The issue of public-private partnership is one of the popular trends of modern life in Russia. Interest in the issue is constantly fuelled by the economic situation in the country.
This group was the largest. No answers whatsoever were given to 55% of the letters we sent, i.e. letters sent to 11 of 20 regions. It is difficult for us to identify the reasons. Most likely, the scope of the actual duties of the relevant officials excludes the task of developing a favourable investment climate. It is a time-consuming and difficult process which they are not being paid for. The task of attracting investors is replaced by the preparation of report on the investment position of the region.
From the investor’s point of view it is a dead-end. It is impossible to develop relations with partners that do not care about the subject of the discussion.
The remaining 9 regions did send their replies. The nature of those replies allows us to further divide them into three groups.
“Level 1” (five regions)
This group includes regions, whose representatives either stated that there were no such projects or recommended to check the project base on their websites. Such projects do actually exist, but either the information concerning them is limited to 5-10 words or there is a list of projects that have already been realized, not potential new ones.
The majority of such projects amounts to several million rubles and does not resemble public-private partnership projects. For this group there is one common feature – all answers were given as a formality. The incoming request was received and the reply to it was given. Job done.
“Level 2” (2 regions).
This group includes regions which are ready to cooperate, get in contact and can provide information on potential PPP-projects. But here we can see offers like, for example, a project for construction of a Sport and Recreation Centre (SRC) in a working settlement situated in a regional territory. Even the feasibility study is provided. But there is no understanding of the fact that the investor is not interested in construction an SRCs or any other social, transport infrastructure facilities.
First and foremost, the investor wants to receive a return on his investments. But the regional authorities expect the investor himself to clarify his demands for profitability of a certain project, suggest the structuring of relations and start obtaining permits and approvals for these agreements from the relevant authorities.
There is no understanding that PPP is, in the first place, a partnership. And a partnership implies the win-win strategy, i.e. a strategy which is beneficial to all participants. Regions in this group have already realized the importance of PPP, but only on the level of “this is what we want…”
Such projects bring no superior profits. It is unwise to expect the investor to establish a team at his own expense to structure the offer on behalf of the region and persuade regional authorities that the offer is reasonable and correct.