Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Advanced Special Economic Zones and Vladivostok Free Port: The Present and the Future

The number of advanced special economic zone (ASEZ) and Free Port residents has almost tripled in the course of the last year (from 454 to 1,200), indicating increased interest and readiness on the part of the business community to develop entrepreneurship in the Russian Far East. Although the results achieved by the ASEZ and Vladivostok Free Port regimes have been impressive, however, there remains a clear need to increase competitiveness in the international arena and improve existing tools. Practice has shown that a number of incentives are either inapplicable or not in demand, and that existing support measures are insufficient for implementing projects. What needs to be done in order to increase the competitiveness of incentive regimes, both within the country and at an international level? How can cooperation among residents be increased, and how can they be helped to bring their products to market? What measures must be taken to protect the rights of investors and remove administrative barriers? How can the processes involved in cooperating with investors be digitalized and consolidated?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Protecting Investors’ Rights in the Far East

During the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum in 2017, entrepreneurs from the Russian Far East asked hard-hitting questions about the protection of their rights in disputes with regulatory bodies. The General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia and the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East have set up a working group on protecting investors’ rights, which has identified numerous violations in the work of customs, tax, and veterinary authorities in the region. Following these investigations, systemic solutions have been adopted. ‘Anti-rankings’ of regulatory bodies with respect to investors in the Russian Far East: what responsibility should these bear? What is the working group on protecting investors’ rights planning to focus on going forward? What innovations are regulatory bodies in the Russian Far East planning to introduce?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

The Far East as a Financial and Offshore Centre

In 2018, decisions were taken to create a financial center and special administrative district (offshore) on Russky Island. Both of these decisions are aimed at ensuring that Russia can offer the globally competitive conditions needed to attract and retain capital, and that its financial market and financial technologies incorporate the latest developments. What new solutions for developing Russia’s financial market will be implemented in the Vladivostok Free Port financial center? What conditions are needed to attract international credit organizations to Russia? What is needed in order to create and develop a crypto-currency exchange? How competitive are CAP regimes when it comes to protecting capital?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Targeted Infrastructure Support for Business: What’s Next?

Since 2015, targeted infrastructure support has been provided in the Russian Far East in the form of a direct free and non-repayable grant. This subsidy has become one of the first tools for supporting major investors in the region, and has been awarded to 12 companies implementing projects worth more than USD 3.5 billion. The ASEZ mechanism has also reduced demand for infrastructure grants as an independent form of support. From 2019, a new infrastructure support tool will be introduced which will include reimbursement of investor expenditure on building utilities and social infrastructure facilities for new production assets through future taxes. What results have been achieved by the targeted infrastructure mechanism employed to support investors in the Russian Far East? How will a ‘taxes for infrastructure’ mechanism operate, and what risks does business see in this?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Supporting High-Tech Projects in the Far East

High-tech products account for less than 15% of the Russian Far East’s GRP. Meanwhile, the Far Eastern Federal District remains fifth for innovative development among Russia’s federal districts, and is failing to attract investment in high-tech projects from direct investment and venture capital funds. At the same time, a wide range of major companies and corporations operating in the Russian Far East are actively implementing innovations and purposefully increasing the share of high-tech products in their overall output. What prospects exist for creating a competitive business environment for the high-tech sector? How can a competitive ecosystem be established for developing innovation and high-tech projects in the Russian Far East which is equivalent in scale to those found in other Asia-Pacific region countries? What are the priorities of the Far Eastern Fund for Developing and Implementing High Technology?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

The National Project to Develop SMEs: What Will Be Done in the Far East?

Entrepreneurs in the Far Eastern Federal District continue to experience problems associated with a lack of financial resources and high rates of taxation. In order to increase the number of small and medium-sized businesses, it is vital to maintain existing forms of support and to implement new solutions. In this process, special attention should be devoted to those areas which show the greatest potential growth in demand for services provided by SMEs, including exports and tourism. How and with the help of what mechanisms can the national project’s target figures be achieved in the Russian Far East?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

An Investment Breakthrough for the Regions of the Far Eastern Federal District: What Next?

The 2018 Russian Regional Investment Climate Index shows that Russia’s Far Eastern regions have produced some impressive results, including an increase in the total number of points across the whole Index which was 1.5 times better the national average, Khabarovsk Territory featuring among the top 20 regions for the first time, and Sakhalin Region appearing among the top three growth regions and demonstrating the most dynamic trajectory of all regions in the federal district. How can collaboration be developed between regional governments, regional departments of federal executive bodies, and business associations in order to keep improving the investment climate in the Far Eastern Federal District? What policy changes are regional leaders planning to make in order to improve the investment climate? In the opinion of entrepreneurs, what positive and negative changes have taken place in the regions of the Russian Far East over the past year? What are the major needs and requirements of business with respect to the regional authorities right now?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Features of the Vladivostok Free Port Customs Administration

A range of measures are presently being implemented in Vladivostok Free Port to simplify customs procedures. The introduction of special customs regulations in ASEZs and in Vladivostok Free Port has already yielded practical results. What interim results have been achieved by the implementation of the Comprehensive Programme for the Development of the Russian Federal Customs Service by 2020? What measures to simplify and speed up customs operations are most in-demand? How can the efficiency of customs operations be increased and the administrative burden on those engaged in foreign trade be reduced through the use of information technologies? Do the new customs tools reflect the successful practices of Asia-Pacific countries? What next steps should be taken to improve customs administration mechanisms? How is the implementation of new customs legislation (including the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Federal Law ‘On Customs Regulation’) helping to speed up and simplify customs processes and to attract investors?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

Transforming the Business Climate: A New Stimulus for Dialogue Between Business and Government

Russia has numerous different tools for creating a favourable business environment and encouraging cooperation with entrepreneurs. Until recently, however, these processes have not been centralized. In 2018, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and leading business associations, launched a new mechanism for managing systemic changes in the business environment, called ‘Transforming the business climate’, a tool which allows government departments to respond promptly to queries from the business community. It facilitates the removal of existing barriers to doing business. The new mechanism strengthens the role of entrepreneurs at every stage: from setting up initiatives to monitoring their implementation. But what kind of tools really do help businesses? What kind of problems requiring improvements to regulations do entrepreneurs face? How can processes be synchronized in order to improve the business environment? What should the ‘Transforming the business climate’ mechanism include?


Tools To Support Investors: Next Steps

The Far East: Time to Change the Development Strategy?

The nine regions that comprise the Russian Far East represent almost 40% of the country’s territory, but only a little over 5% of Russians live on these 6,000 square kilometres or so, and the population density is 40 times lower than in the European part of Russia. Despite steady growth in the region’s economy and a higher level of local salaries and pensions, the Far East currently remains beyond what might be termed the individual strategies of Russian citizens. Now that we understand that the region, with its colossal reserves of raw materials, fish, timber, ores, water, and agricultural resources, is characterized by enormous potential for development, we need to careful consider this issue. Do we need to rethink everything that has been done and develop a new strategy for the most promising Russian region? What would make the Russian Far East an attractive place to live? What should be a higher priority: raising the standard of living in the region or major energy and infrastructure projects? Is Russia ready to modernize the region independently without foreign investment, or is it necessary to do everything possible to attract foreign partners? How likely is the emergence of Russia as a key link between East and West? Finally, will Russia be able to occupy a worthy place among the ‘Asian Tigers’ or is it too late already?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Timber in the Far East: Increasing the Industry’s Economic Return

The Russian Far East possesses 30% of the Asia-Pacific region’s timber reserves. At present, however, only 18% of its 90 million cubic metres of timber are utilized annually. The forestry industry, which retains a focus on raw material exports, accounts for no more than 1.5% of the regional economy. In 2018, the rules for doing business in the Far Eastern forestry sector changed. Firstly, new conditions have entered into force that make forestry resources available to major investors planning to develop regional processing capacity. Secondly, export duties for companies exporting only round timber will gradually be increased from 25% to 80%. What needs to be done to increase the amount of investment per hectare of forest? Is it advisable to vary state support measures for forestry projects depending upon the degree of raw timber processing involved, and how exactly should this be done? How can the economic performance of projects to develop forests and build forest infrastructure be improved?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Integration of the Far Eastern Agriculture Sector into the Food Industry System of the Asia-Pacific Region

In Russia’s agroindustrial sector, exports are becoming key: as agricultural import substitution programmes reach their targets, the future growth of agricultural production will be secured by satisfying demand in export markets. The most promising markets for global agricultural production are those of the Asia-Pacific region, and of East Asia in particular, the geographical neighbour of a Russian Far East which is rapidly developing its own agricultural production and output of food products. Which agricultural goods in demand in major Asia-Pacific countries is the Russian Far East ready to offer? Which markets have the most potential for the increase of Russian agricultural exports? How can sanitary restrictions be lifted and the regionalization of the Russian Federation’s constituent entities be achieved? What conditions must be created in the Russian Far East for Asia-Pacific investors and trading partners? How can effective sales channels be established in the Asia-Pacific region for products from the Russian Far East?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Mining and Processing Solid Minerals: The Traditional Industries Today and Tomorrow

The Far Eastern Region is one of the key centres of the Russian mining industry. The volumes of metals extracted and produced there are growing year-on-year: in 2017, for instance, gold extraction in the Russian Far East grew by more than 7% to 140 tonnes, which represents more than half of all gold extracted nationally, while the rise in tin production exceeded 60%. As extraction volumes in the Russian Far East are increasing, so too are its infrastructure capabilities. These factors are naturally serving to increase the investment attractiveness of the region, both for domestic and for international investors. At the present time, a number of foreign companies are not only engaged in extracting and processing minerals, but are also involved in investment activity as they participate in merger and acquisition deals in the mining sector. Countries represented by these foreign investors include Canada, the USA, China, and India. As before, however, a number of restrictions remain in the domestic mining sector, hindering its development. What legislative reforms are necessary to increase the investment attractiveness of the Russian Far East’s Mining Sector? What are the current infrastructure limitations in the Russian Far East, and what can be done to resolve these at both the federal and regional levels?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

The Fishing Industry: New Challenges

In 2018, the first investment projects were selected as part of a programme to fill investment quotas in the fishing industry. As a result, the successful companies have now been assigned quotas in exchange for the obligatory construction of ten seafood processing plants with a total processing capacity of more than 300,000 tonnes annually, as well as nine fishing vessels to be built at Russian shipyards. These projects alone will serve to double processing production, but the result will remain far from the global figures achieved by the major fishing countries. The sector possesses significant potential for growth. A new 15-year period for assigning quota shares will begin in 2019, and now is the time to determine the key rules and discuss possible changes required to develop the sector. What changes can the sector anticipate in this new period? What structural changes must be incorporated in order to stimulate active investment by sector participants and reduce investment risks? How can 100% implementation of ‘investment quota’ projects be ensured, and what are the associated risks? What modern products should be produced and how can these be promoted?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Oil and Gas Processing: Creating a New Industry Cluster

Today, the contribution of petrochemicals to Russian GDP is lagging significantly behind the equivalent figures for leading global economies (at less than 2% in comparison with 6% in the USA and 9% in China). At a time of growing foreign competition, choosing the right direction for the development of petrochemical projects within a Far Eastern cluster is gaining particular relevance. It is no coincidence that the Russian Far East is the location for a number of major petrochemical projects which are either at the implementation stage or in preparation, including the Amur Gas Processing Plant, Amur Gas Chemical Complex, Skovorodino Methanol Production Plant, Nakhodka Fertilizer Plant, and many others, representing a total value of more than USD 20 billion. Its close proximity to the premium Asia-Pacific market provides the cluster with an additional advantage. The extraction of helium and other valuable components from Yakutsk and Irkutsk gas at Far Eastern facilities has the potential to facilitate the development, both of related markets, and of high-tech industrial sectors. How well supplied is the region with raw materials and the capacity to process them? What factors should form the basis of value creation chains within the sector? What high-value-added products will be in demand on domestic and external markets? Is there a need to develop the small-scale LNG market in the region? Will changes to the tax regime affect the cost of raw materials for the petrochemicals sector? Petrochemicals from naphtha, ethane, or LPGs – what should be developed and why?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Port Infrastructure: New Opportunities for Investors

Cargo turnover at sea ports in the Russian Far East doubled between 2009 and 2017, demonstrating rapid growth in comparison with figures for the Russian Federation as a whole. In 2017, cargo turnover at ports in the Far Eastern basin reached 191.7 million tonnes, a large part of which was accounted for by coal transshipments. It is anticipated that the growth of coal exports to Asia-Pacific countries and active development of new coal deposits in the Russian Far East will continue. New projects involving the transshipment of grain cargoes and seafood products, as well as the development of the Russian Far East’s transit potential, will also help to increase cargo turnover. What areas of development are the highest priorities for increasing competitiveness in the sector? How can zoning of Far Eastern ports according to cargo type be implemented, in a way that also addresses environmental problems that may arise from the transshipment of coal? What factors in the investment attractiveness of the sector are the most important for potential investors and what changes are needed in order to address these? Which modern financial instruments should be used to implement infrastructure projects in the Russian Far East?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Developing Tourism: The Cluster Approach

Measures have been undertaken in recent years to create the most attractive conditions possible for tourism in the Russian Far East, including the development of transport infrastructure in the form of airports in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Khabarovsk, and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the creation of new points of attraction and tourist resorts in Khabarovsk Territory, Sakhalin Region, and Kamchatka Territory, and the provision of additional support measures for investors, including an electronic visa for citizens from 18 countries and a 0% corporate tax rate for tourism businesses in the Far East during their first five years of operation. What additional conditions are needed to increase the investment attractiveness of the sector? How can tourist interest in the region be increased, and how can tourists be encouraged to visit more frequently and for longer? What role should the state play in the development of infrastructure to facilitate this?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Mariculture: The First Steps of a New Industry

For a long time, the contribution of marine aquaculture to the economy of the Russian Far East has been close to zero. Development of the sector has been held back by administrative barriers. In 2017, the first major foreign investors got involved in the sector. Together with their investments, they have also brought in modern technology. A special Internet service for allocating marine plots for aquaculture was launched in 2018, with the help of which more than 100,000 hectares will be distributed for new plantations by 2020. What other measures are needed to increase the volume of aquaculture products, both on the Russian market, and for export? How can the issues involved in making land available for the creation of on-shore bases for marine farms be solved? What needs to be done in order to simplify the procedure of carrying out environmental impact assessments for aquaculture? What can be done to improve the effectiveness of measures to safeguard private property in mariculture production.


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Improving Legislation on Geological Prospecting: Subsoil Users Speak

The majority of deposits currently being developed in the Russian Far East were opened and surveyed during the Soviet period. In order to support the future development of the mining sector in the Far East, it is essential to develop its resource potential to the fullest extent possible, and this should be facilitated by geological exploration. Expenditure on geological survey work on the Russian Far East’s mineral resource base rose by 30% in 2017, reaching around RUB 6 billion, with plans to allocate around RUB 16 billion over the 2017–2020 period. Although these sums are significant, in order to fully exploit the resource potential of the region and make the most practical use of its subsoil, the Russian Far East requires a more active investment strategy for the development of geological exploration. What concrete steps must be taken to increase survey coverage of the Russian Far East? What global best practices (from Canada, Australia, the USA, and South Africa) can be used in projects in the Far East? What model for junior companies is the most attractive for the Russian market?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

Agricultural Logistics in the Russian Far East: A Driver of Agroindustrial Growth

Growing consumption of agricultural and food products in the countries of East Asia is creating significant export potential for the Russian Far East’s domestic agroindustrial sector. Effective monetization of this potential will require a competitive and modern supply chain within both the Russian Far East and target sales markets. Consumer preferences are dictating new requirements for modern logistics, with the sector being forced to improve its efficiency, reliability, and use of technology. What is the significance of agricultural logistics for the development of the regional agricultural industry? Which modern logistics solutions could be used to increase the competitiveness of domestic agricultural products? What current logistical limitations in the region are holding back agroindustrial exports? What Russian and foreign infrastructure projects aimed at increasing exports are being implemented today? What are some of the new approaches to organizing supply chain infrastructure for key markets? Will agricultural logistics hubs become a mechanism for supporting exports from small-scale farms? How are modern technologies enabling the optimization of logistics for agroindustrial and food products?


Industry Priorities In The Far East

The Russian Jewellery Industry: Potential and Prospects for Development

The jewellery sector is not experiencing its best days at the present time, with a fall in the purchasing power of the domestic population on one hand, and the tightening of state regulation in the sector on the other, leading to significant increases in the cost of doing business. In these circumstances, the development of a comprehensive state programme to support the jewellery sector which balances the interests of the state, business, and the consumer is an extremely important and pressing task. The Russian jewellery sector possesses high export potential. This potential is based on a range of factors, including an abundance in Russian subsoils of the raw materials needed by the jewellery sector, such as precious stones and diamonds; the availability of Russia’s own schools of jewellery and related traditions, and, as a result, the presence of highly developed jewellery manufacturing in many regions of the country; the technological upgrades at a majority of jewellery manufacturers in recent years; and access among jewellery manufacturers to an inexpensive but qualified workforce. How can a compromise be achieved between the state and business which will enable the development of a state programme to support the jewellery sector? What areas should be treated as the highest and most urgent priorities, and for what others should the ground be readied? Is there any potential for optimizing the tax burden on the sector in a way that caters to the interests of the state without ‘squeezing’ the jewellery sector? What will be the future role of the domestic jewellery market, and what prospects do Russian jewellers have for expanding exports? When will the obligatory hallmarking of all pieces of jewellery be introduced? What will be the role of small businesses in the jewellery sector?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Transport Corridors in the Russian East: New Competitive Advantages for the Asia-Pacific Region

A range of projects are being implemented in the Russian Far East today which will impact upon the future of logistics in North-East Asia. The Russian Far East offers the shortest routes from east to west, with the Trans-Siberian Railway providing a transportation solution that is a third faster than the available alternatives. The projects include the modernization of the Baikal–Amur Mainline and Trans-Siberian railway, international transport corridors in Primorsky Territory, the Northern Sea Route, and border crossing points in Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region. Discussions are in progress on the construction of a bridge to Sakhalin Island and a high-speed mainline linking Harbin and Vladivostok. What main conditions are essential for the successful implementation of transport projects? What are the key qualitative indicators of projects that have already been launched? How can investment be attracted from the Asia-Pacific region into global logistics projects in the Russian Far East? What steps must be taken to make transport corridors more accessible and attractive to investors?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Russia and the Koreas: A New Space for Economic Cooperation?

For a number of years, Russia, South Korea, and North Korea have been discussing trilateral cooperation projects, including the construction of a Trans-Korean railway that joins the Trans-Siberian and construction of a gas pipeline and energy bridge into South Korea via China. Current improvements in the diplomatic situation are opening up new prospects for these projects. The key question is how and by whom will the risks associated with these projects be hedged?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

An International Medical Cluster in Vladivostok: Taking the First Steps

Every year, around 20,000 inhabitants of the Russian Far East visit medical centres in South Korea, China, Japan, and Singapore. In order to ensure that the regional population has access to qualified medical assistance, plans are in development to extend the Skolkovo International Medical Cluster scheme to Vladivostok Free Port. How can medical tourists be attracted back to the Far Eastern Federal District, together with additional ones from Northern China? What barriers exist today that are preventing foreign investors from pursuing medical projects in the Russian Far East? What are the similarities and differences between plans for medical clusters in Skolkovo and Vladivostok? How can the Far Eastern medical cluster be turned into a source of growth for medical service exports, and what should be taken into account from the outset? Why is it the case that international experience in medicine, rather than threatening national healthcare systems, instead provides a key to improving quality of life and longevity?


Valdai Club Session

The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

The New Asian Geopolitics and Political Economy: Opportunities for Russia

The rise of China and India is changing the entire world geopolitics. Previously, these countries were objects of competition and receivers of ideas and technologies, but now they are becoming the sources of expansion and entering competition with the traditional leaders. How does this change the future of today’s world? Can Russia capitalize on this tectonic shift? How will sanctions and trade wars influence the long-term strategies of China and India? Is their rise irreversible? What can Russia offer the new world geopolitics?


TV Debates of Russia 24 and the Valdai Discussion Club

The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Toward the Great Ocean – 6: People, History, Ideology, Education. Rediscovering the Identity

Russia’s pivot east has long been perceived as a technological move, if not a technical process. The discussion centres around developing economic ties and integrating Russia into regional manufacturing, sales, and technology chains. But the ideological dimension of this pivot is no less important. The Russian elite and Russian society should come to believe that the relationship with Asia is a serious and long-term shift. The essence of this new phase lies in consolidating technological achievements and reflecting on the new policy in the context of the domestic perception of Pacific Russia’s role in the country’s development and international standing.


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

World Sport Today: A View from the Asia-Pacific Region in the Run-Up to Tokyo 2020

The next two Olympic Games are taking place in the Asia-Pacific region: the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2020 and the Winter Games in 2022 in Beijing; the 2018 Winter Games took place in PyeongChang. The influence enjoyed by representatives of Asia-Pacific countries in international sporting organizations has grown significantly in recent years, and Asia-Pacific companies have become leading sponsors of the IOC, FIFA, and the organizing committees of other sporting federations, and are investing in the purchase of top clubs and sporting infrastructure in Europe. Taking these circumstances into account, this session could become a landmark event in the formation of a consolidated position among Asia-Pacific countries in the field of sport, and in the strengthening of Russia’s standing in international sporting organizations.


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Solving Challenges in Russian–Chinese Communications: Myths and Reality

Russian–Chinese relations have reached a new level. New points of growth are being noted, including trade in agricultural produce, cross-border electronic trade, small and medium-sized businesses, cooperation in the financial and high-tech sectors, and collaboration on projects in the Russian Far East and the Arctic. This is a promising area that is set to be actively developed. Restrictive factors are also at play, however, and not least with respect to the positioning and promotion of export goods and services. One of these factors is a lack of readiness among target markets (including both business and end consumers), due to the lack of a clearly formed image of Russia and China as producers of high-quality and competitive goods and insufficient knowledge and trust, both on the part of consumers in both countries and on the part of business (local partners, distributors, financial institutions, etc.). Another is the absence in Russia and China of a unified, authoritative expert platform for creating a ‘knowledge base’ with regard to the particulars of communications and marketing in both countries; insufficient exchange of both positive and negative experience; an incompletely formed market for highly-qualified specialists in the fields of promotion and positioning; and difficulties in intercultural communication. What are the models, opportunities, specific features, and risks of entering the Russian and Chinese markets? How is the image of Russia and China formed in the minds of export market consumers? What are the key trends in communications (PR, GR, digital marketing) in the Chinese and Russian export markets? How to promote your brand in Russia and China in the era of digitalization: the special features of promotion on social media; bloggers as a key sales channel; digital marketing, e-commerce, m-commerce?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Cross-Border Electronic Trade between Russia and China

In recent years, the development of Russian–Chinese cooperation in cross-border online trade has reached a new level. Within the overall structure of cross-border e-commerce trade between Russia and China, the lion’s share is represented by Chinese exports to Russia. Recently, however, an increasing number of Russian companies have been viewing China as a promising sales market for their own products via electronic channels, and are seeking opportunities to optimize supply routes. Implementing joint Russian–Chinese projects under the Belt and Road initiative has the potential to stimulate the further development of cross-border electronic trade between the two countries. What is the current profile of Russian users of Chinese online stores, and how can these be reoriented towards consuming goods in the mid-to-high price range? What changes in the e-commerce market are anticipated in the short term (including to its structure, technologies, models, services, and priorities)? How might the development of the e-commerce market be influenced by customs and tax regulation measures? What infrastructure projects must be implemented today in order to ensure that consumers receive the levels of service that they have come to expect? What tools can be used to ensure growth in the volume of Russian goods exported to China?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

The World Ocean: A Boundless Resource

The World Ocean represents a seemingly boundless resource that no one has yet fully quantified. The oceans contain biological resources with an estimated biomass of 35 billion tonnes. Fish alone, which make up 20% of humanity’s food supply, account for 0.5 billion tonnes. They also contain extractable mineral resources in their solid, liquid, and gaseous states. The oceans are a source of energy, such as the raw physical and thermal energy produced by the World Ocean, of which only tidal energy has been harnessed for the most part so far. Water itself is also a resource provided by the World Ocean. Seawater contains about 75 chemical elements, and once it has been desalinated, it can become the vital resource we need to sustain us. At the same time, the state of the ocean’s aquatic biological resource reserves and the question of how they can be effectively managed are becoming increasingly important. This question is relevant not only to the challenge of providing the population with high-quality food products, but also to ensuring that many industries and agribusinesses are supplied with the raw materials they need. The World Ocean is becoming increasingly strained. As its resources are exploited more intensively, it is becoming increasingly polluted due to the dumping of industrial, agricultural, domestic, and other waste into rivers and seas and as a result of shipping and mining activity. Oil spills and the disposal of toxic substances and radioactive waste in the deep ocean pose a particular threat. The problems of the World Ocean will be the problems of the future human civilization. They require concerted international measures to coordinate the use of its resources. How can we learn how to properly evaluate these resources and to use them correctly? What needs to be done in order to preserve and increase the natural bounty that has been given to us?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Outposts of Science. Creating the Future Today

Trends in scientific research that have emerged in recent decades have raised questions about the future of science as a field of enquiry. On the one hand, it is actively engaging and developing established disciplines, but, on the other hand, it is eroding the boundaries between these disciplines by implementing common methods of research and design. Since such research promises still greater and more revolutionary discoveries affecting almost every aspect of our work and daily life, it will inevitably attract more and more participants, leading in turn to the even stronger development of science. What does the near future hold for science? What form will it take, what will the world’s scientific map look like, which branches will develop most, and which opportunities for invention and discovery will progress the furthest? What is behind the rapid pace of development in scientific knowledge in recent times? And what will our world be like in the near and far-distant future? What kind of planet will we leave to our descendants?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

The Asia-Pacific Integration Agenda Today: Openness or Protectionism? Lessons for the EAEU

As protectionist sentiments are on the rise and trade conflicts escalating, countries in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond are still trying to adhere to the principles of joint economic development through economic integration. The slowing rate of growth in the number of concluded agreements in recent years can be explained by a number of factors: there is a shift to better quality integration processes; existing agreements are being expanded to cover new areas; and agreements are being concluded with a greater number of participants in a bid to align and improve the rules of the game. A number of events have confirmed this trend: the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which was based on the Trans-Pacific Partnership project; the completion of negotiations on the agreement to create a free trade area (FTA) between the EU and Japan; and the launch of negotiations between the EU and Australia as well as New Zealand. The rules and agreements formulated within the framework of the new generation of agreements are aimed primarily at eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade and harmonizing countries’ internal regulations. But will the new agreements create conditions for the formation of truly open markets, or are they no more than smoke and mirrors that do nothing to change the political statements and unfolding trade wars affecting the largest markets? Will the trend to establish new FTAs be able to hold its own against countervailing tendencies that seek to undermine trade and the emergence of new trade flows looking for sales markets to substitute for lost ones? How serious are these trends? And what line of conduct should the Eurasian Economic Union pursue: enhance an open trade policy to counter protectionism or, on the contrary, close sensitive markets to prevent them from being flooded with overproduced global goods?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

The Far East as a Centre of Economic Cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Region (APR): A Dialogue Between Business and Government

The Russian Federation is interested both in increasing the share of Russian investment in the rapidly developing economies of the Asia-Pacific region and in attracting Asian investment to Russia. At the present time, significant progress has been made in such areas of investment partnership as energy, transport, agriculture, information technology, and industry. However, at the same time there are a number of barriers that impede Russia from maximizing the potential of this cooperation. These include technical barriers, differences between the regulatory environments, the lack of extensive experience in cooperation and relevant information, and shortage of financial resources and effective mechanisms for supporting exports. Session participants will discuss the difficulties and opportunities that exist on the path to diversifying and strengthening trade and investment flows in the Asia-Pacific region. Representatives of foreign and Russian businesses that are already investing or planning to invest in the Russian Far East will be able to obtain information on the investment potential of the region and existing mechanisms to support investors. They will also be able to learn about the regulatory and supervisory measures being developed directly from government officials and representatives of development institutions, and to ask any questions that they may have.


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Energy Cooperation in Northeast Asia

The unbalanced distribution of energy resources in Northeast Asia in the context of rapid growth in demand implies the need to ensure an adequate level of supply, which will stimulate the economic growth of energy importing countries. Despite the diversity of models of production and consumption of energy, the geographical proximity of Russia, China, Mongolia, and North and South Korea to one another may lead to mutually beneficial cooperation in Northeast Asia, and the development of trade in energy resources. Keeping in mind the realities of the modern world, the heads of scientific institutes and academies and the heads of international organizations and associations will discuss the possibilities of establishing multilateral scientific and technological cooperation in the field of energy, with the aim of ensuring energy security in Northeast Asia, and will identify potential mechanisms for intensifying cooperation in the region. What will the energy trends of the future be in Northeast Asia? What is the role of the Russian energy sector in Northeast Asia? What steps need to be taken to transition to sustainable production and consumption of energy? What are the prospects for developing the North Korean energy industry? Is cooperation on energy innovation and technology possible?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Russia–Japan Partnership: Fulfilling Eurasia’s Transit Potential

Developing international transport corridors in the Russian Far East is one of the priorities for government transport policy. Russian railways are a central component of the Eurasian rail network, connecting the railway systems of Europe and East Asia. Contemporary economic processes, including trends in the development of global trade and changes in traditional global economic relations, are creating opportunities for the effective use of Russia’s unique logistics potential due to its geographic location, and for the joint strengthening of economic ties both at the regional level and on the East–West axis. Currently, there is rapid growth of transit traffic from East Asia to Europe and vice versa, and an extensive programme is being implemented to develop Russian railways in the east of the country, including modernization of the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM). A project is underway to build a railway link to the island of Sakhalin. Russia and Japan are among the biggest trading partners. The creation of a transport link from Sakhalin to the island of Hokkaido through La Pérouse Strait, which would open up entirely new opportunities for the socioeconomic development of the two countries, is viewed as promising. What kind of problems do Japanese shippers face today? What measures are being taken to boost the use of rail services and the Trans-Siberian Railway? How should ‘seamless’ logistics (sea–port–railway) be developed? What kind of logistics infrastructure is needed? What will completing the project to build a direct rail link bring to Sakhalin? Travelling by train from Tokyo to London: a dream, or tomorrow’s reality?


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

Crossroads on the Silk Road

Belt and Road is one of the biggest development initiatives of the 21st century in terms of scale, and is set to affect not only the regions on the historical ‘Silk Road’, but almost all of the Earth’s Eastern Hemisphere. For Russia, the key format for cooperation with the Chinese initiative lies in linking Belt and Road and the construction of the EAEU, which is already producing initial results. Russia’s strategic priority, however, is to build a Greater Eurasian Partnership by synergizing the potential of EAEU countries, the SCO, and ASEAN. The core of this partnership will be Russian–Chinese cooperation: in the creation of joint projects and the formation of a space for development. How can government officials and entrepreneurs best navigate their way among the multitude of initiatives and projects taking place in Eurasia? How can the interests of partners be balanced in order to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions? How can comprehensive projects be managed in an environment where East and West cooperate harmoniously? One answer lies in the philosophy behind the ancient game Go (weiqi), which enables a shared vision for successful cooperation to be developed based on universal strategic principles and the countries closest to us.


The Global Far East: International Projects for Cooperation

New Energy Markets: The Far Eastern Vector

The Asia-Pacific region already has the fastest growing economy in the world. The same trend is emerging in the energy sector: the majority of growth in demand for both oil and gas between now and 2035 is set to come from China and India. The competitiveness of mineral extraction and, most importantly, the availability of infrastructure are key to ensuring stable and reliable supply to this promising region. Russia has huge potential thanks to its geographic location and wealth of natural resources. What are the prospects and challenges facing us as a result of rapid technological development, a new wave of protectionism, and the shift of economic centres to the Asia-Pacific region?


Improving Living Conditions

National Projects: What Will Be Done in the Far East? Demographics

The strategic goal of the demographic policy of the Russian Far East covering the period to 2025 is to stabilize the population at 6.2 million by 2020 and increase it to 6.5 million by 2025. Ensuring the growth of the population of the macroregion will require implementing a set of systematic measures that are designed to stimulate the birth rate by increasing the amount of social welfare payments that are awarded on the birth of a child, increasing life expectancy and reducing mortality, reducing migration outflow, and encouraging people to resettle to the area from other regions of the country. How can we implement special measures to achieve the goals of the national programme for demographic growth in the Far East and ensure that these measures are adequately funded? What needs to be done to ensure population growth? How can we reduce migration outflow and encourage people to resettle in the region?


Improving Living Conditions

National Projects: What Will Be Done in the Far East? Education and Science

According to 2017 statistics, a high proportion of schoolchildren in the Far East still go to school in the afternoon and evening during the so-called 'second shift’. At 249, the number of students attending institutions of higher education per 10,000 residents is lower than the national average of 289. Across the macroregion, 13% of public schools are housed in buildings which are in a decrepit state or require major repairs. Close to 70% of equipment in schools is obsolete, and in a large number of buildings major repairs have not been performed for more than 50 years. In recent years, the percentage of graduate students defending dissertations who have graduated from institutions of higher education has also dropped significantly. How can we address the fact that the Russian Far East is falling behind? What approach should we take to determine the financial contribution of the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District in solving these problems as part of national and federal projects? Why is it necessary to envisage the creation of world-class scientific centres in the Far Eastern Federal District?


Improving Living Conditions

National Projects: What Will Be Done in the Far East? Housing and Urban Environment

The level of old and dilapidated housing in the Russian Far East is very high, accounting for 6% of the total housing stock in 2016, which is more than two-and-a-half times higher than the average for Russia. Public infrastructure in the Far Eastern Federal District is characterized by the fact that utility networks and facilities are in a decrepit state, and there is a lack of capacity to cover even the existing loads, which means that its operation is cost intensive. The proportion of the housing stock that has access to plumbing in the Far Eastern Federal District is 75%, compared with a Russian average of 81.5%. Only 62% of the housing stock in the macroregion is served by hot water supply system, whereas the average Russian rate is 68%. Changing the situation will require a national project that includes special measures for the accelerated development of the macroregion and the necessary funding, including in such areas as special mortgage products, provision of housing for young families, remediation of dilapidated housing, and elimination of the period that citizens who are leaving the regions of the Far North and other equivalent localities must wait to receive housing subsidies. What measures should be taken as part of the national project? How can the Russian Far East be brought up to the same level as the rest of the country? How much money will be needed?


Improving Living Conditions

National Projects: What Will Be Done in the Far East? Culture

The network of cultural and art institutions in the Russian Far East has high potential. The Far Eastern Federal District is home to philharmonic societies, cinemas, circuses, parks of culture and recreation, theatres for children and adults, including federally funded institutions, such as the Primorsky Stage of the State Mariinsky Theatre and a branch of the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, as well as professional educational institutions and art schools. At the same time, the number of buildings housing cultural institutions that are in an unsatisfactory state of repair in the Far East exceeds the average Russian level. Visitor numbers also remain low and the problem of staffing in this sector is quite acute. Despite the measures that have been taken, there are a number of positions that have been left vacant due to lack of housing and low wages. In order to help the Russian Far East to catch up, it is necessary to ensure that the national programme covers and funds special measures that are aimed at creating cultural and recreational organizations; cultural, educational, and museum centres featuring concert halls and schools of theatre, music, choreography, and other creative arts; as well as exhibition spaces, virtual concert halls, and cinemas, including in rural areas. What is the current assessment of the gap between the Russian national average values for key indicators and the values that are recorded in the Far Eastern Federal District? What are the target indicators that should be improved as part of the national cultural programme, and what values should be achieved in the Far East by 2024? How much funding is required for the national cultural programme in the Russian Far East?


Improving Living Conditions

The Far Eastern Hectare: From Granting to Developing

It has already been two years since the first residents of the Far East received land under the Far Eastern Hectare programme, and over the last 18 months, it has been rolled out on a national level. The programme provides a simplified procedure for obtaining a plot of land in comparison with the typical process. The main advantage of the programme is that it makes it easier to acquire land. The success of the programme points to a further need to develop the ways in which land plots are used, including in ways that foster entrepreneurship. What are the success stories of the Far Eastern Hectare programme? How should the programme be developed in the future? What factors limit the development of the programme? What support measures should be considered?


Improving Living Conditions

The Future of the Labour Market in the Far East: New Strategies for Employers

By 2025, the Russian Far East will have a total of more than 100,000 modern, high-performance jobs. It will be impossible to fill these positions using only the Far East's existing workforce, however. The government has proposed a programme to attract specialists from other regions; nonetheless, the scale and conditions of these proposals are indicative of the need to adopt new measures aimed at attracting staff and creating a new system to train and retrain specialists in accordance with employers’ requirements. How can we develop a strategy to improve the workforce potential of the Far East? How do we effectively develop and invest in human capital? How do we solve the problems that investors encounter when trying to attract qualified staff that are able to meet the needs of new industries?


Improving Living Conditions

From the Funding of Social Services to the Achievement of Social Impacts

Russia’s social development goals have been defined and include increasing life expectancy, reducing poverty, and natural population growth. These goals are especially relevant today for the Russian Far East. To address these issues, it will not be enough to just increase public expenditure. New approaches and solutions that combine private initiative, a focus on a specific result, and resources and investment will be required. When implementing social projects, it is often not the process of providing a service that is important, but rather the specific changes and social impacts that are achieved in a particular sector. Will Russia be able to switch from redistributing state budgets to finance services to a model that involves financing outcomes and achieving social and economic impacts? What tools are available for attracting private initiatives and investment to achieve social impacts? What are the key differences between the new funding tools and the traditional format for financing services and public–private partnerships? What has the experience of implementing social impact projects in other countries been? What impact has the SIB tool had on social issues in other countries? What is the role of the state in developing this tool? What is the role of social impact projects in achieving national development goals in the social sphere in the Russian Far East?


Improving Living Conditions

The Smart City: From Theory to Practice

The modern city is changing how its residents live, creating an environment for development, and providing a place where people can achieve their creative and intellectual potential. The appearance and comfort of our cities and towns have become important competitive factors in attracting and retaining the active part of the population, namely young professionals. In order to compete for human capital, the cities of the Russian Far East must, in one way or another, change their approach to development strategies. The integrated and phased introduction of ‘smart’ solutions in all areas of urban life will help to reduce utility costs, optimize resource consumption, make cities affordable and convenient for people, and attract investors. The opportunities for ‘smart’ development are mainly determined by high human and innovative potential, aspects which determine long-term social and economic development trends and improve the quality of the urban environment. What is a ‘smart city’? Which international technologies and best practices should be followed? Which are the first solutions that might be implemented in the Russian Far East? What mechanisms need to be developed in order to make cities smarter and attract investors?


Improving Living Conditions

Talent 2035

Companies competing for leadership in global high-tech markets will be looking to have the smallest but highest quality workforces. Management will be replaced by trust guided by IT systems, and decisions will be taken by the engineers themselves. The main competence criteria will be the ability to work across disciplines and creative thinking, and the focus of HR policy will be seeking out and developing talent. Almost all rapidly developing technology companies start out as teams of highly skilled engineers who are able to quickly solve virtually any complex and unstructured high-tech problem, and to compete with their peers on an international level. In today’s technological revolution, these companies alone are able to react promptly, economically, and with the right technology to all external challenges and threats, whether they are posed by competitors or shifts in technology. In Russia, a range of strategic programmes is being implemented to develop the talent that will help to upgrade the country’s scientific and technological base (the Scientific and Technological Development Strategy of the Russian Federation) and launch businesses in new markets (the National Technology Initiative) and the digital economy. The Russian Far East should not remain on the sidelines as solutions to these challenges are put into effect, and it has its own part to play in Russia’s national strategy. The Russian Far East is a place facing big challenges, and the opportunity for personal development in the difficult circumstances that these challenges create could become the region’s calling card in seeking to attract talent.


Improving Living Conditions

Healthy Life Expectancy in the Russian Far East

The national development goals of Russia include raising life expectancy to 78 years and ensuring sustainable natural population growth. In addition, a national demographics project has been developed. The indicators of the Far Eastern regions in this area are lower than the national average, and the gap is even more pronounced when we compare the region to neighbouring countries. To adequately respond to this challenge, the government will need to take a special approach to planning healthcare development in the Russian Far East. Given the region’s limited resources, it is necessary to take measures to improve the population’s quality of life in ways that will allow residents to lead professionally and physically active lives. What resources will be needed to increase life expectancy in the Russian Far East? In what ways is healthcare cooperation with neighbouring countries currently being developed?


Improving Living Conditions

Parents, Children, and Changing Technology: The Limits of Control and Potential for Development

The world our children are growing up in is changing significantly faster than it did in decades past. Developments in IT, cyberspace, and electronic payment systems are emerging so quickly that children are starting to master them faster than their parents are able to. This can lead to two possible outcomes: either parents place unreasonable restrictions on their children, who can easily find ways around them, or children have unrestricted access to information which may be harmful to them. How can we protect children without inhibiting their development of the skills they clearly need to be successful in our contemporary world? How can we harness the enthusiasm of today’s children for smartphones, computers, and other gadgets and turn it to their benefit? What approaches have forward-thinking parents and society already developed to tackle this issue?


Improving Living Conditions

The Contribution of Female Innovators and Business Leaders to Shaping the Economy of the Future

Technology, business, and innovation are not only driving the development of the 21st-century economy, they are also strengthening the role of women as leaders in contemporary society. Despite women’s potential when it comes to opening up new markets and launching innovative products, their level of economic and digital participation in the Asia-Pacific region remains insufficient. This lack of full participation by women in the digital economy can be attributed to a low awareness of investment opportunities in innovative markets corresponding to their interests, and a shortage of gender-specific approaches to doing business. If the current gender disparity in the field of digital technology can be overcome, we can create the conditions in which quality of life can be improved for women, men, and society as a whole. How can the contribution of women to strengthening national and global economic, social, political, and cultural potential be assessed? What innovative products are created by women or for women? How are innovative online training platforms to support women’s entrepreneurship being promoted? How is women’s role in the digital age changing? What tools exist to improve women's access to advanced technologies?


Improving Living Conditions

The Forces Driving Change in Society: How to Create Effective Social Communication

Without the cooperation of businesses, charities, and social and volunteer organizations, it is impossible to address the challenges that our society faces today. It is these groups that are the source of innovation, and from which many bold and creative ideas and solutions originate. Modern communications techniques are needed to ensure that information about new ideas and approaches to social issues can reach a wide audience. These techniques may, in turn, become a tool for creating and promoting community values and lead to more people becoming involved in addressing social issues. Effective means of communication can be developed if the efforts of both new contributors and recognized experts in this field are combined. What types of technology can be used to communicate social ideas effectively, and are there any successful examples to be found in Russia? What best international practices can be introduced in Russia? Who might be the key players in the process of setting up these new means of social communication? What measures and initiatives need to be introduced?


Improving Living Conditions

Genetic Engineering: A Boon to the Economy or a Threat to Life?

Modern biotechnologies, including synthetic biology and genome editing, are currently some of the most promising growth areas in science and the economy. In many countries of the world, including the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, bioengineering projects are receiving support from national governments. Genetic engineering has opened the door to effective tools for the reproduction of natural organisms and the creation of ‘synthetic’ biological material that has never before been seen in nature. There are more than 100 large laboratories around the world working in this field and tens of billions of US dollars have been invested. The last 10 years have witnessed the rapid growth of publications and patent applications in Europe, the United States, India, and China. Developments in genetic engineering are beneficial for health. They are especially important in the fight against infections and the development of vaccines, and they also have important applications in agriculture, industry, and other sectors of the economy. At the same time, biotechnologies are becoming more accessible, allowing a wide range of researchers to conduct experiments more or less at home, including those involving the pathogens of dangerous infectious diseases. Thus, although synthetic biology offers benefits in terms of economic, scientific, and technological development, the field also poses potential risks associated with threats to the human body and the environment that are not fully understood. These risks are extremely high, and the possible consequences that they entail are comparable to nuclear radiation in terms of scale. Coordinated actions by the government as well as by scientific and business communities are required to prevent any possible threats from manifesting themselves. What future will achievements in biotechnology bring about? Does research in the field of synthetic biology need to be regulated at the national and international levels? How can we prevent the negative impacts of biotechnology? Who bears responsibility for research outcomes: the scientist, customer, or state? How can we forge partnerships between regional governments in this area?


Improving Living Conditions

The Young People of the Far East

The young people of the world are the driving force behind innovation and creativity, <br />the catalyst for putting new initiatives, ideas, and movements into practice, and a reservoir of vast intellectual potential. The young people of the Russian Far East hold the key to overall economic development in the macroregion. The rapid growth of youth entrepreneurship, the implementation of projects which are strategically important to the regions, and the establishment of an environment in which economically advantageous ideas can be replicated are all facilitating further development in the Far East. Entrepreneurial activity by young people in the Far Eastern Federal District is capable of making a significant contribution to increasing the gross regional product. But how can we attract young people to the Far East? What conditions are required to establish a youth entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Far East? How can we develop cross-border youth entrepreneurship?


Business Dialogue

Russia–China

Russian–Chinese relations have steadily improved over the past year: the volume of foreign trade between Russia's Far Eastern regions and the People’s Republic of China in 2017 amounted to USD 7.7 billion, 28.3% more than in the same period last year. The export of goods from the Far Eastern Federal District to China increased by 31.5% in 2017. Chinese companies are carrying out more than 40 investment projects in the Russian Far East, eight of which were launched in 2018. However, the full potential of Russian–Chinese trade, as well as economic and investment cooperation, has still not been achieved. Thus, there are still broad opportunities in the areas of infrastructure development, transport and logistics, forestry, tourism, agribusiness, petrochemicals, and aquaculture. What conditions need to be in place to foster trade and economic cooperation and attract Chinese investment? Which support measures and mechanisms might provide additional incentives for investors from China? Which of the regulations that have been adopted have spurred the growth of investment, and what new legislative initiatives are still being developed? What are the funding channels for Russian and Chinese companies that wish to carry out projects in the Russian Far East?


Business Dialogue

Russia–Republic of Korea

The strategy of the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in on cooperating with regions to the north is intended to create the necessary conditions to encourage Russian–Korean trade, economic, and investment cooperation in the Russian Far East. The joint implementation of the ‘Nine Bridges’ concept has been proposed as part of this policy, including cooperation in such areas as energy and gas, the Northern Sea Route, the development of agriculture, seafood production, etc. At present, six investment projects that are partly funded by the Republic of Korea (to the tune of over USD 50 million in total) are being pursued under the new mechanisms for developing the Russian Far East. South Korean companies are discussing the possibility of funding and carrying out promising new projects worth a total USD 1.1 billion. The implementation of the ‘Nine Bridges’ partnership concept should give a new impetus to the growth of trade and investment cooperation between the regions of the Russian Far East and the Republic of Korea. How can we move from diplomacy to the practical implementation of investment projects, including under the aegis of the ‘Nine Bridges’ cooperation concept? What barriers hamper the implementation of Russian–Korean investment projects? Which areas are the most promising for jumpstarting Russian–Korean business dialogue?


Business Dialogue

Russia–Japan

Thanks to the joint measures that have been taken over the past year, the Russian Far East has developed much closer relationships with the Japanese business community, and there is every reason to expect that projects will move to the practical implementation stage in the coming year. In the Far East, 14 investment projects involving Japan are being implemented. On 27 April, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, an agreement was signed to create a joint Russian–Japanese platform to support Japanese investments in the Russian Far East. The platform is accompanied by eight projects with total investment of more than USD 120 million. What support has the Russian Government provided for the projects that are being implemented? What changes are needed to attract additional investment from Japanese businesses? Will the platform act as a successful tool for attracting Japanese capital to the Far East?


Business Dialogue

Russia–India

In 2017, the first investment project led by an Indian company was launched in the Russian Far East: a factory for cutting gemstones in Vladivostok Free Port. In the same year, an Indian investment project to develop a coal deposit was launched in Kamchatka Territory, and further plans to build a seaport for the transshipment of coal are being worked out within the framework of the project. Russia and India continue to discuss additional joint investment projects in the Russian Far East in the areas of gold mining, the diamond industry, drinking water production, and timber. Difficult transport logistics remain one of the key constraints inhibiting Indian entrepreneurs from implementing projects in the Russian Far East. What should ‘smart’ logistics look like? Is it possible to revive the Chennai–Vladivostok sea transport corridor, which functioned successfully during the Soviet period? Would it be possible to schedule direct flights between India and the Russian Far East?


Business Dialogue

Russia–Middle East

Over the past year, there has been notable growth in the level of interest expressed by the Arab business community in the Russian Far East. For example, at the Eurasian Business Forum in Bahrain, Middle Eastern investors expressed their interest in participating as financial partners in projects at an advanced stage of development in the areas of logistics, tourism, infrastructure, and the oil and gas industry. The joint investment funds set up by Russia and Arab countries are now fully operational, and they are looking for new projects that will provide a fresh bulwark of support for trade relations and set a new investment agenda. The Middle East is rich in financial capital, and the Russian Far East presents a favourable environment in which to invest it. What projects in the Russian Far East are currently being worked out with Arab investors? What do new players need to know? Which projects are of interest to Arab companies? What kinds of mechanisms are needed to satisfy the requirements of Middle Eastern investors?


Business Dialogue

Russia–Europe

The interest expressed by European business circles in the Russian Far East has not weakened despite the current sanctions regime. This has been confirmed by the number of completed and planned business missions from France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and Denmark to the regions of the Far East. The progress that the Swiss company Molumin AG has achieved in carrying out a project to develop the Shanuch and Kvinum deposits, as well as the decision to build an international luxury goods storage centre similar to Le Freeport Luxembourg, are just two examples of this positive trend. European businesses are interested in projects in the fields of agriculture, medicine, infrastructure, and mining, and in the Arctic. In order to facilitate cooperation with European investors, a decision was made to open an office of the Far East Investment and Export Agency in Europe. Are sanctions an obstacle for European companies who wish to pursue investment projects in the Far East? Which industries are the most promising? Which measures need to be taken to increase the attractiveness of the Russian Far East in the eyes of European entrepreneurs?


Business Dialogue

Russia–ASEAN

For more than 20 years, Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been linked by a particular form of cooperation, the dialogue partnership, which has proven valuable, effective, and practical for both parties. Bilateral trade between Russia and ASEAN countries grew by 35% in 2017, however the full potential of trade, economic, and investment cooperation is not being exploited. The Russian Far East, with its unique geographic location, may become a touchstone for intensifying cooperation between Russia and ASEAN. The region offers favourable conditions for foreign investment and advanced special economic zones (ASEZs) and Vladivostok Free Port are now in operation. The most promising opportunities for joint projects between Russia and ASEAN can be found in the energy sector, mechanical engineering, technology, agriculture and food, timber, development of the digital economy, information and communication technologies, and the media, and small and medium-sized enterprises also offer good prospects for working together. Cooperation through integrated unions, namely the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN, is also important, opening up new possibilities for expanding reciprocal investment and trade. What problems and challenges stand in the way of developing mutually beneficial economic cooperation between Russia and ASEAN? Which sectors offer projects with the most investment potential? Which projects are already being implemented in the Russian Far East with help from ASEAN companies and which are in the process of getting started? What kind of instruments could attract investment in the Russian Far East from ASEAN countries?