Created five years ago, the ASI is the poor development Institute. In contrast to the “SKOLKOVO”, “Rosnano” RVK or the Agency has little financial resources. The main resource of the Agency is direct access to President Vladimir Putin, who heads the Supervisory Board of the Agency. According to the famous economist Sergei Aleksashenko, ASI is the “road map” that explains how bureaucracy can accelerate obtaining various business permits and not to lose your control.”
The cost of ASI in 2015, according to financial statements in “SPARK-Interfax” was 1.4 billion rubles. For comparison, RVC 2015 participated in the creation of 23 funds 33.7 billion RUB.
Created by the state development institutions and business support about: several top managers of “SKOLKOVO” are accused of embezzlement and theft, ex-General Director of “RUSNANO” Leonid Melamed is under house arrest, left the RVC Director Igor Agamirzyan.
At the same time ASI, headed by 36-year-old entrepreneur, ex-CEO of the criminal code “Ruskompozit” Andrey Nikitin, acquires all the new functions and powers. If initially the Agency was only three lines — “New business” “Young professionals” and “Social projects”, now it has begun to study the investment climate in the regions will implement the National technology initiative, which should bring Russia into the global markets by 2035, supports medium businesses with export potential through the project of “Investment lift” and lobbying reform other development institutions, many of which Nikitin believes ineffective. Last year the state Duma passed 80 bills and amendments initiated by ASI. The Agency has become one of the main lobbyists of the business. Does it do any good?
“The issue of connection to gas just a shouting match entrepreneurs”
One of the main goals, which originally stood in front of ASI — 20-th place in Doing Business rating by 2018. And indeed Russia has improved its position in this ranking in 2015, we climbed 11 steps to 51-th place. However, if you believe the report of the UN conference on trade and development, foreign direct investment in Russia in 2015 decreased by 92%. How interrelated these processes?
— It is impossible to compare directly. Doing Business indicates the presence or absence of administrative barriers. Good place in the ranking means that the country is easy enough to build, connect to networks, to obtain permission to open the company. These simple procedures are unlikely to affect the volume of foreign investments, they are more likely to affect the pace of development of small business and turning it into the average.
At the same time we became easier to connect to the power grid, according to our road map has cancelled a whole slew of seals. You can now, if you have a café, connect to the power grid within two months, two times visiting the “Energosbyt” in Moscow. From small businesses reduced the need for accountants. Much easier to keep records: you can use the services of a company that does it all electronically. All these things affect the country’s position in Doing Business rating.
— However, for example, the customs service implemented on your initiative online services the procedure sped up, but made it more expensive because at each step it requires an electronic digital signature (EDS) and to pay for it.
The problem is that some fields are required in the design of EDS, which are common to all. And there are additional that the Agency started to invent themselves. For Rosreestr we need some data, for custom — other. In the end, in fact, if you do business electronically, you need four or five signatures to get. The office of EDS can be issued free of charge but there is necessary to defend turn. So many people go to private companies and make a digital signature for the money. They are not so large and the signature is in the range of 10-15 thousand rubles., but it’s still money. And, most importantly, agree, funny — five flash drives with these signatures. We will now change. From the stage of preparation the regulations we have passed the stage when we begin to see how it works and catch bugs.
— A lot of bugs caught?
— Enough. For example, in Doing Business we on 178-th place in terms of international trade. Very interesting statistics there at the customs. According to the norms of the world Bank inspection of cargo is possible in 5% of cases — this is normal. And our FTS gives the data: indeed, 5%, not more. The requested data from the ports, they say that the containers for some reason opens in 30% of cases. Begin to understand, is that 5% is when the customs said to open, while 25% is when the owner thinks: “Let me see what’s going to call customs”. Supposedly 25% of cargo is opened on the initiative of the entrepreneur. But this is absurd.
— What are you going to do about it?
— Will now work with the new head of the FCS, to understand and discuss how to change this procedure.
— Old head didn’t you like?
— It works, but not as quickly as we would like. And unlike “Russian grids”, Ministry of energy, the same Federal registration service, which is now in eighth place in the world for speed of registration, the international trade yet there are difficulties.
Now in “Business Russia” talking about the fact that Doing Business studies, for example, the theme of connecting to the networks, and there is a theme of connection to gas, which is just a shouting match of entrepreneurs. We are engaged now, we have a “road map” to reduce the time of connection to the gas systems.
— What is happening to her?
— It was adopted in the spring, and something will start to happen as soon as the Duma will be elected. We will create for small and medium businesses, standard terms and conditions of the connection, which will be obliged to follow the one who connects. There should be like electricity — up to 15 kW connection for free. You just have to define the limits in which gets the main number of small and medium business. They then still pay for gas. Don’t need to charge money for the connection, it is necessary to take for the use.
— Let’s talk about the companies that support the ASI. For example, you are promoting the Russian manufacturer of buses the company “Volgabas”. But it is a lot of questions from the cities that these buses are purchased. In Kaliningrad have complained that they were put neokonchennyi, without air conditioning. In Vladimir they even the authorities call “damp”. You are not afraid to maintain inefficient undertakings?
— Of course, I’m afraid, but we have an expert Council, which evaluates companies. They reject far more applications than take: approximately eight out of ten. We had a mandate to try to see how can work an “Investment lift” (program to support non-oil companies with export potential, it implements ASI together with Vnesheconombank, the Russian direct investment Fund and the Russian export centre. — RBC), and we took the “Volgabas” as one of the pilots. And they are a lot of signed contracts, as far as I know, Iran, African countries, UAE.
— Currently, the ASI virtually no financial resources to support their projects. Meanwhile, at the National technology initiative dedicated quite a lot of money, about 8 billion RUB You would like to dispose of the money?
“We have a lot of money spent on innovation, but not a penny was taken from state institutions, because it was very difficult
— You closely cooperate with development institutions — SKOLKOVO, RVC. How do you see their future?
— Based on the objectives. I like how, for example, the industry development Fund. Because it gives borrowed money, this is not another distribution of elephants. The entrepreneur must not be a beggar. The industry development Fund provides money to purchase equipment. That is, if you’re ready to make the step and upgrade your production, you go and get a grant. They can be criticized for some decisions, but we see the results. With this you can evaluate the work of the RVC? Try to find in public sources, at least some results of the RVC’s work.
— That is you don’t like RVC?
— I don’t understand how they worked before, let’s so formulate. They are now changing for the better, will choose a new leader for the open competition, work with us on a National technology initiative.
Various interlocutors related development institutions, saying that you support the idea of unification of all these initiatives?
We rather support the idea of the audit, to understand why they exist. Last year “open government” was asked to analyze the effectiveness of management development institutions. And we went the most simple way: open source tried to understand what do the boards of Directors of those companies who puts the KPIs, how they are measured, does the achievement of KPIs on the fate of these people, leaders. The results were disappointing.
But we have never had a problem to deal with the reform of the development institutions. We just Express our personal position — people come to us who do not understand how to work with a particular Institute.
Director General of the Agency for strategic initiatives Andrey Nikitin
— You think that development institutions are too many?
— Yes, I did in the past, the entrepreneur, we have a lot of money spent on innovation, but not a penny was taken from state institutions, because it was very difficult. And since I, five years after working at ASI, about half of institutions do not understand what they are doing and why they work. At the same time I know what to Komissarovo (Director, industry development Fund Alexey Komissarov. — RBC), many entrepreneurs are turning. SME Bank works according to a clear model, although the rate was quite expensive for a small business.
— They claim that they give loans at 6.5%.
— The final bid was until recently 15-20%. At 6.5% they got the money in the Bank. Then they screw her, then gave to the partner banks. That is, if you’re a small business and come for the money in a regional Bank, you they are not 6.5%. Now rates are regulated, as far as I know, the money you can get under 10-11%. Too much, but 20% still. I like this development Institute is understandable, I understand where he’s going. But I don’t understand what’s innovation ecosystem, what these startup tours (employees of “SKOLKOVO” go to the cities of Russia in search of innovative projects. — RBC) in the country.
— And your “foresight-fleet” and start-up tours are not one and the same?
No, “foresight-fleet” is just a big brainstorm.
— Considering the real situation in the economy of Russia to gather scientists to talk about global innovation, and quantum teleportation… It looks pretty weird.
— When I was confronted with this, I also thought it a little weird that it is beyond the imagination. Then I realized that there are a few pragmatic purposes. Imagine, there is “foresight-fleet” some Deputy Minister and a young scientist from Novosibirsk. If they interact in a standard format, in order to negotiate, the scientist from Novosibirsk will have eight times a year to go to the meeting to the official.
— As I understand it, your key resource — regular access to the President. From lobbyists probably no end?
Lobbying is different. For example, using drones us manufacturers lobbied for the abolition of restrictions in the law for the registration of drones. Of course, we have things, we can say, lobbying. But help seems to be not the oligarchs.
— Your project “Global education” (state program, according to which Russian citizens can obtain a state grant to study in a foreign University) clearly did not go quite as you planned, and do it now “SKOLKOVO” deals. What do you think about this? Is there any point at all in this program, given the small number of participants?
— In this program definitely makes sense. Yes, as long as the number of applications in this program is not so great. There are three constraints that influence greatly on strength. A maximum of 10% of the applications can be from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The second limitation is there is medicine, engineering and there’s no humanitarian, no lawyers, economists. The third limitation that the applicant must enter the University. That is the ideal candidate in this program is a young teacher of technical College engineering Department, which travels for two years to study, returned and headed the Department. And here’s the number of people in the program (750 people in 2014. — RBC) just shows how much we have young engineers and doctors who know English at a level to self-enroll in Western University.
— There is the impression that the SIA was removed from this program. Though you can with great difficulty pushed. What is the reason?
— ASI is a platform to run different kinds of initiatives. ASI shall not go on about the typical Russian tradition to rake up all sorts of functions, budgets, powers, motels, resorts. Any project needs from us to go somewhere.
“If a person decided to open a business in the Chechen Republic, then he will do it quickly and comfortably”
— You recently presented to Vladimir Putin the investment rating of regions, and said that its results may be taken by some personnel decisions. But you were pretty cleverly — not published on the top 20. Why?
— There was no point. We do not create a political tool of influence on heads of regions — we do not need it. We politics have nothing to do.
You, for example, is very praise Chechnya. Somehow, even said that it is the subject leader with the most comfortable conditions for business. Why you made such a conclusion?
— I did not do. They have three years in the rating demonstrate the good momentum in the polls of entrepreneurs. This means that if a person decided to open a business in the Chechen Republic, most likely, he will do it fast and comfortable enough. For the Chechen Republic jobs is important. There is very little being built, for obvious historical features, but those who build, everyone is happy.
— Besides, you said in an interview with “Vedomosti” that the annexation of Crimea will not create long term problems for the Russian business climate in General can be a good story for business.” Do you still think so?
Yes. Let’s divide the two issues. Comfortable if now the conditions for Russian business in Crimea? While it’s difficult to answer, and we removed them from the rating because the basis for comparison there. They still have the legacy of the Ukrainian regime’s lives, businesses complain of administrative barriers in the Crimea and Sevastopol. Perhaps you can make allowances for the fact that colleagues in the beginning there.
The second question is how the events in Crimea and the subsequent sanctions affected the overall business climate in the country? In the words of Margaret Thatcher on the war over the Falkland Islands: the Empire cannot endlessly retreat, otherwise it simply ceases to be. I believe in the Crimea from this point of view.
— The state Duma of the previous convocation adopted 80 initiated by your Agency bills and amendments. What are the most important thing for you?
— Very important for me was the theme of connectivity, because nobody believed that it would succeed. In the second place that is associated with tax administration, with a reduction in the number of documents and with the possibility of work in electronic form. A very important topic, which I never finished until now, according to the inventory, categorization of land according to master plans.
But the plans of the cities as there was not…
Is that we’re not done, what we need to finish. Because it is impossible to say that everything is fine with the climate, when the time for obtaining construction permits from 70 to 500 days. This is largely a consequence of the lack of proper categorization of land. The draft law on categorization of the land Duma did not manage to take.
— Did not or did not?
The Communists were very much against, say, our agricultural land, our fields are built. There was the story of the fields of the Timiryazev Academy, which indirectly affected.
— You yourself now feel official or a representative of civil society?
— I personally consider myself a Manager. I find it interesting to solve problems. I get pleasure from when they are solved more or less well. Of course, Stockholm syndrome is inevitable, but we are trying to deal with varying degrees of success.
News of “Kommersant” that according to your “road map” by 2035, in Russia should appear teleportation, has become an Internet meme. Then the representatives of the ASI explained that we are talking about such a scientific phenomenon of quantum teleportation. How much do you think this failure tarnished the image of the ASI?
— First of all, I don’t think that’s a Fluke. I believe that if this situation had not existed, it would have come up with. ASI was number one in “top of Yandex, we wrote 50 international publications in different fields. The Russian quantum center, which is quantum teleportation, of course, there were problems, but after the story he had new customers.
ASYA had originally been only the subject of development of regions, investment climate and business projects. Even then there were “Young professionals”, the theme of the National technology initiative. Colleagues told us that as soon as we get on this field, all the negativity, which is the work of the development institutions would be automatically streamed to us. And it’s frustrating, because we in General are not to blame, no money didn’t go nowhere, no one teleported. But it is inevitable, because at the institutes of development is, and the answer is no.