20 June 2016

    During his speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka spoke about the current results of developing the Far East and the investors who had come into the region.

    The Minister began by stating that, a year ago, at SPIEF, only plans and intentions for developing the Far East were being discussed. Yet now, all the mechanisms elaborated were in operation: over RUB 1 trillion had already been raised in investment and the figure is likely to top RUB 2 trillion by the end of the year.

    According to Alexander Galushka, 230 new projects, new enterprises and plants have already appeared. “Some projects have already been launched and 16 new enterprises will be started up in 2016,” he announced.

    The central focus of the Eastern Economic Forum on 2–3 September in Vladivostok will be precisely so-called success stories. The aim is to look at what exactly Free Port of Vladivostok and ASEZs are in the eyes of business. “The first success stories are the best evidence that the Far East will continue developing, that the policy pursued by the Russian government is viable,” the Minister assured.

    The head of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East also talked about what investors that have applied to operate in the region will engage in. 40% are in the production sector. “Komsomolsk on Amur is a point of new industrialisation in the east. Fifth generation aircraft are being manufactured there. Only two other countries in the world can produce such planes. USD 1 billion are being invested in development of the socio-cultural environment,” he noted.

    Another 20% are in agriculture. As an example of successful development of agriculture in the Far East, Alexander Galushka provided the agro-industrial fund set up jointly with the PRC with financing of USD 10 bn. It is planned to present its first projects at the EEF in September.

    Another 20% of all investors intend to engage in logistics, but only 10% are developing projects in the resource sphere. “The economy is not predominantly resource-based. A new economic is arising before our eyes,” the Minister declared.

    At the same time, the Minister admitted that there was still a tremendous amount of work to be done. “It will take a long time to realise the full potential but that does not mean it will be done slowly. We are endeavouring to work fast. These are just the first steps; we have only just set out on the road. Yet everything is already under way, which is very important. The main factor ensuring that we are working in the right direction is when the investor will not even want to meet with the authorities. He will come to the Far East as a natter of course, invest and operate successfully there. If they do want to meet us – we are always ready. But it would be better for us not to be visible and their business to be successful,” the Minister concluded.