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Green light MTC

Transboundary international transport corridors of Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 reach the stage of practical implementation

Green light MTC
For a number of years, the discussion of the construction of transit regional transport corridors in Primorye did not go beyond the plane of theoretical disciplines, remaining a "paper project" due to a complex of objective and subjective factors. It would seem that the implementation of the obvious "arithmetic" advantages, which are laid in the proximity of the ports of Primorye to the developing provinces of the Northeast of China, should have long ago turned into a successful experience of international cooperation. However, to combine the three components of success, namely - the acceleration of customs procedures at the border, the upgrade of transport and port infrastructure and political guarantees of loading by neighbors, in fact, is possible only now.


Free port - reset MTK

The project of international transport corridors, in fact, was completely rebooted in the Free Port Vladivostok paradigm. It is noteworthy that Minvostokrazvitiya Russia specifically ordered an updated investment "packaging" of the project, which took the team of the company McKinsey. According to the representatives of the department, the consultants not only were able to reassemble the project, laying out a return on investment in almost all infrastructural solutions. But they also achieved a horizontal level of understanding and support from the Chinese business community. At the same time, the Ministry for the Development of the Far East coordinated the development and development of the project with the State Committee for Development and Reform of the PRC.

The fact that since October 1, the coastal checkpoints have switched to round-the-clock operation (in accordance with the law "On the Free Port of Vladivostok") is an important signal to the neighbors that the principles laid down by the Russian side are being consistently implemented. The acceleration of the processes of creating the final working model of regional ITCs was largely facilitated by the order signed by the head of the Russian government Dmitry Medvedev last week to simplify border procedures in the Free Port of Vladivostok: Rosselkhoznadzor and Rospotrebnadzor partly drop out of the control bodies, which has never been practiced in reality. Such a serious acceleration and transition of work to the "single window" mode, which started in the Free Port, is one of the key factors in accelerating the launch of projects of regional border transport corridors, experts say. Thus, the preferences already actually operating in the Free Port regime, the economic efficiency of the transit of the cargo flow, the volumes and guarantees of its positive dynamics, and, importantly, the reduction of bureaucratic barriers and the simplification of customs procedures, all this makes the ITC projects as attractive as possible not only for possible Russian investors, but also for our neighbors - China.

As the Governor of Primorye Vladimir Miklushevsky, documents are already ready for signing with the authorities of the Chinese server provinces that guarantee the volume of transit cargo. The Russian Government pays close attention to this issue. This means quite a specific conversation about the cargo loading of the corridors, the control of which will be entrusted to the MTK Management Company, specially created with the Chinese partners.

It is assumed that the financing of the creation of infrastructure facilities within the framework of the ITC will be provided by the Russian side by 20%, and by the Chinese companies and banks by 80%. By the way, the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank) expressed its readiness to participate in the development of the Primorye-1 and Primorye-2 corridors. In addition, at a meeting of the region's governor with the leaders of the large Chinese corporation Longjian, the Chinese side expressed an active desire to participate in the construction of the road infrastructure of the Primorye-1 MTK. The company has repeatedly been awarded the PRC State Engineering Prize for projects such as the Harbin Road Bridge over the Songhuajiang River, the facility for the reconstruction and expansion of the Hailin-Yabuli section, a number of Suifenhe-Manchuria state highways and others. In addition, the company has extensive experience in road construction and is very interested in cooperation with Russia in the construction of transport infrastructure.

“Both transport corridors are operating, cargoes and passengers are moving along them today, but it is necessary to build a modern road infrastructure. We have already begun to modernize the “Primorye-1” transport corridor connecting Primorye with the Heilongjiang province, and we are gradually building this road in four-lane execution at the expense of the regional and federal budgets. Recently, builders have passed a new site with a length of 18 kilometers bypassing the city of Artyom and are ready to proceed to the next stage to the city of Bolshoy Kamen. For us, this site is very important, because in this city the largest investment project is being implemented - the shipbuilding plant “Zvezda”, - said Vladimir Miklushevsky.

From the speedy implementation of the ITC project, its modernization and the withdrawal of the volume of transit traffic to pre-planned indicators, the further economic development of the region will largely depend, experts say. The construction of transport corridors will allow Primorsky Krai and the Far East as a whole to gain competitive advantages in the market of international transit traffic, and also contribute to the development of domestic transportation.

The head of the region noted that the transport corridor project requires large capital investments, and Primorye is ready to conclude a concession agreement with a partner, providing for a return on investment and dividends from income. “The concept for the development of transport corridors was presented at the second Eastern Economic Forum. The financial model was approved by the government of the country, we offer investors a form of public-private partnership. I am sure that the implementation of these projects will bring great economic benefits not only to the Primorsky Territory, but also to the neighboring provinces of China, ”stressed Vladimir Miklushevsky.

We note, according to experts, transport corridors can save Chinese shippers up to 700 million dollars a year, by reducing the way, respectively, the cost of transportation and save time. It is assumed that the main objects of transportation will be grain, soybeans, corn, as well as industrial goods, equipment and textiles in containers. According to calculations, by 2030, the potential additional freight turnover along the Primorye-1 international transport corridor may amount to about seven million tons of containerized cargo and five million tons of grain, and according to the MTC Primorye-2, up to 15 million tons of containers and 23 million tons of grain . In addition, transport corridors will open new markets for Primorye products, which will be produced at the enterprises of the Torah and the Free Port of Vladivostok.

In general, for today the freight base of the bordering Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang and Jilin, Yanbinsky AO, possible for transshipment through the ports of Primorye, according to various expert estimates, is from 100 to 250 million tons annually. The decision was already made within the framework of the regional program "Development of the Transport Complex in Primorsky Krai" for 2013-2020 to work on the launch of international transport corridors "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2". And today the region passes to the systemic activity in solving these problems. This is a huge potential that can not be ignored.

According to Rostislav Turovsky, Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of Higher School of Economics, "the construction of transport corridors will allow Primorsky Krai and the Far East as a whole to gain competitive advantages in the international transit transport market, and also promote the development of domestic transportation."

The expert also notes that the federal authorities came up with the idea of ​​constructing a hyper-high-speed transport system Hyperloop between the port of Zarubino and the border of China. "Recently, the Ministry of Transport of China has supported this idea, so the appearance of" hyper-pipelines "within the framework of" Primorye-2 "seems to be a realistic project that will further increase the efficiency of the transport corridor," Mr. Turovsky underlines.

Head of Transport Department of JSC "FEMRI" Mikhail Kholosha Stresses that for the further successful development of transit corridors in Primorye, only bilateral agreements between Russia and China are not enough.

“Macroeconomics is always greater than the sum of individual microeconomic objects or projects. Therefore, the corridor is not a simple sum, in addition, transit along the corridors is the relationship of several, less often two, and most often more countries, the expert says. It is impossible to do without a multilateral format of interaction, but it must be supplemented by bilateral and unilateral basic initiatives. "

“In addition, there is another aspect that reveals the versatility and multiplicity of sides in the development of corridors. There are transcontinental routes that connect Europe and Asia: the Northern Sea Route, BAM, Transsib, the Central Trans-Chinese Route, the Southern Sea Route (through the Suez Canal), etc. But they are also the backbone of the regional transport network. MTC "Primorye-1" and "Primorye-2" are part of regional corridors, which in turn (like a nesting doll in a nesting doll!) Are fragments of transcontinental corridors. Therefore, these corridors do not so much compete, they complement each other so much to cover the entire space of the vast continent, while taking into account the interests of both private business and state objectives: the macroeconomic effect for the development of territories. It is clear that the creation of corridors is a spatial economic development task that should take into account both macro and microeconomic returns. The difficulty lies in the laboriousness of taking into account all the necessary aspects: economic, political, state, social, etc. But on the other hand, this will minimize risks and ensure a long-term balance of mutual benefits for all participants. It is these processes that are now the basic platform on which the further development of the MTK project will be built, "Mikhail Kholosha shared with EastRussia.

A lot of hope for the construction of the MTC is also associated with the seaports. The growth of transit cargo, container transportation, the acceleration of customs procedures will increase the turnover of stevedoring companies, berth operators, - considers the General Director of the Sea Port of the Trinity Bay (MPBT) Vyacheslav Burin.

The moorings of the port of Trinity, located in the immediate vicinity of the state border, railway and road crossing make the port of Trinity a cornerstone link in the structure of the MTC Primorye-2. A large amount of work on the study of the port's potential, carried out at one time by specialists, including foreign ones, allows us to make a confident conclusion: the development of the port in Trinity Bay and the improvement of its logistics infrastructure can be an extremely effective component of a project capable of ensuring the development of transport infrastructure in the region and international cooperation. And in the future, within the framework of the Primorye-2 ITC, a large port-hub with a developed logistics infrastructure capable of serving a significant amount of international transit cargo may be formed here.


From Tumangan - to Primorye

Let us recall that since the 1990s - a period of a sharp drop in the cargo turnover of Far Eastern ports caused by the economic crisis, stagnation in production, inflation and a number of other processes, the idea of ​​creating international transit corridors, even then, according to experts, would become a powerful economic factor in supporting and developing regional economy of the south of the Far East. In particular, Primorye, which has berths equipped with loading equipment, empty berth walls and free working hands, ready to take on any job.

Having transformed from the projects of Tumangan-1 and Tumangan-2, which have a clearly geopolitical tinge and are ambiguous in economic, social and political aspects, over the decades, the main logistic direction of the ITC has migrated to Russia's purely territorial affiliation.

For reference: The initial essence of the Tumangan project was to create an International Special Economic Zone (ITEZ), conventionally named as Small Tumangan and Big Tumangan. The first option covered an area of ​​1000 sq. km in the form of a triangle, the tops of which abut against the port of Rajin (DPRK), the city of Hongchun (PRC) and the port of Posiet (Russia). The second option covered an area of ​​10000 sq. km, the boundaries of which are located in the triangle of the port of Chongjin (DPRK), Yanji (PRC) and Vladivostok (Russia). The project, in fact, provided the PRC with direct access to the sea along the bed of the Tumannaya River bypassing the territory of Russia and the DPRK.

The Tumangan Initiative project collapsed - neither Russia nor the DPRK found an opportunity to find a mutually beneficial and acceptable option to cede the claims of the PRC by creating an economic zone to get a direct access to the sea. Although already at this stage, the parameters of the transit cargo turnover of the ports Rajin, Ungan and Chundzin were already indicated in the project, for example, the North Korean side (the concept of the Free Trade Economic Zone "Rajin Songbon"): first about 20 million tons per year, in the second stage - 50 million T, and the third - another plus 50 million tons.
The project died, but some parts of it were still implemented. The objective potential for the implementation of the initial ideas, both related to the Tumangan project itself, and in a broader sense - the formation of an integrated economic zone and the creation of permanent transport routes, including for the movement of transit freight traffic, was appreciated, and after a while, changing the main accents of the routes, partially reorienting the vectors of interests, ultimately revived in a purely Russian concept of the ITC called Primorye-1 (north) and Primorye 2 (south).

For reference: The transport corridors Primorje-1 (Suifenhe-Nakhodka) and Primorye-2 (Hunchun-Zarubino) are aimed at attracting cargo transit from China by intercepting cargo flows between the northeast of China and its southern and central parts. MTC Primorje-1 will connect the bordering Chinese city of Suifenhe, Grodekovo station, the Primorsky Border Region and ports in the east of the region. Through this corridor, goods from the Chinese province can follow the shortest route to the APR countries through Russian ports in the east of Primorye. At present, a number of highways of this transport route have begun work on modernization and reconstruction at the expense of the regional and federal budgets. "Primorye-2" will connect the ports of the south-west of Primorye - Posiet, Zarubino and Slavyanka - with the provinces of China.

Against the background of all the positive shifts in resolving the issue of the construction of the ITC in Primorye, a fly in the ointment, as before, unfortunately, the problem of "low speeds" and high costs remains. The run-through measurements of containers show that the cost of transporting a 20TEU container from the border with the Russian Primorye of Mudanjiang to Shanghai today costs about 20 US dollars, and the speed of cargo passage from door to door takes 1250 hours. Unfortunately, Russian indicators are still far from the Shanghai standard. The journey from Mudanjiang only to the Russian port is 85 hours. Moreover, customs procedures “eat up” 220% of the time. Yury Trutnev, the presidential envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, also paid attention to the speed of movement within the transit corridor last year: “In order to talk about the functioning of transport corridors, they must be attractive and profitable. Therefore, the speed of traffic along these corridors is of fundamental importance. To ensure the speed of transport, the customs must operate in a completely different regime. Especially in terms of transit cargo. We need to achieve a change in the customs regime within the Free Port of Vladivostok. "

For the sake of justice, the control measurements were carried out before the entry of new standards for the work of the checkpoints, mentioned above. Will it be possible to save those same 50% of the time, if the customs will give "good"? We are likely to find out about this in the very near future.
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