The Republic of Mordovia is waiting for investors: the region, located one hour’s flight from the Russian capital, is ready to offer businesses an entire range of benefits for the launch of new projects. Mordovia hosts the Ruzayevka priority socio-economic development area (PDA) with 12 investment platforms. PDA resident companies can count on a series of tax concessions, including for property and land taxes. Technopark-Mordovia, a locally based autonomous institution, has the status of a regional operator of the Skolkovo Foundation; the resident status and the corresponding package of incentives can be obtained locally without leaving the region. Labor costs in Mordovia are considerably lower than in Moscow, with the average wage in the region accounting for about RUR 31K ($415) in 2020. With two local operational correctional facilities and another one under construction, there are opportunities for attracting additional labor force. And last but not least, local environmental efforts will help attract investors: according to the Federal Service for State Statistics (Rosstat), the city of Saransk is among Russia’s cleanest locations. Head of the Republic of Mordovia Artyom Zdunov told Invest Foresight about the significance of investments in the region and the local authorities’ willingness to work with investors. Zdunov spoke on the region’s investment potential during a closed meeting with members of the business community, organized by the Atlanty business club in Moscow.
— Mr. Zdunov, how relevant is the task of attracting investors for Mordovia today?
— This is a vital task for the region. Boosting our own revenues is a fundamental and essential issue for us. This year, we have shown a growth of almost 20% – but the rates should be much higher, which can be achieved only through implementation of new projects.
— Can this be achieved through existing production facilities?
— Everything we can currently implement at the operating production facilities will definitely bring benefit. We have put our finances in order and are sorting things out as regards cadastral records. But the region’s major reserves include new projects; we are holding numerous meetings and preparing platforms to locate production facilities.
— What advantages does the region offer for investors?
— Those include a favorable geographical location, labor costs, and infrastructure support for investors.
— Which specific investors could be interested in new local projects?
— The region basically awaits investors in such sectors as engineering as well as radioelectronic and fiber-optic industries. Other projects that require investments include agriculture and agro-processing industry, as well as production of cable products and construction materials. This is what the republic needs today, even without regard for its export capacities. Yet, export-oriented projects are important for us as well since they bring considerable revenues.
— What preferences can investors expect?
— Those include every preference that laws allow us to offer. We deem it important to provide conditions for investors to build and expand their business here. They will pay personal income tax and then income tax; they will enjoy concessions granted through the status of a Skolkovo resident. As regards the Ruzayevka priority socio-economic development area, we offer profit tax relief and property tax relief. We make counter requirements for investors, such as workers’ wages of not less than the sector’s nationwide average as well as the prompt payment of the remaining taxes.
— Is Mordovia awaiting investors?
— Not only are we awaiting investors but we are also making every effort to attract them. We are preparing platforms and creating conditions, but most importantly, we pursue a policy of openness. Investors have to be aware that they will not be deceived but protected.
By Olga Blinova