Aidar Metshin, Mayor of Nizhnekamsk, described in details the future plans of the municipal district, attraction of investors from China and Spain and improvement of the demographic situation. This is a part of the interview. The full version is available on the website of the Administration of the Nizhnekamsk Municipal District of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Please describe the 2018 year for the Nizhnekamsk District.
It was a very productive year, fruitful in almost all the fields. We achieved the results that had been intended within the frameworks of the federal, republican and our internal programs.
The only drawback was the construction of apartment residential buildings. Last and this year we have put into operation less square meters of living space than in previous periods. This is a widespread trend that is not related to the fact that we cannot build it or that we do not have the conditions. Instead, we have the land and the construction sector meets all the requirements. But the primary and secondary housing markets are overstocked, the supply is exceeded. Over the past years, we have put into operation a large number of social mortgage housing. About 700 thousand square meters have been put into operation in recent years, almost 60% of it is social mortgage housing. On the one hand, it is a positive thing, because this is a socially vulnerable group of our citizens.
We comprehensively develop new residential complexes. As for commercial housing, last year we did not commission any commercial housing and will not do it this year. We will work only with the social mortgage and individual housing constructions. This is not a drawback, but what the market dictates. The rest is within the planned indicators.
At the end of 2017, Nizhnekamsk received the status of the Priority Social and Economic Development Area (PSEDA). How did it affect the development of the city?
The first three years are the formative period of the development and creation of conditions. This period is a stepping-stone and an opportunity for the sustainable development of small and medium businesses.
According to the results of 2018, there are 8 companies that have received the status of residents of the Nizhnekamsk PSEDA. Today, 460 jobs have been created, approximately 2 billion rubles of investments have been attracted. We plan that 8 more companies will receive the status of residents this year. It means that about 400 new jobs and 2.2 billion rubles of investments will appear.
What makes this area attractive to investors from China?
To earn the trust of a foreign investor especially from the Asian countries one has to show the successful examples. When they see the positive examples of favorable conditions for the development, the support from local and regional governments, their confidence becomes stronger. That makes it more possible for new investors to enter this territory.
What conditions do the investors expect? What do you offer them?
Investors usually choose profitable and convenient places. First of all, the raw material base and sales components are being elaborated. Besides, favorable conditions for business such as obtaining permits, deadlines, support services and actions of fiscal authorities are very important.
Recently, in Nizhnekamsk, we held a meeting with business communities of various fields. For three hours we discussed their concerns and what local governments are able to do to build more comfortable conditions for business community. It’s not overprotection, but people need to have confidence running new business. Being an entrepreneur is very complicated, there are many different risks. That is why business goes to the places with favorable or at least acceptable conditions.
“Kamastal” is an obvious example of it. The investor initially had considered another area in Tatarstan, but chose Nizhnekamsk after all and the project was successfully implemented.
What measures have been taken to improve the business environment?
We have a lot of questions on how to improve the conditions of business development. In this term we have a positive trend, but there is still a lot of work. We have to consider the issue of bureaucratic barriers and inspections. These are standard procedures, but my task as the Mayor and Head of the district is not to let them affect the business. Business has a lot of problems even without it.
We are interested in investors and business entities coming to us. Therefore, almost three years ago, the Center for Support and Development of Entrepreneurship was established. It is a place where both an aspiring and an accomplished entrepreneur can come to ask questions and get answers. We will expand the conditions of support and create conditions for small businesses in terms of state and municipal services. We will implement the principles of the responsible production to create the conditions of living and running a business as comfortable as possible. This is the goal that we will achieve dynamic and positively.
What projects are implemented in the field of land improvement?
Within the framework of the program of public spaces we are implementing two large projects. The first is the reconstruction of the Victory Monument where the large-scale landscaping and gardening works will be carried out within the preparation for the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. At the initiative of our Council of Veterans, busts of our countrymen Heroes of the Soviet Union and full Cavaliers of the Order of Glory will be installed. We will also create an electronic memory book there. By the end of April 2020 the project should be completely implemented.
In addition, we are planning the reconstruction of the Baqi Urmançe Street. In the framework of the municipal project “The Streets of My City”, we carry out the research historical work, do the visualization. Baki Urmançe is the first Tatar painter whose works we have in our area.
As the Head of the District, what is your dream?
I can share it with you. I will not say anything new. I want the district to gradually develop, our citizens to have a good life and decent wages. I wish the citizens want to live in Nizhnekamsk.
According to the statistics, we have a positive demographic trend over the past years. We have zero maternal mortality (reduced from 38%), the number of twins and triplets is increasing. For the first time in our history we have 275 thousand citizens.
One of the most important indicators is migration outflow. If we take a look at 2013 – there was a peak of migration outflow when the difference between the number of immigrants and emigrants was negative and accounted for 1,742 people. Then mainly thanks to the implementation of republican programs, we decreased this number to 189 people. It is a huge achievement. This shows that despite all the difficulties, people are planning their future in Nizhnekamsk.