Yakutia is experiencing an investment boom, said the head of the largest region of Russia Egor Borisov on December 14 at the discussion session of the Valdai Club "Turning Russia to the East: The Next Decade."
Experts in the field of international politics, finance and economics discussed the state and prospects of the Far Eastern Federal District in the light of Russia's cooperation with the major countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Among them were the dean of the Faculty of World Economy and World Politics of the Higher School of Economics, Sergey Karaganov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Russian Federation, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Singapore to the Russian Federation Ms. Lim Kheng Hua, Lead Economist of the World Bank in Russia, Apurva Sanghi, Director of the Valdai Club Foundation, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Higher School of Economics Timofei Bordachev, and others.
Keynote speech was made by Aleksandr Krutikov, Deputy Minister for the Development of the Far East. He expressed confidence that the turn of Russia to the East has already taken place. "A special state approach to the eastern development of Russia has been formed on the part of the state. This direction is declared a national priority," Krutikov said.
"A special legislative base has been created in the country, on the basis of which the creation of a new economic space, designed mainly not for state but for private investments, was launched. Today, taxation in the Far East is second only to Malaysia in terms of the degree of friendliness to investors," the official said.
However, Krutikov acknowledged that until now it is not possible to fully overcome the difficulties - outflow of population, underdeveloped infrastructure, high tariffs or the quality of human capital development. However, all "political goals for the next six years are defined," he concluded, the Far East will remain a priority of the state's foreign and domestic policies.
"It's easier for me to assess the scale of the changes in recent years, to understand how much Russia has turned to the East. I was born and live in Yakutia, the largest region of the Far East. The region, which today has the status of successfully developing on most indicators," said the head of Yakutia, Egor Borisov.
An important criterion for the effectiveness of measures taken to develop his region Egor Borisov called the natural increase in population and the increase in life expectancy in Yakutia. Other key indicators are also improving. Annual investments amount to one third of GRP, the tax base has tripled in ten years, which clearly demonstrates the intensive development of the economy of the republic.
"Ten years ago there was not even a talk about the development of new types of minerals; it was assumed that this would happen only after 2030-2040-ies. However, the country's authorities made appropriate decisions and all the processes were accelerated. We are mining and supplying oil via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline, the Power of Siberia gas pipeline is under construction, and the development of the Tomtor rare-earth metals field will begin in the coming years. There are new coal mining enterprises in the south of the republic," said Egor Borisov.
In his opinion, today's situation in Yakutia today can be called an "investment boom" without exaggeration. While this applies only to the largest Russian companies, as for foreign colleagues he said "if they think too long, they may be late."
This issue is especially relevant in the light of a new strategy for the economic development of the Arctic, since the length of the Yakutia’s coast makes up about a third of the entire Russian Arctic zone. At the same time, the republic develops relations with Korean, Chinese companies, for example, in the field of renewable energy, with Indian partners in the sphere of polishing diamonds. There are joint projects with Japanese investors.
But the most important place in the future, according to Egor Borisov, will have an ecological component. The territory of Yakutia is one fifth of the territory of Russia. At the same time, more than a third of the territory (1 million sq km) has been declared especially protected in the republic. "We preserve these lands and forests untouched not only for future generations of the inhabitants of the republic and Russia, but for the whole planet. Descendants will appreciate this," Borisov emphasized.