government where many interesting ideas are proposed. We try to keep track of the best suggestions and practices of other Russian regions in order to implement them in the Republic of Crimea and try to set up a model for working with business”, the head of the Republic explained.
He also said the Crimean authorities would be prepared, if necessary, to respect the confidentiality of the participants in business projects implemented in the region. “We work for the result, so I welcome any instruments that could be used in implementing investment projects. We could even withhold personal information about the individuals involved, considering the difficult international situation”, Mr Aksyonov said.
The flagship business event in the Crimea, the Yalta International Economic Forum, was presented by the Director of the YIEF Fund Sergei Lazutkin. He said that YIEF 2017, to be held on 20–22 April, will bring together more than 1,500 businesspeople, politicians, experts and officials. At least 250 international participants from 40 countries are expected to attend.
On the fringes of YIEF 2016, investment agreements to the tune of RUB 70 bn were signed. The Forum’s organisers are monitoring implementation of these agreements, Mr Lazutkin said. He added that a number of investment agreements and contracts, some of them with foreign companies, are expected to be signed at the YIEF 2017 Forum. The YIEF Fund Director reminded those present that some of the Italian businesspeople who visited Crimea in October 2016 said they intended to sign agreements on business projects in Crimea at the upcoming Forum.
Russian business people also said they hoped the next Forum would mark the start of real work in Crimea. For instance, Vice President of Domashniy Interier and co-owner and Vice President of the Hoff furniture and household goods network Mikhail Kuchment informed Mr Aksyonov during the meeting that his company was planning to build a network of hypermarkets in Crimea.
“We have an interesting format, an alternative to IKEA. Today we have more than 20 hypermarkets in Russia and we are stepping up our activities in the south of the country. It would be logical for us to go into Crimea”, said Mr Kuchment. Turning to the Head of the Republic of Crimea, he asked him for help in finding suitable sites for building retail centres. Sergei Aksyonov promised to keep the issue under review and see to it that the project would be considered without delay. He suggested that Mr Kuchment take part in the ground-breaking ceremony for the future hypermarket during the YIEF-2017 Forum.
Co-chairman of Delovaya Rossiya Andrei Nazarov, who heads up the Board of the YIEF Fund, said the Crimea Day offered a unique opportunity to learn about the business climate on the peninsula directly from the region’s top officials. “Today we are hosting a high-powered delegation of about 20 persons. Virtually all the key ministers are here and Russian business has a unique opportunity to meet top officials in person”, Mr Nazarov noted.
Minister of Economic Development of the Republic of Crimea Valentin Demidov briefed those present on the current state of the main sectors of the Crimean economy, saying that, this year, state support for small and medium-sized enterprises in Crimea amounted to RUB 510 m.
Minister of Industry and Trade Andrei Vasyuta spoke about the current state, the dynamics and investment potential of Crimean industry and Minister of Agriculture Andrei Ryumshin about investment opportunities in the agricultural sector.
General Director of the Republic of Crimea Development Corporation Oleg Morozov made some specific investment offers to the participants: the Bakhchi-Sarai, Feodosia and Evpatoria industrial parks, the Veresayevo agro-industrial park and others.
Crimea Day also included a roundtable “Crimea: the Showcase of Russia” and an enlarged meeting of the Republic of Crimea Association of Developers.