A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 188 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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SAR: Welcome Back
6 September 2022
17:15—18:45
KEY CONCLUSIONS
The current sanctions agenda has made businesses increasingly interested in special administrative regions in Russia

SARs are already in demand among companies and the business sector. They aim to ‘de-offshore’ the economy, raise capital, and boost regional development, among other things. This year there has been an explosive growth of interest in special administrative regions among foreign companies with Russian participation. <...> We are seeing genuine interest. We are seeing that companies are ready and want to relocate, and they frequently choose Russky Island — Pavel Sheika, Director of Department for Special Administrative Region Support, Far East and Arctic Development Corporation.

We already have 102 SAR resident companies, and we are expecting another 20–30 companies by the end of the year. So, by the end of the year, we are expecting the number of companies to grow to 120–130. In fact, over the first eight months of this year, we have doubled the number of companies. That means dozens of companies are coming every month. Of the 43 companies that moved recently, a little under half – 13 companies – have taken advantage of the simplified document submission procedure — Ilya Torosov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

By relocating to Russia, companies are able to protect their assets and obtain assistance from the authorities

We need to understand that there are risks. But if you don't get into a fight, you’ll never understand them. All other things being equal, relocation is a necessity, with the understanding that the undertaking carries major risks. <...> When companies come [to the local authorities from abroad – ed.] and ask what will happen to them, they always get an ambiguous answer. When they state that they’re relocating before the fact, issues in relevant jurisdictions are resolved much more quickly — Ilya Torosov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Thanks to our potential and flexibility, we as the state will adjust [the SAR regime – ed.]. We will provide assistance and back-up support even if something goes wrong. <...> We can help with the process of redomiciliation [re-registering a company in another country while preserving the form of incorporation, structure, assets, obligations, bank accounts, etc. – ed.] <...> in 2–3 days, if it’s really needed. There have been instances like that — Ilya Torosov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

I see a genuine attempt by all government bodies to do everything to meet companies halfway. <...> Indeed, management companies are doing so – offering extended deadlines for submitting documents. Honestly, I can’t imagine there being any greater flexibility, either as a whole, or from a particular government body — Galina Naumenko, Partner, Leader of Energy, Utilities and Mining Tax Practice, Technologies of Trust.

ISSUES
Low levels of awareness among businesses and a lack of recommendations relating to rapid re registration and relocation to a SAR

The [redomiciliation – ed.] procedure is not clearly set out in today’s context. <...> You won’t be able to find them anywhere [instructions for rapid re-registration in another country while preserving the company’s structure and assets – ed.]. And of course, a lot of the companies coming here today have committed a violation in the procedures. All that remains is for them to find out whether under current legislation <...> they can de-register [in the country where they were initially registered – ed.] — Galina Naumenko, Partner, Leader of Energy, Utilities and Mining Tax Practice, Technologies of Trust.

There is no shared experience with regard to companies – each one is individual. Everything depends on where they are leaving from, and when. A month later, you might get one experience, and then another – either positive or negative — Ilya Torosov, First Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

A lack of business infrastructure at the Russky Island SAR

Russky Island currently has some issues with its business infrastructure. As a management company, we view the continued development of infrastructure on Russky Island to be a key objective for the corporation — Pavel Sheika, Director of Department for Special Administrative Region Support, Far East and Arctic Development Corporation.

SOLUTIONS
Allowing companies to invest in the infrastructure of special administrative regions

We propose allowing companies to invest in regional funds and to choose what to invest in specifically [SAR residents are currently obliged to invest at least RUB 300 million in the construction of social, transport, energy, and utilities infrastructure in their SAR. This must be done within three years of applying for a tax incentive – ed.]. We also [need to – ed.] expand the list of constructions classed as infrastructure to cover tourist facilities in the Far East — Pavel Volkov, State Secretary – Deputy Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic.

We also consider investments which international holding companies are obliged to make to be a possible source of funding for the development of infrastructure. I think that the companies themselves will be interested in doing this — Pavel Sheika, Director of Department for Special Administrative Region Support, Far East and Arctic Development Corporation.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS