Industrial Parks. Unlock the Restart
Eduard Mkrtchan, entrepreneur, economic expert, head of a charitable foundation
51 industrial parks (IP) have been created in Ukraine within the last nine years. Eight of them have attracted a certain number of residents. The rest are existing on a paper. Their overall contribution to the national GDP is scanty. In fact, this institution has not become an economic driver of Ukraine. Although there were some expectations...
At the same time, 200 industrial parks in Hungary create 30% of GDP. 1.2 thousand parks in South Korea provide 70% of industrial production. Between our closest neighbors the most dynamic in this segment are Poland and the Czech Republic.
The classic format of an industrial park is to create an area that is attractive for industrial development. Due to deals with logistics, access to infrastructure, raw materials and labor. Based on these criteria, Ukraine has significant potential. We have qualified labor resources, competitive with the countries of Eastern Europe, a raw material base and promising logistics, including port logistics.
The geographical location allows us to attract the European-oriented production of Southeast Asia. The cost of labor in China is commensurate with the Ukrainian one. But we are more competitive due to transport optimization.
However, despite the obvious advantages, the idea of industrial parks in Ukraine does not work yet. Those who managed to launch are more likely experimental sites than real production.
Problems include inadequate legal frameworks, imperfect justice and complex regulation. Some of these markers could be resolved by the Law that was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in September. It expands the possibilities for park creation and allows to arrange their creation at industrial sites, where no economic activity was conducted for more than 5 years, and housing was not built for 10 years. This would make it possible to use the territories of local communities. And it will give impetus for development to the depressed areas.
The law stipulates the obligation of the state to finance UAH 10 billion for the development of industrial parks for the term of five years. This is a lot, since $ 1 of budgetary investments, according to experts, attracts up to $ 5 of private investment. A hectare of such area usually creates 50 working places.
However, just passing the law for the restart of this format is not enough. The Verkhovna Rada has not passed two laws (projects # 5688 and # 5689) that provide customs and tax incentives. These documents will close the circuit that stimulates the IE system. Among them are budget investments to the infrastructure and engineering networks, state payments for connection to them, compensation of interest rates on loans for the purchase of equipment.
The most critical factor is time. It is not enough for an effective vote for two laws. On October 6, at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on finance, tax and customs policy, both projects were recommended for consideration. They need to be voted and handed for execution to the President in November. Since by the end of the year it is still necessary to make changes to the tax legislation, which is prohibited to change during the budget period.
In case of delay, the restart of the system will be postponed for another year. All this time Ukraine will lose its competitive advantages. This will painfully affect the communities in the east of the country, which are close to the demarcation line. They will lose the opportunities for development, which they could engage due to a promising format.
Significant reserves of natural resources are concentrated there. The system of industrial parks creates options to refine them locally with minimal spending on logistics. In the future this can provide income for communities and employment for their residents, including the temporarily displaced persons.
Point investments in industrial parks are an impetus for the development of individual industries. First of all - mechanical engineering, metalworking, agricultural sector. This is a chance to transform the old industrial monsters into modern production facilities. But Ukraine is in no hurry to take advantage of this chance yet.