The business platforms of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum, held on 24 September in Vladivostok, discussed the prospects for developing Russias Arctic zone. The discussions were held as part of Russias chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 20212023.
«The topic of preserving the economic and natural balance of the Arctic is on the agenda of key business events, including the Eastern Economic Forum. The Arctic zone is an integral part of the Russian Far East, so discussion of the strategic development of this territory has taken priority in the EEF programme. In the future, we intend to continue to focus on climate change and environmental issues, economic cooperation with other countries in the Arctic, the development of transport infrastructure, and human capital development», said Anton Kobyakov, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Executive Secretary of the EEF Organizing Committee.
The session Great Challenges and Opportunities for the Far East and Arctic discussed changes in the global economy and politics due to the coronavirus pandemic, which have also adjusted the development of the Far East and the Arctic. Speakers discussed areas of cooperation and regional strengths. For example, president of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Atsushi Sunami, noted that international cooperation through legal instruments is an important factor. The Foundation hopes to see the Arctic as an area of cooperation rather than an area of competition, so it is keen to cooperate with the Russian leadership.
He added that the Arctic is a very fragile system. Humanity has a lot to understand about the area, as there are still problems and challenges lurking in the Arctic.
Former Australian Prime Minister and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) Kevin Michael Rudd called on EEF 2021 participants to address common solutions for Antarctica and the Arctic, as extreme care must be taken when dealing with the very fragile ecosystems of the polar regions.
The Russia-Japan Business Dialogue discussed cooperation between the two countries to overcome economic difficulties. With regard to the Arctic zone, the chairman of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and Newly Independent States (ROTOBO) and adviser to Mitsui & Co. Ltd, Masami Iijima, pointed out that in order to develop Arctic resources, logistical routes need to be developed to bring the resources extracted to markets.
«In this sense, cooperation between Russia and Japan is expected to advance as the development of the Northern Sea Route and the construction of transshipment bases in Kamchatka and Murmansk», Masami Iijima said.
The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue International Arctic Forum will be held in St. Petersburg on 1113 April 2022. The Forum will focus on improving quality of life for the population of the Arctic region, preserving its unique environmental potential, ensuring sustainable socio-economic development of the polar territories, and strengthening international cooperation to this end.