31.10.14 - Doing business in Russia
According to Barentsnova, Russia ranked the 62nd place in the new World Bank's international Doing Business-2015 list ("Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency"). A year earlier Russia was 92nd. The country owes this sharp takeoff primarily to changes in the methodology of the rate calculation.
Two years ago Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree "On the long-term national economic policy", in which it was set the goal to improve the country's position in the ranking of Doing Business from the 120th place in 2011 to 50th in 2015 and 20th in 2018. This figure was expected to become one of the main indicators of the reforms' success.
In 2014 the World Bank published the rating for the 12th time. The study reflects the conditions for doing business in 189 countries. The index of the country is the average of 10 indicators, each having equal weight. Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
The top 10 economies in the world with the most attractive business conditions include Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the US, the UK, Finland, and Australia. The world leader of reforms having reached the greatest progress in improving the legal environment for business became Tajikistan.
This year the authors of the study adjusted the rating methodology. Taking this into account, Russia in reality improved its results by two positions ranking between Greece and Moldova.
The report finds that over the past year Russia simplified the procedure of doing business for local entrepreneurs. For example, there were abolished the requirements of paying the authorized capital before registration and of notification the tax authorities when opening a bank account. In respect of time and money needed to create a business, the country decreased the number of the procedures required from 7 to 4 and the average time spent on them from 15 to 11.2 days. The material expenses decreased to 1.2% from 1.3% of the average income per capita.
Russia entered the top-20 ranking of countries with respect to the conditions of property rights registration. In comparison to 2013, instead of four procedures it is necessary now to pass three of them, spending 19 days instead of 22. The registration fee remained at 0.1% of the average value of the property.
By the number of permits for construction projects, Russia marginally improved its position. To obtain permission for construction in Russia there must be spent 238.4 days for 20 procedures. As for the access to electricity infrastructure, Russia worsened its position: the number of regulations has increased from 5 to 5.6, and the number of days to obtain all the permissions increased from 162 to 179. The expenses for that have increased from 293.8% of the average per capita income to 321%.
For the first time the survey collected data on a second city for the 11 countries with the population exceeding 100 million people. So, besides Moscow the World Bank experts assessed the conditions of doing business in St. Petersburg.
Source: www.barentsnova.com, VM Consult
30.09.2014 - Norway’s ambassador visited Murmansk
The 17th meeting of the Russian-Norwegian commission on cooperation in the field of radiation safety was held in Polarnye Zory (Murmansk region), according to Barentsnova.
The results of the event and other issues were discussed by Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Moscow Leydulv Atle Namtvedt and First Deputy Governor of the Murmansk region Alexey Tyukavin.
Despite the fact that the issues of nuclear and radiation safety in Russia are primarily the responsibility of the federal government, the Murmansk regional administration continues to provide every possible support to projects aimed at improving the security of the region. Among them it should be mentioned the successful implementation of the joint projects on recycling of radioactive fuel cells and re-equipment of lighthouses. Initially, the work was carried out on the shores of the Barents and White Seas, and then the project was extended to the Baltic Sea. Both the administration of the Finnmark county and the government of the Murmansk region took an active and important part in the projects.
"The government of the Murmansk region also supports the joint Russian-Norwegian project at Andreyeva Bay (the spent fuel storage just 60 km from the Norwegian border, where a radiation leak occurred in 1982). We can say that our joint work of many years contributed to having made the North cleaner and safer," said the first deputy governor.
Leydulv Atle Namtvedt noted that he had participated in the development of cooperation in the Barents region since 90s and visited Murmansk many times. The Ambassador stressed that he highly appreciated the cross-border cooperation. According to him, the Murmansk region is the territory where the peoples of Russia and Norway enjoy the most amicable relations.
"For both sides it is essential and beneficial to maintain cooperation in the field of nuclear and radiation safety. Russia and Norway for many years have been successfully implementing joint projects in the Arctic. Another example of the fruitful cooperation between our countries is the International Fisheries Commission, the meeting of which will be held in October. The fisheries management is our common task and a shared responsibility. It should be continued under any political circumstances," said Mr. Namtvedt.
The two sides also discussed the issues of social and economic development of the region and the collaboration between the Murmansk region and provinces of Norway.
18.09.2014 - IKEA to invest 2 billion euros more in Russia by 2020
Swedish furniture retailer IKEA plans to invest about 2 billion euros more in new and existing Mega shopping malls in Russia by 2020, it said on Thursday, reaffirming long-term expansion plans for the country despite an economic downturn, Reuters reports.
The head of IKEA Shopping Centres Armin Michaely, presenting the company's long-term strategy to tenants, said the next mall - IKEA's 15th in Russia - would open in Mitishchi, just outside Moscow, in 2018.
"This is a big investment for us," Michaely said. "We will spend around 260 million euros just on the shopping centre" plus investment in traffic infrastructure.
Out of 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) earmarked for investment in Russia, 40 percent would go to existing stores and 60 percent to opening new stores, he said.
The company is looking to open in smaller cities with populations of between 500,000 and 1 million people, he added.
Michaely said the investment plans would be pushed through despite an economic downturn aggravated by western sanctions.
"There is a bit of a slowdown but we still believe in Russia and that (the economy) will get back to a healthy course. This is why we are committing such a big investment," he told reporters.
In the 2014 financial year, the company's tenants in Russia turned over more than 6 billion euros. The company plans to refurbish five Mega malls and also expand three of the five by 2018.
"All tenants who are in Russia are very positive to go with us for extension and confirming they want to expand. But at the moment it's a bit difficult to get new brands to Russia ... because of the (economic and geopolitical) situation we face," Michaely said.
Investments in the refurbishment of its stores in Kazan and Yekaterinburg are estimated to cost around 27 million euros each, said Olga Shevtsova, the commercial development director of IKEA Shopping Centres Russia.
The company will also invest 208 million euros to significantly expand its store in the Khimki region of Moscow and 158 million euros to expand another Moscow store, as well as 208 million euros to double the size of its mall in the southern Adygeya region.
What remains of the $2 billion after these projects will be invested depending on the availability of land and other conditions, Shevtsova said.