A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

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Gateway to a Multipolar World. The Far East in the New Architecture of International Relations
6 September 2022
10:00—11:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Rapid development of the Far East and attracting investments to the macro-region are national priorities

Russia’s pivot to the Far East didn’t just happen now, but back in 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the development of the Far East a national priority. Over this time, almost 3,000 projects have been launched, almost RUB 3 trillion have come from private investments, and agreements worth RUB 6.7 trillion have been signed. In terms of growth rates in investments in fixed capital, we exceed the average Russian rates by almost four times. It’s the same in terms of growth rates in industrial production and the commissioning of housing. The Far East is rapidly developing. Its development is a response to the challenges facing humanity because the Far East is a point where worlds intersect — Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

The Primorye region is developing very rapidly. Numerous sound and beneficial economic regimes have been introduced in this region. We have a priority development area here that is attracting foreign investors, and a special economic zone, and Vladivostok itself is a free port, to which everyone has access without unnecessary formalities. Yes, the Far East has progressed very rapidly over the past 10 years. Much has been done and there is still a lot to do. You could say that Vladivostok is Russia’s gateway to the Asia-Pacific region — Natalia Stapran, Director of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Russia has the potential needed to become an axis of a multipolar world

In the next decade, China will rank first in terms of economic development, followed by India, the United States and Japan. Where are the European countries? They are experiencing a certain decline, a slump […] What is Russia’s role? I think Russia can enjoy dividends now in its economic development, which are created by its immediate neighbours. The Primorsky Region plays an important role in the development of the Russian Far East, and now it is crucial to integrate into the overall economic system — Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY).

We see how Asia, especially China, is developing, and how Russia and other countries, for example, India, are once again taking a leading position, straightening up, and showing their strength in the international arena. We see how the world is gradually getting on the path of multipolarity. A multipolar situation definitely awaits us in the future. The current situation in Ukraine is a hybrid war, an attempt to undermine the international world order. However, Russia and many Asian countries take a global approach to the international agenda and are trying to make sure that conflict situations are gradually dealt with, and we engage in cooperation and collaboration — B.K. Sharma, Director, United Service Institution of India (USI).

ISSUES
Poor development of transport infrastructure preventing the Far East from becoming a global logistics hub

We are talking about the need to accelerate the development of the Eastern railway domain. We’re not doing a great job of it today. To date, we have not transported 78 million tonnes, which is about [RUB] 1.5 trillion in lost gross national product. This figure will increase if we don’t start intensifying work — Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

If the Far East is an entry and exit point, or a gateway, then it needs to be connected by infrastructure. For the Far East to become a hub or a crossroads, of course, infrastructure is needed. We say that this is a weak point, but it is an indispensably important thing for Vladivostok to start building up its potential as a gateway [...] It’s not only railways, but air travel as well. All this gives a boost to the inflow of foreign, Asian investment — Natalia Stapran, Director of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

SOLUTIONS
Improve the transport and logistics infrastructure of the Far East, including the development of the Northern Sea Route

The Northern Sea Route is the most essential transport artery, which is of great importance for developing the economy and responding to the challenges and strains that currently exist. The Russian government has adopted a plan for the Northern Sea Route. It will cost us RUB 1.8 trillion, but I am certain that we will manage. We will build icebreakers, launch satellites, build escort ships and much more, so that the Northern Sea Route will work at full capacity,” Trutnev said. “Vladivostok has something to work towards. Building infrastructure, such as subway, roads, and highways. They must be highly convenient and must ensure competitiveness. We need to look at building a large market [...] The three provinces of China that border Primorye should develop bilateral relations and cross-border trade [...] Vladivostok is situated on the shores of the Sea of Japan, and we need to open up to the world. This would be a good direction for common development — Wang Wen, Executive Dean, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China (RDCY).

We need to work on establishing logistical routes. This includes a railway that would connect the central, European part of Russia and the Far East. The centre will shift towards the Far East. Legal regulation of relations is also crucial. In addition to the excellent investment conditions domestically, a lot needs to be recognized internationally. Here we face challenges: European, Western, and American systems of recognition, verification, and certification need to be abandoned, but this isn’t a bad thing. We are looking at Asian countries. China has made very serious developments in this regard — Natalia Stapran, Director of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

Attract social as well as infrastructure investments to the Far East, using the capabilities of Asian partners to develop the macro-region

In terms of infrastructure, right now it’s essential to not nit-pick on investments because the stakes are very high [...] Moreover, [we need] investments not only in hard infrastructure, but also in social and institutional infrastructure. I believe the Far East should be actively told not to spare any expenses on itself and there should be an understanding of how valuable the benefits are that we can offer Asia. Then we will have a more prosperous Far East and a more prosperous Asia — Anastasia Likhacheva, Dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The conditions that are being offered by our Chinese partners in similar special economic zones and by our partners from South Korea and ASEAN countries are, of course, a very serious start for Russia, not only in terms of attracting investors, but in creating conditions that would compete with neighbouring regions at the very least — Natalia Stapran, Director of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and Special Projects Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

We will improve the regimes and principles of relations with friendly countries [...] We want the modes of interaction to be as friendly as possible. We want the mechanisms for recognizing technologies, diplomas, and certificates to work to the fullest extent, so that we have the most objective court and so that the projects that will exist in the new international advanced special economic zones operate not only within the framework of national legislation, but also within the framework of intergovernmental relations and satisfy investors from both countries — Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS