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The Far East: creating a new reality

Primorsky capital - Free port of Vladivostok - for the third time it hosts the Eastern Economic Forum

This event became a kind of "starting point" for the state policy on the development of the Far East. Traditionally, promises are made here, and then they are executed and reported to investors about the next perfect steps towards liberalization of the economy of the largest macroregion.

The Far East: creating a new reality
Photo: Tass / VEF Photobank

Olga Merkulova

Managing Director EastRussia
What has changed radically in the year since the last forum? Perhaps the main thing - earned a number of mechanisms that are available and understandable to everyone. This is a “Far Eastern hectare”, which allowed anyone who wants to acquire their own piece of land in a very short time. This is a reduction in energy tariffs, which industrial consumers of five Far Eastern regions have massively felt. This is a simplified visa regime, which opened the way for citizens of 18 countries of the world to receive an entry visa to Vladivostok (and from the new year also to Sakhalin and Kamchatka) by filling out a simple online application form.

These measures are exclusive for the Far East - they were developed specifically for the region, and they work only here. At the same time, the logic in which these and other decisions were adopted has not changed for several years. First, the development of the Far East is a national priority, proclaimed at the highest level. Secondly, the region requires huge investments in infrastructure, industry and social sector, which simply can not be directly covered from the budget. This means that the way in the Far East is to create exclusive conditions that stimulate local business development and attract capital from the growing markets of neighboring countries.

It all started with new economic conditions two years ago, when the first Eastern Economic Forum announced the creation of competitive conditions for investing and doing business in the Far East. Especially for business, two economic regimes have been created - priority development territories and the Free Port of Vladivostok, which are very similar in nature, differing only in details. For two years, more than 750 projects from various industries, large and small, Russian and foreign, came under the “roof” of these economic regimes. By the way, at the third forum they promise to open a number of large enterprises, the commissioning of which became possible precisely thanks to the new economic policy in the Far East. The commissioning schedule is scheduled until 2025 - based on the current intentions of private business, over 2 trillion rubles should come to the economy.

What else is remarkable about the Eastern Economic Forum is the international agenda. And the dynamics here are also impressive. A plenary session with the participation of heads of state was announced again at the forum, and there will be one more of them than last year. The President of Mongolia will join the company of leaders in Vladivostok. An interesting detail is the figure of the plenary session moderator. It will not be a journalist or a public figure, but Asian multi-billionaire Ronnie Chichung Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Properties, a man to whom Hong Kong owes much of his development. At the level of government delegations, in addition to Japan and South Korea, China, India and Vietnam will come to Vladivostok. Serious business missions will come from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Canada. According to the latest reports on the eve of the WEF, representatives of 57 countries of the world, primarily from the Asia-Pacific region, will take part in the Eastern Economic Forum.

What decisions and statements should be expected at the Forum? On the eve of the event, the region was visited by Russian President Vladimir Putin (in early August, the Amur Region), and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (in mid-August, the Sakhalin Region). In the transcripts of the meetings with their participation, the common thread is, on the one hand, recognition of the effectiveness of the decisions made, and on the other hand, the readiness to improve the mechanisms and strengthen the results achieved. One of the themes that sounded, for example, at a meeting with the participation of Vladimir Putin in the Amur Region, concerned the development of the social sphere in the regions of the Far East.

“So we have built an enterprise, created jobs,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev in an interview a week before the forum. “Until 2025, the number of workers at newly built enterprises will tentatively exceed 100 thousand people. families, it turns out 300 thousand. The question immediately arises - where will these people live? So, we need housing, kindergartens, schools, hospitals. We started thinking about the integrated development of territories. "

As noted by Yuri Trutnev, these issues will be brought up to a meeting of the Presidium of the State Council, which will be held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum 2017. It is very likely that news and new decisions will be announced there that will determine the paradigm of the region's development for the next few years.
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