New Laws Given Their Third Reading and Approved by State Duma to Improve Vnesheconombank’s Development Institution Activities
A new law “On Bank for Development” and related laws (amendments to the Tax Code and customs regulation) have been given their third reading in the State Duma and approved. The restated law on the development bank clarifies Vnesheconombank’s goals of implementing investment projects for high-technology industrial production, infrastructure, digital economy development and innovation, providing support for Russian industrial exports and helping Russian industrial producers to expand into foreign markets.
“The draft law passed by the State Duma gives Vnesheconombank new functions and instruments for their performance. The document specifies, first of all, participation in syndicated lending, which is the key mechanism of the project financing factory. The factory’s goal is to encourage investment to industrial production, infrastructure, innovation and the digital economy,” Chairman of the Financial Markets Committee of the State Duma Anatoly Aksakov said.
The new law provides for new functions of Vnesheconombank and instruments for their performance, including:
- mezzanine financing and partner financing are used to attract long-term investment and provide Russian companies with wider access to financial resources in the domestic and foreign markets;
- Vnesheconombank has a leading role in supporting projects of the National Technology Initiative and digital economy projects;
- a separate objective of Vnesheconombank is to help Russian industrial producers to expand into foreign markets, which includes issuing Vnesheconombank with tax and customs guarantees to secure Russian companies’ obligations to pay taxes and customs duties;
- Vnesheconombank’s role is defined for projects implemented by the Russian Federation in the area of promoting international development and integration processes (Eurasian Economic Community, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, One Belt and One Road Initiative);
- Vnesheconombank performs a wider range of expert and analysis activities in order to identify factors in Russian economic growth and search for and select projects consistent with such factors, taking into account their impact on sustainable development and energy efficiency enhancement and private investment in these projects.
The draft of the federal law on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation in relation to syndicated loan transactions is aimed at resolving legal uncertainties in respect of the regulation of syndicated loan agreements.
“Streamlining the legal regulation of syndicated loans will increase lending in the real economy and make loans more affordable while reducing credit risks taken by individual lenders. Russian businesses will no longer have to enter into such transactions under foreign law. This will also make Russian jurisdiction more attractive. The draft law additionally amends certain federal laws associated with authorising certain types of economic entities to be syndicate members,” Vnesheconombank’s Deputy Chairman and Member of the Board Alexey Ivanchenko said.
The State Duma passed the draft laws aimed at improving the activities of Vnesheconombank as a development institution unanimously.
The draft of the federal law “On Amendments to the Federal Law ‘On Bank for Development’” was submitted by the Government of the Russian Federation on 14 July 2017, is aimed at improving the activities of Vnesheconombank as a national development institution, building its activities on Russia’s national strategic goals and long-term development priorities and providing regulatory support for the implementation of Vnesheconombank’s approved new Development Strategy until 2021.
Million-Rouble Idea on Air: First Episode Won by Motorika Innovative Prosthetics
Vnesheconombank’s start-up game show Million-Rouble Idea has premiered on NTV. The winning team of the first episode was Motorika, designers of robotic prosthetics for children.
The start-ups featuring in the first episode of Million-Rouble Idea were judged by Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank; Alexander Chernov, Senior Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation; Alexander Galitsky, Managing Partner of Almaz Capital; Alexey Repik, Chairman of Business Russia and the founder of R-Pharm; and Sergey Zhukov, a pop musician and the owner of the family-run confectionery business Cupcake Story.
The contestants are also evaluated by the audience: any participating start-up can be financially supported by SMS or by payment through Boomstarter. More than 1,100 viewers of the first episode took this opportunity, paying over 1.6 million roubles. In addition, Million-Rouble Idea became popular on the Web: social network users enthusiastically shared the game video and posted their opinions.
“The Million-Rouble Idea game show has two goals. First, we wanted to focus public attention on high-tech start-ups, young inventors and young talent as a whole. Besides, we wanted to support domestic businesspeople, who know how to commercialise their high-tech ideas, and help them to earn money from their intelligence in Russia. Russia is rich in talent, and we received a total of more than 500 applications. These inventions are designed to make our life easier or help people in trouble to lead a normal life. The show features a lot of socially significant start-ups. This makes us believe again in such values as humanity and compassion. Even if a project does not win, millions of viewers will see it anyway,” Sergey Gorkov, Chairman of Vnesheconombank, said.
“Personally, I give preference to teamwork. If you invest in a project, you should be prepared to be a long-time team member and understand that you will be part of a close-knit, good, skilled and trainable team. Second, it is the market that they can enter. Then, a start-up is assessed for its innovation,” Alexander Galitsky, Managing Partner of Almaz Capital, said.
Motorika, led by robotics engineer Ilya Chekh, designs several types of prostheses. Superhero-style functional prosthetics help children with disabilities to participate in all activities at school and in life. Sophisticated bionic prosthetics are intended to assist adults at work.
In addition to Motorika, the first episode featured four innovation business projects: Altair VR, a VR planetarium; Elementaree, an innovative food delivery service; Iron Pillow, a spine protection system for vehicles; QRepublik, a medical information application designed for use in case of an emergency.
For two weeks, the judges will evaluate start-up innovation and commercialisation. In addition to Motorika, six projects will go through to the final of the show. Three finalists will become the prize winners eligible for 25, 20 and 15 million roubles for business development.
The next episode of Million-Rouble Idea is due to air on NTV at 00:25, 13 December. The game show will feature the designers of a remotely piloted drone, a mobile app for counterfeit protection, an exercise machine for manual dexterity restoration, Russia’s first mass-produced LED modules for motor vehicles and an online money box for children and adults.
Under the agreement between Vnesheconombank and the Roscongress Foundation, the 2017 Russian Investment Forum in Sochi will enable the winning start-ups to pitch to Russian and foreign investors at the Foundation’s key economic forums and the field sessions of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia and abroad.
The media sponsors of the project are Rambler News Service and Russia’s leading high-technology and innovation media outlet Hightech.
State Corporation “Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs (Vnesheconombank)” is a national development bank and one of Russia’s largest financial institutions. Established in 1924, the Bank has operated under the special Federal Law “On Bank for Development” since 2007. In accordance with the Development Strategy until 2021, Vnesheconombank will focus its activities on financing for high-technology industrial projects, infrastructure development, support for non-resource exports, support for innovations and projects of the National Technology Initiative.
NTV is Russia’s largest private television channel with a nationwide broadcasting network. Founded in 1993, the television network operates six NTV-branded channels: NTV, a major nationwide television channel; three subscription-based thematic channels (NTV Serial, NTV Stil and NTV Pravo); international programming (NTV-Mir and NTV-America). NTV broadcasts in all Russian regions, has an audience share of 98.6% and traditionally ranks among Russia’s top three television networks.
The Roscongress Foundation is the largest organiser of conventions and exhibitions.
The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential and strengthening the country’s image by organising conventions, exhibitions and public events. The Foundation develops substantive content for such events, providing companies and organisations with advice, information and expert guidance, and offering comprehensive evaluation, analysis, and coverage of the Russian and global economic agendas. It offers administrative services and promotional support for business projects and helps to attract investment, including in the form of public-private partnerships.
Today, its annual programme includes events held from Montevideo to Vladivostok, offering an opportunity to bring together global business leaders, experts, the media and government officials in one place, creating favourable conditions for dialogue and the promotion of new ideas and projects, and assisting in the creation of social enterprise and charity projects.