“China will not solve our problems.” Will China’s experience help the Russian economy?

Yes, we need to learn from them. What else?

– There are many things that remind us or repeat the Chinese experience. But 40 years of continuous reforms in the DRC were not in vain. People may not understand the actions of the government, but they trust it. In Russia, any state initiative, even a good one, is seen as an attempt to withdraw money or something bad. The loss of mutual trust can only be restored after many years.

Also, see how the tactics of the Russian authorities are changing. When they started developing the Far East, no one said, “Let’s declare tax holidays there for decades, at least let people breathe.” And in the first wave of Covid, in our country only the controls were reduced, but the taxes were not significantly reduced.

Now, when the situation has become extremely difficult, taxes have been removed for the IT industry. That’s right, but too late. In a crisis, you can only support the economy, but it should have developed earlier.

Another example of the difference in approaches. China has a “negative list” – areas where foreigners can not invest. Includes media, traditional Chinese medicine, military industry, GMO products, etc. In Russia, any foreigner could buy any production, and we were proud of that. We opened the market for any foreign car factories and the Russian car industry did not improve from that.

The Chinese, in the same car factories where foreigners organized the assembly of their models, also produced their own cars. This was done by the same Chinese engineers who were trained locally. Therefore, in terms of quality, their products are no longer much different from German or Japanese cars.

And this has happened in other industries. We did not have such a case that we understood how Nestle conditional works, and we took their place in the market. This is the difference: in China, the task was to become a national industry.

“It simply came to our notice then. Recently, the head of the Central Bank, Elivira Nabiullina, stated that we are facing a “structural transformation” of the economy. Will we take into account the Chinese experience in this process?

– The Chinese model can not be repeated in number, because it is based on other national traditions and standards. The interaction between state and people has developed over the centuries.

We need great steps. The most important thing is to drastically reduce the tax burden, especially in some areas. So that Russian companies do not concentrate in the settlement of Moscow, but go to the periphery. Beyond the Urals there should be a special tax zone with reduced VAT. The 20% tax rate is a brake on the economy.

In China, there are developed southern regions (Shenzhen, Guangzhou and others) where everything is produced and the rest of the regions are less developed. The state took unique steps. In Tibet itself, Xinjiang and other areas lagging behind are roads, electricity grids, universities, research centers and even hotels. In other words, they raise the area as a whole.

We lack such a systematic approach. An example is the Far East Hectare project. It’s a great idea. But even if someone produced something there, the question arises: are there consumers there? And can it go to China, do rail tariffs allow?

You can also take into account the experience of specialized zones for startups, where they receive funding. When a startup is set up in such a zone, it receives 1 million yuan (about 11 million rubles) for rent, salaries and so on, in order to stay alive in the beginning.

Is this money from the state?

– Typically, yes. For example, from the provincial budget or the SEZ, which are also funded by the public treasury. When I was in China, I asked what would happen if a startup failed after that? Answer: nothing. But if at least 3 out of 10 take off, everything will work out, because these are new technologies.

This is China’s fearlessness in supporting start-ups. Our Skolkovo is a national treasure. And there are a thousand of them.

“There does not seem to be any magic. Quite easy recipes.

One more thing: in China, officials have targeted the KPI for how much it has brought useful initiatives or money to the budget. That is, the positive motivation works. And the quality of the employees themselves is very high. They are well prepared, they work with numbers and they know how many projects are being implemented.

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