Investment Message by the Governor of the Ulyanovsk region for 2017
Dear ladies and gentlemen, partners and future partners!
I always ask why some regions were able to adapt to changes and some could not turn them into a source of development?
Leadership is one of the most important things in these regions. That is demonstrated by bold public initiatives and undertakings, by risky private investments, by networks of interlinked business and socially useful projects.
But! I would like to stress that it is the world practice! The key factor, which helped to respond quickly to emerging changes, was understanding of issues related to education, culture and business. They show values and form identities.
Today we can address the main issue in the project "Creative Region - are we capable of changing views of people and organizations, and if so, how should we do it?"
The main answer lies in a special creative and business environment.
Speaking about tasks and plans for 2017, we need to know about 6 shocks, which have an impact on world economy (and us as well).
The 1st shock is demography (in 2050 there will be 9 billion people on earth);
The 2nd shock is the political situation, which is getting worse;
The 3rd shock are information technologies and development of the Internet;
The 4th shock is the fact that mineral resources will run out soon;
The 5th shock are extremely fragile economic relations;
The 6th shock is "green" economy, which emerged as a response to global warming.
For this reason, looking forward into 2017 and beyond, we should be guided by Basic Values and the Formula for Success of our region, as well as understand the most important tasks set at the current stage of development.
What are they?
- we recognize attraction of investments as the main tool for development;
- both Russian and foreign investments are equally important to us;
- we strictly observe the investor's right to a free choice of partners;
- we guarantee that the investor will be exempt from all expenses not related to project implementation;
- we will create necessary conditions for training of highly qualified, skilled professionals;
- we will create a comfortable living, study and work environment for the investor and his family.
Our basic values in the field of investor relations are simple and clear.
The first one is our competent management team, as well as successful investments.
The second basic value includes our in-depth knowledge of the best practices and openness to new ideas.
The third one is stability of our policy and mutual trust, which we have been developing for 12 years and which we are very proud of.
The fourth basic value is the advanced legal framework. One of its aims is to provide investment security through additional guarantees and benefits in case the initial terms of project implementation take a step for the worse.
We provide investors with tax benefits for up to 15 years. This period is increased up to 49 years if a project is implemented in the territory of PSEZ. In addition, we offer a number of subsidies from the regional budget to investors, which will make it possible to save more than 30% of investments. These conditions are very tempting, aren't they? Frankly speaking, they are one of the best in Russia.
Today our Formula for Success is called "Advancing Development" and consists of 12 "I":
- Import substitution.
Both the Formula for Success and Basic values enable us to effectively meet the challenges, which concern our partners, such as:
- bureaucracy and red tape;
- poor infrastructure;
- customs procedures;
- living environment and many others.
I would like to remind you about Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's words: "Creating comfortable conditions for doing business is one of the main prerequisite providing steady growth, as well as sustainable development of both economic and social spheres". These words should become our motto at work and in life.
As a result, the business-friendly environment in our region has remained stable for more than 5 years. Over this time, we have not made any new decisions that have worsened business conditions. In 2016, we included this principle in the legal framework of all municipalities.
Moreover, we enhance and develop activities for business support, investor attraction and aftercare services on an annual basis. We also add new elements to them.
We are used to seeing ourselves among the regions that have the country's best business climate. We have been in the leading group of the Russian regions participating in the National Rating of investment climate in the Russian Federation for the last three years (the rating itself has existed for 3 years).
Colleagues! I would like to address representatives of all levels of government working in the region: We have told each other repeatedly that in order to secure our leading position it is very important not to lose momentum! The competition is increasing!
I believe that we must take new practical steps in 2017. For us, work on 12 models presented at a meeting of the State Council in November 2016 will become our main objective. A project office, which will work in the directions set by target models, has already been established.
What are these 12 target models? These are the best practices in 12 directions gathered from across Russia. This is clear understanding of quantitative results, which we have to achieve, and barriers, which we need to overcome. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin set a deadline for the regions until the end of 2017 to bring regional practices into full compliance with the best examples.
It is a welcome fact that experience of the Ulyanovsk region was used while developing three of these models. These are 1) organization of oversight activities, 2) technological connection to power supply networks and 3) attraction of investors.
At the same time, we need to move forward in these directions too. Our goal is to comply with the best practices to the maximum at year-end 2017.
What do we need to accomplish in each direction? The majority of models contains a set of indicators that we have to achieve. I will cite only the most challenging of them specific for each model.
The first model. The process of acquiring spatial planning and construction permits. It is necessary to reduce the time frame of expert review (from 60 to 45 days) and development of a plan for a land plot (from 28 to 25 days).
The second model. State cadastral registration. For us, the most problematic indicator is the time needed to prepare a delimitation plan. It is necessary to cut it almost in a half - from 18 to 10 days. The time period of area analysis need to be reduced by 10 days (from 33 to 23 days).
The third model. State registration of rights. In 2016, the time needed to register property rights was reduced from 16 to 10 days. In this regard, our indicators correspond to the best practices. Our goal for 2017 is to improve the quality of work with the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography (Rosreestr) through our MFCs. Today business representatives say that it is not convenient for them to work directly with Rosreestr;
The fourth model. Technological connection to power supply networks. Our practices were acknowledged as one of the best in the country. They guide other entities of the Russian Federation. However, there is still room for improvement: time frames for registration of technological connection need to be reduced by three times, from 30 to 10 days.
The fifth model. Technological connection to gas distribution network. The whole process should be limited to 135 days, ensuring that it is easy to submit an application via online services. We also need to optimize procedures related to agreements and to create a legal base so to make establishment and deployment of gas supply facilities easier.
The sixth model. Integration with heat supply, water supply and water disposal infrastructure. In this case, we need to maintain the same time frame - 40 days - for the procedure of direct agreement conclusion. It is very important to provide information transparency of the associated procedures and to automate processes for the calculation of connection fee.
The seventh model. Development of oversight activities. As far as this field of work is concerned, we can say that we have introduced some groundbreaking practices in Russia. In 2015 and 2016, a significant amount of fundamental and pioneering work was done to implement a risk-oriented model of oversight activities.
- The following registers have been created and made available to public: 1) functions and powers of all regulatory bodies operating in the region, 2) requirements to facilities subject to overseeing. We have revealed overlapping powers of regulatory bodies and made a list of excessive requirements.
- We have identified risk profiles of all regulatory bodies. Today it is clear which organizations and why are at risk of violations and which ones should not be subject to inspections.
- Amendments to the regional Code of Administrative Offences have been made that introduce differentiated responsibilities of the first-time offenders and repeat offenders, who committed crimes in the sphere of territory improvement, environmental protection and management of natural resources in the territory of the region (dropping litter, household and industrial wastes in prohibited areas and some others).
It is a welcome fact that a number of regional supervisory authorities has already changed their approach from punitive to monitoring one. The amount of unscheduled inspections has been reduced by a quarter and planned ones - by almost 90%.
Already this year, the number of penalty charges (regulated by Ulyanovsk Administrative and Technical Inspection) collected from entrepreneurs was 5 times less than a year before. This means that 5 times as much money was used for business needs and it will help us develop our economy.
Our goal for 2017 is to increase the number of control activities, which are conducted in accordance with the risk-oriented model.
The eighth model. Availability and quality of the regional legislation regarding mechanisms for protection of rights of investors and support of investment activities. While the law regulating investment activities in the region is considered one of the best in the country, we need to apply some changes. For example, the law should include description of all measures of State support for entities involved in investment activities.
The ninth model. The effectiveness of a specialized organization for investment attraction and investor relations. To comply fully with the target model, we need to improve the KPI system (key performance indicators) of Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation. It is also very important to increase efficiency of interaction between the Corporation and federal development institutions.
The tenth model. Quality of the investment portal. It is necessary to create a fully functional and independent investment portal of the Ulyanovsk region, which will not be based on the website of Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation or the ones of public authorities. The investment portal should provide all information necessary for an investor about infrastructure, state support, and contact information of organizations involved in the investment process.
The eleventh model. Efficiency of feedback and work of channels, which provide communication between investors and government of the region.
Our openness and dialogue with business are the main principles, which we have followed all these years. We have never changed this approach. Moreover, we have constantly improved it by creating and using the newest tools to hold direct conversation with investors: the Government Commission for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, weeks of business initiatives. We have engaged in a dialogue with business organizations: OPORA, RUIE (Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In 2017, we need to re-structure work of the Ulyanovsk Region Investment Council, to provide it with authority to review drafts of regulatory acts, as well as the already existing documents that affect investment activities.
We are going to use one more feedback channel - communication with investors in the format of a refined business breakfast. We will bring together both foreign and Russian investors, as well as representatives of large and small business. At the same time, we intend to provide aftercare services to investors not only during the project implementation but also after the start of production. Among the issues, which we are ready to solve (and are solving now), are the following: developing production cooperation, entering into special investment contracts, providing access to export markets.
The twelfth model. Measures aimed at promotion of small business development. 2017 is the Year of the Entrepreneur. It is one more reason why we should continue work in this direction.
Regarding the amount of work remained to be done, this is the main area of activity. There are nine comprehensive goals, among which are:
- financial, property and infrastructure support of business,
- development of agricultural cooperation,
- tax benefits and promotion of demand for production of small business,
- development of the Single Window System.
For our part, we have expanded this list by adding five regional objectives:
- to support export,
- to promote entrepreneurship and involve citizens in business activities,
- simplify conditions for doing business,
- our project "secret investor" (a research on how convinient state and municipal services for business are),
- to bring products of Ulyanovsk enterprises both to the domestic and international markets.
As these 15 areas of work are the main components of our priority project, the Regional Entrepreneurship Initiative (REI), I would like to describe some of them briefly.
I will start with the development of business infrastructure.
Firstly, we will continue to develop our already-existing growth points: industrial parks, SEZ. This approach has proved its efficiency.
The regional government, which has been managing the "Ulyanovsk SEZ" since 2016, continues construction of its own industrial park of the special economic zone. The park will be intended for 20 investors working in such spheres as aircraft industry and air service, electronic and instrument engineering, production of composite materials, power industry and mechanical engineering.
I would like to remind that in 2016 the main project outputs were putting into operation the whole complex of the initial facilities of the SEZ infrastructure and setting up the surrounding area. This gave the opportunity to define the list of land parcels that could be considered adjacent to the territory of the special economic zone.
New infrastructure facilities will be put into operation in Zavolzhye industrial park too. Twenty-six investment projects with an investment volume of approximately 46 billion rubles are being implemented here. In 2016, the region received about 460 million rubles of government subsidies through an application form of JSC "The Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation" to compensate expenses related to creation of industrial parks. This will allow us to continue construction of engineering facilities of the park in 2017.
In Ulyanovsk, we will also work with the existing park in UAZ territory and the new one in the territory of Ulyanovsk Heavy and Unique Machine Tools Plant.
There are great changes ahead for Dimitrovgrad.
1) A project, which is of paramount importance for development of the region, has been started. It includes construction of an industrial park "Dimitrovgrad". A site design and boundary-setting plan have already been completed. In March 2017, we will start building the first phase of the industrial park. And we have already received the first financial resources from the Monotowns Development Fund. The research and development center "Elbrus" (Moscow) is the anchor investor, which has signed an agreement of intent on construction of innovative production of artificial fibers for the amount of 60 billion rubles. It is planned to create up to one and a half thousand jobs.
2) Within development of the private Industrial Park DAAZ, we have attracted attention of the company "Icarus" (Russia), which will act as an investor and has introduced a project to localize production of steering wheels and automotive components (the volume of investments is 400 million rubles; 350 new jobs will be created). Its full implementation is also planned for 2017.
3) In December 2016, we submitted an application to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation for creation of a priority social and economic development area (PSEDA) in Dimitrovgrad. If we qualify for it, then we will be able to create a favorable tax regime for the entities ready to enter the PSEDA development programme:
- zero income tax rate - this sum will be transferred to the regional budget during the first five years (and 10% for five more years),
- zero property tax rate during the first five years,
- exemption from the transport tax during the first five years.
We will continue development of municipal industrial parks "Inza", "Novospasskoye", "Krasnyi Gulyay" and "Novoulyanovsk", as well as the agrologistic park "DEGA-Ulyanovsk". We will start creating new parks in Terenga (construction materials industry) and Cherdakly (agricultural industry).
We invite both Russian and foreign investors, as well as representatives of small and medium business, to our industrial parks.
Secondly, we will pay particular attention to infrastructure and measures of a financial support of business. At the same time, we will provide support to not only the enterprises that sell goods, but also to the ones that manufacture them. There are several tools to accomplish this task, which include the Regional Industrial Development Fund (RIDF), ZAO Regional Leasing Company, the Entrepreneurship Development Corporation, and the Regional Guarantee Fund.
Having used the abovementioned tools, in 2016 we were able to invest more than 650 million rubles directly in the regional economy. We raised a total of more than 27 billion rubles.
Our goal for the current year is to increase the amount of financing.
For this purpose, over the next year we are going to increase the Industrial Development Fund budget from 100 to 200 million rubles through extra revenues. I would like to remind that by 2020, capitalization of the Fund will amount to 1 billion rubles. At the same time, the amount of loan to industrial enterprises per borrower will increase to 30 million rubles. This will give the opportunity to attract co-financing of up to 230 million rubles from the Federal Industrial Development Fund.
In addition, starting from 2018, we will be included in the federal program for establishment and development of interregional leasing centers for business. This project will be implemented only in eight regions of the country. We do hope that Ulyanovsk will be among them. This will allow us to allocate approximately 1.5 billion rubles to finance the purchase of equipment for our entrepreneurs.
We are ready to implement one more solution that involves creation of a financing fund for agro-industrial facilities on the basis of the Entrepreneurship Development Corporation.
The Government will continue support of small and medium business and will provide microfinancing for the projects.
Thirdly, we will focus on export support. The Ulyanovsk region is one of the leaders in exported goods growth rate. We can see that regional business is ready to enter foreign markets.
Competitive economy exists only when products of an enterprise are in great demand on international market. We need the companies which are capable of being incorporated into global chains. Some examples of the already-existing enterprises are CTC Metallokonstruktsiya JSC, Inzensky Woodworking Plant, "Alexandrian doors", OOO Prizma (which is an authorized distributor of Mercedes), Sosny Research and Development Company.
However, there should be more companies like these companies - the national champions. We assign this task to the Ulyanovsk Business Association and the regional Export Support Center. According to the rating of the Russian Export Center, in 2016 our regional Center took the fifth place among all support institutions in Russia.
With assistance of the Center (including the financial one), in 2016, nineteen small and medium-sized enterprises of the region signed twenty-eight export contracts worth more than US$ 300 000. At the same time, eleven small and medium-sized businesses of the Ulyanovsk region were engaged in export for the first time. Twenty-eight foreign companies from fourteen countries of the world became partners of Ulyanovsk companies.
In 2017, there will be more than thirty export contracts worth US$ 350 000.
Fourthly, a specialized Multipurpose Center started its work at the end of 2016. Here businesspeople can receive the widest range of services, which includes both assistance in obtaining necessary documents and consultations on the issues of interest.
The project implementation will continue in 2017. In November 2017, a new business office of the Multifunctional Business Services Center will be opened in Dimitrovgrad at 3 Internatsionala St., 88. The commission of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation supported the application for co-financing of the project from federal funds (with 47 applications received, of which 16 were approved). More than 500 small and medium-sized enterprises will use services of the new business office in Dimitrovgrad.
In addition, in 2017, we plan to address the issue of conversion of the state services provided by regional authorities into electronic form.
Having concluded its work, we will develop databases necessary for computerization of municipal services.
Colleagues! We are already working in all these fields. Project teams, in which businesspeople and government officials act as cochairmen, have been created for each direction of work.
We have designed drafts of road maps for implementation of all 12 models. By Instruction of the President, they have to be complete by 1 March 2017. However, I would like to ask all of you to pick up the pace. We should not only meet the requirements set by target models but to really improve the business environment. It is impossible without detailed discussion of activities with the business community. For this reason, the deadline for all road maps is 1 February.
Thus, I would like to address all members of the Government: to carefully monitor development of road maps for each of target models. And I invite members of the Investment Council to take part in the work of project groups. All constructive proposals for how we can do our work on improvement of business climate better are welcome.
Dear colleagues! I would like to mention some other important tasks.
The first task. We should take into account our main development project - the Regional Technology Initiative - while looking for and attracting investors.
Being in the center of Russia, the Simbirsk-Ulyanovsk region is a small Russian miracle. We have a great range of talents in our rather small territory.
And this list is not limited to writers, poets and artists like Aksakov and Davydov, Goncharov and Yazykov, Minayev, Plastov.
The region is a real treasury of scientific and technological knowledge. Our fellow countryman Nikolay Alekseevich Rynin is one of the founders of the Russian aviation school. Efim Efgrafovich Gorin is called "the father" of world television. Andrey Dmitriyevich Sakharov, an academician, started his innovative work in our region. A famous ophthalmologist Vladimir Petrovich Filatov was born here.
Our fellow countrymen expanded knowledge about the world. Modest Nikolaevich Bogdanov was one of the originators of popular Russian zoological literature. Alexander Aleksandrovich Polovinkin was a geographer. Alexey Fyodorovich Tryoshnikov was an academician and an Arctic explorer.
The Simbirsk Province and the Ulyanovsk region provided Russia with great statesmen and ideologists: Nikolay Mikhaylovich Karamzin, ministers Alexander Dmitriyevich Protopopov and Alexey Dmitriyevich Pazukhin, heads of State Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky and Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov-Lenin, as well as a famous Soviet ideologist Mikhail Andreevich Suslov.
Great people lived not only in the past. We can continue this list and mention those who make the Ulyanovsk region famous today. Nikolay Nikolaevich Makarov is a famous designer and a scientist, as well as the head of Ulyanovsk Instrument Manufacturing Design Bureau JSC. Valentin Ivanovich Kidalov is a designer of automated control systems. General Victor Stepanovich Chechevatov. Stanislav Yuryevich Donets, an athlete. Artists Arkady Efimovich Egutkin and Nikas Safronov. Ruslan Fazlyev, an entrepreneur and a programmer.
The Regional Technology Initiative shall help us achieve transition from the industrial model, which is dominant today and is focused on traditional markets, to a one with a great share of the new hi-tech economy. We will establish a platform with a special eco-environment ("The Great Technology Valley") within a limited area near Ulyanovsk. It will help to create the industry of the future based on technological knowledge.
The huge agglomeration will include an industrial park, a port special economic zone (with the preferential tariff treatment), an airport, a residential district, a recreation and a green belt along the shore of Volga, a Tecnocampus and a Nanocenter with infrastructure facilities to start technological business of any kind, a powerful IT cluster.
I would like to invite partners to work on several related projects this year:
1) Designing and constructing the Tecnocampus. It includes 15 thousand square meters of research and prototype production facilities, as well as premises for companies. For comparison, ULNANOTECH occupies only 2 thousand square meters.
The Tecnocampus will focus on projects outlined in the National Technology Initiative: future means of transportation, smart and renewable power generation, electronic healthcare. We expect to enter these markets by 2030. That is our long-term vision.
A part of this project is to build a large Wind Turbine Park. In 2017, we plan to finish the first stage of construction, with the output of 35 megawatts. That is not much, but it will help us solve the main problem - to start production localization of wind turbine parts.
Composite wind blades are the primary component. To localize the production, we will start constructing a facility for the AeroKompozit aircraft factory. We are also measuring wind power in order to extend the Wind Turbine Park and to reach the output of 600 megawatts.
In fact, our region is one of the first places in Russia to start using wind power generation and rearranging an entire economy sector. We have developed the concept of creating wind turbine parks and established a specialized consortium of investors, development institutes, and technological companies.
2) Another key element that we are working on concerns education. It is a school for 600-700 pupils. The school will aim at individual educational paths and project approach. Another thing about this school is that it will be practice-oriented. Schooling activities will be influenced by the close proximity to the Great Technology Valley.
We have found the main partners for this project; the list includes organizations from Russia and from abroad. With their help, we are now finishing the development of educational concepts and the architectural design of the building. We plan to start construction in 2018.
In addition to the school, we plan to expand the educational space with an ecological kindergarten, a technical college and a university, and a campus.
3) Santor is a European-type housing community for residents and participants of the project, with a green belt along the shore of Volga. It is a completely new settlement right next to the Tech Campus, built on the principles of the smart city. It includes all infrastructure necessary for comfortable living.
This year we plan to start the first stage of construction of this settlement, covering the area of 260 hectares. We plan to complete it in 3 years. Future proprietor will choose a buildings and determine its type. There will be rental housing as well. We are preparing three or four typical designs for cottage construction. We also plan to build townhouses - low-rise buildings with a separate entrance for each family.
Apart from that, this year we are planning to:
- begin working on the special law of the Ulyanovsk region "On the technology valley",
- create a management company based on the Center of Cluster Development (the decision has already been made),
- develop a system of benefits to attract the private sector, relying partly on Skolkovo's experience,
- address the issue of implementing internet technologies in the whole life-supporting infrastructure of the innovative territory.
Create the Foundation of Technological Development that will provide funding to the projects. The funding will come from private companies, and the Foundation will determine which projects to fund first. We already have the idea who the potential participants might be. The negotiations with them are already underway.
It is important to mention that international experts and entrepreneurs will be participating in the entire project. For that purpose, we have created the Advisory board. Among our partners is Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, one of the leading European universities and a leader of 2016 in commercialization of developments.
Ladies and gentlemen! We would like to invite you to take part in this project. We need partners to help us made decisions and carry out the project. I encourage everyone interested in it to participate.
The second task concerns the regional social initiative, which is another key direction. We plan to continue stimulating investments into social sphere in 2017.
In 2016, we improved the legislative framework for regulation of private-public partnership. In May, we passed the new edition of the law "On legal regulation of certain matters related to development of private-public relationship in the Ulyanovsk region".
In just one year, the Center of Social Innovations, which works as part of the Corporation of Business Development of the Ulyanovsk region, has started participating in more than a hundred of projects related to social entrepreneurship.
These projects cover leisure activities (including leisure for children), education and physical education, as well as social adaptation of children with disabilities. It is impossible to implement these projects without participation of non-commercial organizations and the public.
We would like to invite you to take an active part in them.
The third task. It is important for municipal authorities to realize their role and responsibility in attracting investments to the economy. Each municipal administration should have clear goals to aim for.
I would like to address to municipal authorities. Dear colleagues! We can and will help you move forward and provide additional incentives for that. However, you too should take responsibility and do your part. That is why in 2017 an entire set of measures will take effect. These measures will help to support those who strive to achieve results not on paper, but in real life.
First of all, the procedure to transfer the income gained from simplified taxation schemes to the municipal level has started. It will affect rural municipal establishments, providing additional 250-300 million rubles to their budgets.
It is important that this money should be spent efficiently, and mainly on development of the economy and social infrastructure. The decision whether or not to save inter-budget transfers will depend on that.
The budget of 2018 will implement this mechanism to the full extent.
Secondly, speaking of inter-budgetary transfers, there is another upcoming change. Starting with 2017, the region and municipal establishments will conclude agreements on fulfillment of obligations. If a municipal establishment does not solve development tasks, does not work on attracting investments and optimizing the expenses, does not address the problem of power generation and creating new infrastructure, the sizes of inter-budgetary transfers may stop increasing or may even decrease. In extreme cases, we may employ punitive penalties, up to withdrawing funds or even financial reorganization.
Thirdly, the President of the Russian Federation has supported another project called "Investment Hospitality", which was initiated by the "Leaders' Club" business community. The project aims to check how prepared a region is to work with investors. "Secret buyers" will check all authorities and organizations that work with investors - even such aspects as how a secretary answers the phone call and how soon a written or oral enquiry is addressed. What is important, they will also evaluate the general convenience of services and the living environment: the availability of public transport, the quality of hotels and food outlets. The process will be recorded with a hidden camera.
I hope that municipal authorities will actively participate in this project as well.
In addition, we have developed a new system - Key Performance Indicators - to evaluate municipal establishments. It fully reflects our goals related to the regional business initiative.
These indicators consider the number of attracted projects, the amount of new contracts for provision of goods and services from municipal businesses, the number of this year's newly registered and closed individual entrepreneurs and legal entities, the share of special regimes in the budget income, etc.
The fourth task. The personnel. It is crucial that all our plans to build the new training system are carried out. These plans include several educational projects: WorldSkills, Quantorium, the Competence center. The projects will help us reach a new level in training of highly professional specialists.
My dear colleagues! I am certain that all the mentioned steps will help us preserve the interest of investors in our region and increase the amount of attracted investments.
In 2016, the region attracted 27 investors. Implementation of their projects will create more than 7,000 new jobs.
The active diversification of our investment contacts is underway. Most of the projects (16 of them) belong to Russian investors. There are four projects from China, two projects from Germany, two projects from Iran, and one project from the Czech Republic, France, and Greece.
Ten large investment projects have already been completed, which include the ones of Bridgestone, Jokey Plastik, and Martur Automotive Seating Systems.
The construction has begun for six investment projects.
We need to preserve this growth trend. Let me remind you that last year we set the milestone we need to reach in 2018 - that milestone is 110 billion rubles of direct investments.
In 2017, at least eight investment projects should be implemented. This list includes the "Pamir" high precision iron and steel casting plant, the second stage of the "Darkat" logistics complex in Ulyanovsk, the "Legenda" oil extraction factory in Dimitrovgrad, the second stage of the tech park of the Ulyanovsk Center of Technology Transfer, the new production facility of "CTC Metallokonstruktsiya", the "Mars" scientific center for studies of petfood and etc.
We expect that construction of 14 investment projects will start in 2017, which will create about 22,000 new jobs.
I do hope that your and our work in the Year of the Entrepreneur will help the business community, our main partner, to achieve all the goals and make the Ulyanovsk region a great and welcoming place.
Thank you for your attention.