This text is translated into Russian by google automatic human level neural machine.
EastRussia is not responsible for any mistakes in the translated text. Sorry for the inconvinience.
Please refer to the text in Russian as a source.

East bridgehead

Some political and economic results of 2018 for the Primorsky Territory

East bridgehead
The events that took place in 2018 in the Primorsky Territory are a logical continuation of the trajectory along which the region has been moving in the last 30 years. It can be described in terms of the concept of the ideal arrangement of the state of Plato, who is dominated by “warriors”, “merchants” or “wise men”. Almost exactly according to this scheme, Primorye is undergoing a gradual transformation from the “fortified defensive area” to the “international transit zone and new industrialization”, and further to the “scientific-technological, innovative and educational center”, being in the second stage. Transit in this case is understood not only in the sense of freight traffic, but rather in the sense of curbing various flows - goods, people, capital, information. Such positioning determines the Primorsky Territory as a communication, in the broad sense of the word, a bridgehead in Northeast Asia, on which, besides economic transactions, political events will take place.

The starting point of this trajectory can be considered the cancellation of the closed city regime in Vladivostok in 1992. This was followed by the development of active cross-border trade with the PRC, the appearance of Japanese and Korean companies in the region, the holding of an international exhibition in 2002, the promotion of the city as an international communication platform in the APR, and finally, in 2009, the adoption of Vladimir Putin at that time the post of prime minister, the decision to hold the APN Summit 2012 in Vladivostok, as a result of which several roads, three bridges, a university campus and a host of other structures were built in the city. 

In 2010, the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) was established. Since 2015, the Eastern Economic Forum (WEF) is held annually in the city, which has become the meeting place for the heads of the leading APR countries: in 2018, the first five leaders met here - the presidents of Russia, the Republic of Korea and Mongolia, the chairman of the PRC and the Prime Minister of Japan. The intensification of rumors about discussing a peace treaty with the Japanese suggests that the formerly prior (and almost the only) for Russia in Northeast Asia (NEA) vector of relations with China is replaced by diversification of Asian contacts at the expense of Japan. In this respect, Vladivostok is a good communication platform, located within walking distance from the main regional capitals.

It can be said that the decree of the President of Russia on 13 December 2018 of giving the official status of the capital of the FEFD to Vladivostok consolidated the already established position of the region as the most dynamically developing region of the Far East and the center of contacts with NEA. This is evidenced by the volume of investment in industrial projects (almost 2 trillion rubles), and the project of creating a scientific, technological and innovation cluster on Fr. Russian.


In the sphere of politics, the most notable event is the marathon of gubernatorial elections, due to which the sluggishly flowing seaside political life in the second half of the year turned into a turbulent flow that seriously puzzled the capital's political scientists and political strategists. 

Recall that the Acting Governor of the Territory Andrei Tarasenko, appointed to this post in October 2017 of the year instead of Vladimir Miklushevsky, could not win in the first round of elections of the Governor of Primorsky Krai, which passed 9 of September 2018 of the year, receiving 46,57% of votes. The second round took place on September 16. His Tarasenko won in the end, but due to numerous violations, which were recorded by the headquarters of both candidates, protest actions and complaints to the Central Election Commission, the elections were declared invalid. After that, Tarasenko wrote a letter of resignation (satisfied by the President of Russia 26 of September), and the governor of the Sakhalin region Oleg Kozhemyako was appointed acting governor of the Primorsky Territory.

Kozhemyako’s active election campaign was accompanied by the arrival in Primorye of almost half of the federal cabinet, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dmitry Kobylkin, head of the Ministry of Construction and Housing and Public Utilities Vladimir Yakushev, Minister of Sports Pavel Kolobkov, Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova, Minister of Labor and social protection of Maxim Topilin and other federal officials. The result of the visits and negotiations was a package of bonuses for residents of the region, the most notable of which is the abolition of the mandatory installation of GLONASS systems on imported Japanese cars, the allocation of 1,5 billion rubles from the federal budget. on solving social problems and balancing the budget, and 3,7 billion rubles. for the construction of engineering structures for flood protection. 

However, the applicant himself also did not sit idly: in two months he traveled all over the region, heard a lot of complaints from local residents, dismissed several officials, and the head of Lesozavodsk was right during the meeting with the residents of the city. While it is difficult to judge how this management style will be effective, but against the background of the predecessors, the new governor looks confident and energetic.

Such close attention of the federal center to Primorye testified, in our opinion, not so much about the fear of the new political failure of the “protege of Moscow”, which was widely discussed by many commentators, as about the high stakes made on the development of the region. The main one is the declared strategy of "turning east", diversifying Russia's economic ties by expanding trade with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, in which Primorye, with its ports and highways, is assigned the responsible role of the terminal. As a result, Oleg Kozhemyako won the re-election of December 16 in the first round, gaining 61,88% of votes.

In addition to the elections, the already mentioned transfer of the capital of the Far Eastern Federal District from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok, initiated by presidential plenipotentiary to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, was a notable political event. Formally, this status will not bring any special dividends to the city - a few dozen officials will change the location, obviously, some funds will be allocated for the repair of buildings assigned for embassy (for example, they talk about the unused FEFU building on Ocean Prospect opposite the City Hall), but massive federal subsidies in the edge, most likely, this will not follow. Informally, Vladivostok is becoming a place of implementation of the East Asian policy of Russia, both internal (DFO) and external (APR), and this new positioning can give the city a serious impetus to growth.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that today, the role of the capital, even regional, Vladivostok is not prepared, neither infrastructurally, nor logistically, nor in many other respects. The city center today is a product of the activities of developers who are not familiar with the concept of “zoning” - it is a chaotic jumble of port areas, moorings (including oil and military), factories, stations, hotels, restaurants, offices and shops, interspersed with recreation and residential real estate. Industrial zones and transport are fiercely competing for access to the sea, residential buildings - for a view of it. It is not easier to find a parking place on a weekday in the center of Vladivostok than within the Boulevard Ring in Moscow. 

Multibillion-dollar investments in bridges did not solve transportation problems; the landscape did not become more flat, there were no more sites suitable for building (except for the Russian Island, the development of which would require a mass of resources and forces). Problems with land allocation, scattering, engineering networks and storm sewers did not go anywhere. The unique coloring of the dozens of concrete frameworks of high-rise buildings, started without proper permission for construction and abandoned halfway, and the legendary “black holes” of the regional budget - the Hyatt hotels that were not built for the APEC-2012 Summit — give the appearance of the new capital of the FEFD.

Tightness and incomplete construction lead to a local collapse each time a major official event takes place in the city - for example, the Eastern Economic Forum, which had to rent a cruise liner due to a lack of hotel facilities last year. 

There is no doubt that after moving the embassy and a number of other organizations, as well as after the expected increase in the number of official events due to the new status, the severity of the urban environment quality problem in Vladivostok will only increase. Thus, underinvestment accumulated over many years in the capital construction of Vladivostok today becomes one of the obstacles to its development. The second is the absence of an approved strategy: this document was developed by FEFU last year, but has not yet been adopted by the city council.

At the same time, the transfer of the capital makes it possible to show cautious urban planning optimism. For example, the master plan for rebuilding the city center proposed by Japanese experts from the architectural bureau Nikken Sekkei suggested transferring the tank farm from the First River area and setting up an administrative and leisure zone at this place. For several years, the projects of the Vladivostok Ring Road (VKAD), the second bridge to the Russian, have been discussed, and the former acting governor, Andrei Tarasenko, proposed to move the trade port from the center. All these ideas, which require large investments, receive new chances, since the attractiveness of Vladivostok as a regional capital should increase in the eyes of investors.


According to According to Department of Economics and Entrepreneurship of the regional administration, production figures for 9 months 2018 year higher than in the same period 2017 year, in the areas of transport (maximum growth - almost 13%), mining / processing, communications, services and trade (from 2% to 4 %). 

At the same time, there was a decline in the fishing and forestry industries (-2-3%), agriculture (-10%) and construction (-15%). It is noteworthy that the decline in production is in those sectors that are considered priority for the development of the regional economy. A noticeable increase (28%) is observed in the engineering industry - due to an increase in production at the local Mazda Sollers automobile assembly plant. Marked growth in investment in fixed assets by 8%. The regional budget (at the beginning of December) was executed with a surplus of 17 billion rubles, while revenues (97,56 billion) were 6% less than planned.

The “new industrialization” is in full swing. The construction of the Zvezda shipbuilding complex continues in the Bolshoy Kamen, where, simultaneously with the construction of workshops, the production of ship hulls of Aframax-type tankers with 114 deadweight, thousand tons, was started. On September 15, the shipyard was visited by Vladimir Putin, who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for an Aframax tanker and pouring the first cube of concrete into the base of the largest dry dock in Russia. Investments in the construction of the shipyard, according to the president of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, amount to 200 billion rubles. Commissioning of all production facilities of the complex is scheduled for 2024 year. 

Since Nakhodka, since 2012, the project of a plant of mineral fertilizers (NZMU) is declared, the raw material for which should be Sakhalin gas. The start of construction is scheduled for 2019 year, the start of production - for 2021 year. The design capacity is 1,8 million tons of methanol and 1,8 million tons of ammonia annually. In 2015, NZMU entered into a contract with JSC Gazprom for the supply of natural gas in the amount of up to 3,15 billion cubic meters per year for 20 years. CJSC NZMU submitted an application to the Corporation for the Development of the Far East for obtaining the status of a priority development territory, and an agreement on cooperation was signed at WEF-2018.

It is not so easy to assess the effectiveness of preferential economic regimes of advanced development areas (TOR) and the Free Port of Vladivostok, based on the current state of affairs in these territories - first of all, due to the lack of information on active residents and already invested projects on the website of the KRDV. An indirect assessment can be made on the data that was presented at the recent conference of coastal entrepreneurs “Business by the Sea”: out of 845 companies that received the status of a resident of the Free Port of Vladivostok, only 83 really works, and out of 74 TOP residents - only five. 

Such low efficiency of “special zones” is attributed by businessmen themselves to the slow pace of construction of transport and engineering infrastructures in TOR, and economists to the lack of real conditions in the province for the deployment of profitable industries, which, in turn, is determined by the lack of access to Asian (primarily Chinese) a) markets and high production costs. A number of residents in the past year terminated contracts with KRDV. Thus, the explosive growth of TOR has not yet been demonstrated, although the projects of Rusagro, Primorsky Bacon, CSN and a number of other companies are being implemented at a noticeable pace.


The theme of the scientific and technological breakthrough in the outgoing year was one of the main ones in the Russian domestic political agenda, and Primorye was not left aside. The focus of the president and the government remains the project of creating on about. The Russian cluster combining science, high technology and education (the FEFU is defined as the core of the cluster), as well as the Research and Education Center (REC). As part of the cluster discussed the project built on about. Russian installation class "megasiens" - perhaps we are talking about a synchrotron. The seriousness of the intentions of the government confirmed recent visit Minister of Science and Education, Mikhail Kotyukov, who held a meeting in FEFU with the participation of the rector and the governor of the region. 

The Minister was presented the results of the strategic session, at which the local academic community discussed proposals for the national project "Science" - in particular, the contours of the future REC, focused on the study and development of the world's oceans. In addition, FEFU, together with the Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI), the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Development, has launched a training program for Far Eastern Chief Data Officer (CDO) - district officials who will have to manage their regions and municipalities using digital data. This program can be considered as part of a large application from ASI and the University of NTI to participate in the national program "Digital Economy", and FEFU claims to be its main Far Eastern platform.

Thus, Primorye enters the next year from fundamentally new starting positions, being included in a number of national-scale projects and processes that go beyond not only the region itself, but also Russia. Economists predict a rise in prices for Russia, a decrease in the standard of living and a decrease in regional transfers in 2019. The Far East remains one of the few regions of the country, the development of which will receive federal support, and Primorye, in turn, is the locomotive of the Far East. Residents of the region are in the position of the rear guard, who, after changing the direction of the army, suddenly became the vanguard. Chance to drive on the chariot of history, in theory, should inspire the Primorye, many of whom, if they had family crests, would certainly have placed the word "ambition" on them. However, optimistic expectations may not be justified, but certainly not boring. Therefore, in the coming year, I would like to wish all the inhabitants of the region the fearlessness of warriors, the quick reaction of the merchants and the insight of the sages. And besides - luck, the desired companion of sailors, smugglers and poachers. It will be useful for us.

September 22: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics