ABOUT THE STANDARD
Regional Investment Standard is the key project of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives to create a favorable business environment in the regions. The Standard includes the 15 best investment practices used by the most economically successful regions.
In 2012, the Standard was implemented in 11 pilot regions. On December 27, 2012, the meeting of the State Council of the Russian Federation considered the experience of pilot implementation of the Standard and declared it a success. According to the List of President’s Instructions based on the State Council results, the Standard became mandatory for the implementation in all regions of the country.
Since the beginning of 2013, the Agency has begun scaling the Standard. The ASI provides methodological support to the implementation process, as well as organizational support to the activities of expert groups.
Regional investment strategy
- The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall develop, approve, and adopt the Investment Strategy for execution.
- The Investment Strategy shall determine the investment priorities of the region: territories, industries, technologies of advanced development, mastered products, works and services, projects planned for implementation.
- The Investment Strategy shall describe the target programs interconnected by goals, objectives, timeframes and resources, individual projects and activities, ensuring investment growth in the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
- The draft Investment Strategy shall be presented for public discussion. The Investment Strategy may be approved by the legislative authority in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation or by the highest official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation. The Investment Strategy may be adopted in the form of a separate document or a section of a more general document describing the strategy for the regional development, and it shall be approved according to the procedure prescribed by such more general document.
- Parameters for developing the Investment Strategy:
- the Strategy framework:
- the affected aspects of improving the regulatory framework and law enforcement, as well as the lines of the territorial development;
- the time horizon of the strategic planning:
- the period of time for which the Strategy is drawn up.
- Initial assumptions to form the Strategy:
- assessment of the strategically significant quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the region’s economy at the time of adopting the Strategy, the available resources for its development (human, infrastructure, production, information, recreation, and other resources), as well as a forecast scenario of the Russian and international economic development by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, based on which the strategic planning is carried out;
- vision of the current competitive advantages and drawbacks of the region (relative to other regions) in terms of its investment attractiveness;
- The Strategy shall include:
- A vision of the Strategy implementation result.
- The structure of goals to be achieved by the Strategy. These goals shall be achievable, clearly defined, and measurable. The goal’s measurability means the possibility to set some targets indicators reflecting the degree of its achievement. These indicators and rules for their calculation shall also be given in the Strategy for each of its goals.
- A roadmap aimed at achieving the goals of the Strategy: this section shall list the public regional programs and projects, legislative initiatives, structural reforms, and other activities to be implemented, which will allow for achieving the stated goals.
- The general principles for cooperation between the public authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation and local authorities in the field of improving the investment climate in the region.
- A chart of points for scheduled monitoring of the Strategy implementation.
- A chart of mandatory revision periods of the Investment Strategy (at least once a year).
- The estimated amount of budget financing earmarked for the Strategy implementation.
- The Strategy shall provide for the following information for each activity:
- the goals of the Strategy, the achievement of which is directly facilitated by this activity;
- a description of the activity’s nature, as well as its expected outcome (including the financial one);
- a generalized calendar schedule for carrying out this activity;
- an assessment of resources that are required for this activity (including labor ones);
- an estimated cost of implementation and possible subsequent expenditures;
- the sources of financing;
- the criteria of successful implementation of the activity, assuming the possibility of quantitative assessment;
- the entity and the specific person who are responsible for carrying out the activity.
- Requirements for the processes of development, amendment, and approval of the Investment Strategy:
- The development of the Investment Strategy and its amendment shall be conducted publicly. The public discussion of the Strategy shall involve experts, businessmen, and investors. In addition to holding strategic session, consultations, meetings of working group, there should be an open discussion of the Strategy development in electronic media (including on the website dedicated to the investment activities in the region).
- The development of the draft Strategy shall involve specialized organizations, already having a successful experience in implementing similar projects in Russia or abroad.
- Any changes and amendments to the Investment Strategy shall be preceded by a public discussion of such amendments.
- Any changes and amendments to the Investment Strategy shall be approved according to the same procedure that is provided for approval of the Investment Strategy itself.
- Requirements for the Investment Strategy implementation. When implementing the Investment Strategy, it is necessary to:
- define the structure and frequency of reporting about carrying out the Strategy’s activities, the values of the target indicators and their compliances with the planned values;
- establish the personal responsibility of the supervisors for carrying out specific activities and achieving the target values of the planned indicators.
- provide for accounting of the target indicators when assessing the supervisors’ activities and developing incitement programs;
- develop and approve regulations to control the execution of and to revise the Investment Strategy;
- ensure regular publication of reports following the achievement of planned values of the key indicators, carrying out the key activities, assessing the observance of the current criteria of success;
- develop and adopt the Program for Financing the Activities to Implement the Investment Strategy, including the financing of mechanisms and measures to support investments projects and the human resources development. This Program shall:
- accumulate information about the amount of budget funds earmarked by the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation for all forms of investment support, as well as a part of the capital investment program, focused on creating a favorable environment for investment projects implementation;
- include the plans of receipts and expenditures of funds; define the sources of financing;
- define the powers of the public authorities’ officials in constituent entities of the Russian Federation in financing and disbursement of funds; establish a procedure for adjustment in case of any deviation in receipts and expenditures of funds.
Plan for building infrastructure investment facilities
- Every year, the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall prepare a plan for building investment facilities and the required transport, energy, social, engineering, utilities, and telecommunication infrastructure of the region. The plan represents a summary of all key infrastructure facilities, the construction and reconstruction of which have been set out in the existing plans and programs of the Russian Federation in the territory of the relevant region, the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, and the municipal entities, including under the terms of a public and private partnership; about the investment programs of subjects of natural monopolies and business entities with state participation. For each facility, the plan shall provide the information, available to the executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, about the financing sources (including budget allocations from the Investment Fund of the Russian Federation and regional investment funds) and amount (or indication of lack of confirmation in financing), the scheduled dates of the facility commissioning and its actual status (the preparation or execution stage). The Plan shall also mention the investment facilities planned for construction (reconstruction), indicating the required power consumption of energy resources.
- The Plan shall be published in a visual form with indication of the planned facilities on the Region’s map, the timeframes of their creation (construction). The adopted projects for the territory development shall be included in the Plan. The Plan shall be published on the website dedicated to the investment activities in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall have an official procedure for considering the issues of the territory development, including the construction of industrial and technological parks. This procedure is based on the following principles:
- principle of assessing the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of integrated development projects;
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- principle of State competitive support to integrated development projects;
- the principle of public discussion and consideration of the interests of various social groups;
- the principle of co-financing the expenditures for the implementation of territory development projects by local governments, constituent entities of the Russian Federation, and businesses;
- the principle of mutual responsibility for the implementation of similar projects, where, in accordance with the legal framework and existing agreements, the State and businesses shall have strictly defined rights and duties;
- the principle of synchronization with investment programs of subjects of natural monopolies and with plans to develop the infrastructure of economic entities of all forms of ownership;
- The plan must comply with the regional Investment Strategy.
- Every year, the highest official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall address a message about the investment climate in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation to the members of legislative and executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The message shall reflect the implementation results of the Investment Strategy, determine the main areas and priorities of the investment policy of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, and inform about the key measures to be carried out the next year to attract investments and improve the business environment in the region.
Legal act on protection of investors’ rights and mechanisms for supporting investment activities
- The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall adopt a legal act establishing:
- the main ways to protect the rights of investors;
- guarantees of non-deterioration of the investors’ situation within the competence of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation for the Investment Strategy implementation period;
- guarantees of non-abuse of their rights by the executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation;
- the procedure for the investors to seek protection and assistance;
- voluntary restrictions on the rights of executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, as permitted by the applicable law in the framework of law enforcement activities;
- the forms of fiscal and financial support for investments as applicable in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation (for each of such forms, it is necessary to describe the procedure and conditions of its application), including clear criteria and procedures for obtaining the same.
- The above norms can be set out in different direct-action legal acts of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation (for example, those regulating the issues of the tax policy in respect of particular types of investments, the procedure for entering into agreements with the business and investment entities, etc.). In such case, information about these legal acts shall be available in an accessible and logically coherent form on the website dedicated to the investment activities in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
Council for the improvement of investment climate
- A Council for the improvement of investment climate should act on a regular basis in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation. The Council is a public advisory coordinating body. The name of the Council shall be determined by the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The Council’s competence and functions should include:
- development of recommendations on the organization of interaction between the executive bodies of the region and persons involved in the investment process;
- development of recommendations on reducing administrative barriers, including those to reduce the delays and simplifying the procedure for issuing permits;
- development of proposals on priority areas for the regional development and coordination of financial and investment resources in the most important areas;
- consideration of the draft Investment Strategy of the region. Analysis of the progress and the implementation results of the Investment Strategy in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation; preparation and consideration of proposals for its adjustment;
- assistance in creating the necessary environment for the rational allocation of productive resources in the territory of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation;
- development of recommendations on state support for investment processes and for stimulating investment activity in the region;
- development of unified requirements to the main criteria of investment projects, supported by the budget of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation;
- consideration of the implementation results of investment projects, including missed and unsuccessful ones; analysis of the causes of their failure;
- approval of the draft Plan for building investment facilities and the required transport, energy, social, and other infrastructure in the region, as well as clear rules for its amendment, taking into account the needs of investment projects;
- consideration of regular reports of the bodies authorized to carry out the evaluation of the regulatory impact.
The Council’s competence and functions may include the following powers.
- The Council shall be headed by the highest official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The Council members shall include representatives of executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, territorial subdivisions of federal executive bodies, local authorities, investors, public associations of entrepreneurs and experts.
- The Regulations on the Council, including the procedure for its establishment, shall be approved by the highest official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The Council shall meet regularly, at least once every two months.
- Meetings of the Council shall be public and open. Investors who are not members of the Council shall have the opportunity to personally attend its meetings. Online broadcasting of such meetings shall be carried out.
- To ensure the work of the Council, a special executive body shall be appointed. The functions of such body may be vested in a specialized organization for investment attraction and investor relations.
Organization for investment attraction and investor relations
- A special organization for investment attraction and investor relations shall regularly act in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- The main functions of such specialized organization shall be:
- providing the “one contact” treatment for investors when interacting with the executive authorities;
- assistance in building project teams to support and implement specific investment projects on a turnkey basis;
- promotion of investment opportunities and projects in the region in Russian and abroad (including through conferences, exhibitions, and fora);
- ensuring interaction with investment and venture funds, banks, foreign state investment agencies, specialized financial institutions, Russian and international development institutions, in order to use their potential and opportunities for financing and support to investments in the region;
- representation of interests of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation in public and private partnership projects.
- The founders shall be executive bodies of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation. The Supervisory Board (Board of Directors) of such specialized organization shall be headed by the highest official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- There shall be performance indicators established for the activities of the specialized organization and its employees. Thus, such performance indicators may include the amount of investment attracted, and the number of new high-performance jobs created. In addition, employee incentives may depend on the achievement degree of these indicators.
Infrastructure for investors (industrial parks, technological parks)
The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall have at least one facility of one of the following types:
- An industrial site (a territory intended for placing production facilities, equipped with the required transport, energy, engineering, and other infrastructure);
- An industrial park;
- A technological park;
- A business incubator;
- A center for cluster development (a collective use center, a prototyping center).
The definition of the facilities listed in this paragraph can be found in the Order of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation No. 227 dated May 20, 2011.
Mechanisms for personnel training
- Availability of a Forecast of the regional labor market’s demand for specialists in various fields for a period of not less than 7 years, based on the study of the investors’ needs (including polls) and a forecast of the regional social and economic development.
- Availability of a regulation for developing the Forecast. The Regulation shall establish that the Forecast is developed in collaboration with experts, representatives of business entities, public institutions and organizations, officials of the relevant executive authorities.
- The results of the Forecast shall be published on the Internet in full scope and in a machine-readable form.
- Restoration and development of the regional vocational education system in accordance with the Investment Strategy; reorientation of a part of school graduates to receive a high-quality professional specialized education.
- Creation of a regional system of retraining and employment of graduates in the specialties that are not in demand on the labor market (the system must be entirely voluntary).
- Availability of educational programs in educational institutions of the region, developed with the participation of business entities and aimed at meeting the needs of new industries.
- 1. The region shall create a specialized Internet portal dedicated to the investment activities in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- 2. The Internet portal shall ensure the visual presentation of the investment opportunities in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, its Investment Strategy and infrastructure, potential areas of investments, as well as collection and prompt consideration of investors’ complaints and appeals.
- 3. The Internet portal should contain a visual presentation of:
- information on the investment attractiveness of the region;
- the Investment Strategy;
- the Plan for building investment facilities and the required transport, energy, social, and other infrastructure of the region;
- a direct call line;
- the regulation on investors’ interaction with officials and authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation and the local governments;
- the descriptions of activities to support investments and investment projects and the procedure of applying for such support;
- information about the plans and results of the meetings of the Council for the improvement of investment climate and video broadcasting of its meetings. It shall be possible to demand a guest pass to attend the Board meetings;
- reports and roadmaps of specialized organizations for investment attraction and investor relations;
- information on planned and implemented investment projects in the relevant region.
- The Internet portal should be available in two (Russian and English) and more languages.
Uniform regulation on investment project support on the “one contact” basis
- The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall develop a regulation on supporting all categories of investment projects, under which a full range of support tools shall be provided at all stages of business development on the “one contact” basis, including participation in regional, federal and international business development programs, assistance in attracting financing from investment and venture funds, business angels, development institutions, private investors, financial institutions.
- 2. The specific methods of support shall be based on the categories of investment projects and investment amounts.
- 3. The regulation on supporting investment projects shall include:
- the procedure for submitting a project at the Internet site;
- the timelines and procedure for the project consideration, including a personal presentation of the project at a meeting of the expert board;
- the commitments to provide information about the possible support mechanisms, which can be claimed by the project initiator;
- the possibility for the project initiator to receive free training in the rules of using a specific support tool;
- the requirements for the project preparation, as established by specific organizations, foundations, and development institutions;
- the procedure for interaction between organizations to consider projects that are seeking support.
- Investment projects should be managed in a single information system, assuming the availability of a common project database, registering information about all stages of interaction with project initiators, the possibility to conduct an analysis of financial indicators, the results of interaction of the subjects of investment and business activities with public authorities.
- Working with the subjects of investment and business activities, making significant investment in the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, shall be built according to individual plans.
Investment declaration of the region
- The Declaration shall set out the principles for interaction of the authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation with the business and investment entities. These principles shall determine the sense and content of the activities carried out by the authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation.
- These principles shall include:
- not discriminating approach to all business and investment entities, within the framework of the predetermined and publicly available system of priorities;
- participation of the business and investment entities in adopting governmental decisions and evaluating their implementation;
- public availability of the authorities’ documented information (except for that related to the exhaustive list of classified information categories);
- Best practices:
- the focus of administrative procedures and regulations to the best (in terms of interests of the business and investment entities) practice of interaction between the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and business and investment entities.
- The content of the Declaration shall include the following provisions:
- the commitment of the higher official of the region to ensure and protect the investments’ rights;
- security guarantees for business and investment activities in the territory of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation;
- the cases where the government of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall enter into negotiations with business and investment entities (such as a case of a “deadlock situation”, where the authorities failed to issue the permit to carry out a certain activity within the period prescribed by the law);
- the commitments of the higher official of the region to carry out activities aimed at reducing the delay and simplifying the procedure for issuing permits to investors.
- The Declaration can bear another name and include addition elements of its contents, in addition to the above.
Procedure for assessing the regulating impact
The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall adopt a legal act regulating the following issues:
- The body authorized to assess the result of regulating impact (RRI) of legal acts.
- The criteria for assessing legal acts, including those of their appropriateness, adequacy, feasibility, and performance.
- The RRI reporting form, including:
- the description of the existing problem;
- goals and objectives of regulation;
- possible options for achieving the goal.
- Analysis of the costs and benefits of each of the options under consideration, taking into account:
- results of similar initiatives in this and other constituent entities of the Russian Federation;
- information flows that will allow for monitoring the implementation of the considered initiatives;
- positive and negative incentives that can influence the implementation of alternative options.
- Public consultations taking into consideration the opinion of interest groups.
- The recommended option of the regulating decision.
- Implementation of the option selected and its subsequent monitoring.
- Setting out the hardness scale for the regulating measures in terms of their impact on the business and investment entities. This scale shall make it possible to:
- identify alternatives to the suggested (or available) options of regulation;
- based on reasonable assumptions, provide an assessment of the regulatory burden in the absence of quantitative calculations (in cases where they are not conducted).
Such legal act of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall be prepared in accordance with the Guidelines developed by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and approved on March 20, 2012 by the decision of the Governmental Committee for Conducting the Administrative Reform.
Training, building up and assessment of the regional team’s competency
- Creating competency models for civil servants of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation and employees of the specialized organization for investment attraction and investor relations, setting out the requirements to:
- The main provisions of such competency model shall be reflected in employment contracts.
- Setting out the criteria for assessing the performance indicators of the employees of relevant public authorities in constituent entities of the Russian Federations and organizations involved in the investment process, and linking them to the competency model.
- When assessing the compliance of qualification requirements for candidates to governmental positions and positions in the specialized organization, it is necessary to take into account their experience in implementation of business projects, business training (principally, in foreign business schools and universities).
- Financing the internship of employees of relevant executive authorities and those of the specialized organization in the relevant public authorities and development institutions with other constituent entities of the Russian Federation and abroad.
Introducing consumers of energy resources in the REC
- The Regional Energy Committee (REC) and other executive authorities of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, who adopt decisions on setting prices (hereinafter referred to as the other authorities) and tariffs, shall include at least three representatives of the main consumer groups and the relevant business associations. The above persons shall represent the interests a wide range of commercial energy consumers, united in a collegial body under the REC and other authorities.
- The Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation shall establish a collegial body under the REC and other authorities, including representatives of business entities consuming energy resources (hereinafter referred to as the Collegial Body). The members of such Collegial Body shall include representatives of business entities, non-governmental organizations, and experts.
- The Collegial Body shall be given the right to preliminary consider the draft decision on setting tariffs by the REC or other authorities and on approval of investment programs of the subjects of natural monopolies.
- The Collegial Body shall express their positions based on the results of consideration of draft decisions of the REC and other authorities, as specified in para. 3 of this section. The position of the Collegial Body with regard to the draft decision of the REC (another authorities) shall be submitted, prior to adopting the relevant decision by the REC, to the REC and the higher official of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation. In case of any discrepancy between the decision of the REC or another authority and the position of the Collegial Body, the REC (another authority) shall submit their reasonable written objections to the Collegial Body.
The Collegial Body’s position shall be considered by the REC together with the documents used to adopt the relevant decision.
Direct communication channels with the regional government
- A channel (channels) shall be created for direct communication between the investors and the government of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation to promptly solve any problems and issues arising in the course of investment activities.
- The direct communication channel shall meet the following requirements:
- an equal access for the business and investment entities to solving problems by civil servants of the level that correspond the issue in question;
- monitoring the results and timelines of the issues and problems raised by business entities;
- Such communication channels may include:
- mobile phone number of the leaders of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation, available for the business and investment entities;
- official blogs of the leaders of the Constituent Entity of the Russian Federation in popular social networks;
- a “hot line”, operating through a website.