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Yury Trutnev: Importance of Far East Grew

8 September 2022
Юрий Трутнев: значение Дальнего Востока выросло

The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF 2022), held in Vladivostok under the theme ‘The Path to a Multipolar World’, brought together over 7,000 participants from 68 countries. During the first three days of the EEF 2022, 260 agreements totalling RUB 3.225 trillion were signed. These preliminary results were summarised by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation in the Far Eastern Federal District.

“First of all, the 7th Eastern Economic Forum, much like the previous one, is a step forward in developing the Far East. It is not just the number of guests or agreements or the agreements’ worth that make it a step forward, though these results are great, too. This is the first post-COVID Forum that brought together over 7 thousand guests. Despite the sanctions, 260 agreements worth RUB 3.225 trln were signed, which is another record. However, that is not it. People worked in 90 different areas and made decisions that were reported to the President. A significant part of those decisions received support, which means we can move forward faster,” said Yury Trutnev. 

 “The importance of the Far East has undoubtedly grown. Export flows that are completely eastward now create new challenges and open new opportunities. The need for developing transport routes, the Eastern Polygon, and the Northern Sea Route create the new challenges. Intensive work with friendly countries creates new opportunities, especially when it comes to developing technologies. We have reported all of it to the President. Some decisions have been made, and they will help us move forward faster,” stated Deputy Prime Minister.

Some of economic results of the Far East are above Russia’s average. To a large degree, its development was driven by preferential regimes – advanced social-economic zones (ASEZ) and the Free Port of Vladivostok. Budgetary investments in preferential regimes saw a good payback. All the lost revenues of the budget, as well as investments in the infrastructure did not just enjoy a good return but brought the Russian budget extra RUB 50 bln.  At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister believes that additional measures to improve preferential regimes in the Far East, as other regions and industries of the country compete for the investments.

On the eve of the Forum, Yury Trutnev reported to the head of state that over the past 7 years since preferential regimes were introduced in the Far East, a number of preferences created under legislation on special investment contracts, special economic zones, the Skolkovo Innovation Centre and priority investment projects have repeated or exceeded the Far Eastern preferential regimes and legislative amendments will be introduced to change this situation.

“In order to strictly comply with the mandate to accelerate the development of the Far East, it is necessary for all regimes in the Far East to be the best. In the amendments to the law, we set out those indicators that are the best in the country. Because, indeed, if we want the Far East to develop faster, there is only one way to do this: improve the preferential regimes to make sure their instruments are the best,” said Yury Trutnev.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister addressed the creation in international ASEZs. “First of all, this regime is most beneficial for the countries we work with. The investors have but one opportunity: they must feel protected. We believe that international ASEZ’s will provide additional protection, because they will follow both the Russian legislation and intergovernmental agreements. It provides for stronger competition. Also, we want to give them the opportunity to use national currencies of the countries that work with us. We would like a whole number of improvements in arbitration, for example, in beneficiary registration. There are several important suggestions that I believe will significantly the popularity of such territories, especially when it comes to working with foreign investors. It is serious work. A lot of things need to be changed. We will be making multiple regulatory proposals,” explained Mr. Trutnev.

Social development is equally important. The Russian President has assigned us with improving the urban environment, public spaces, and the quality of life. For that, master plans for 25 Far Eastern cities will be developed. “By 1 March, we need to complete all of them. We will ask Mr. Putin to check the master plans, but we have every intention to finish them as soon as possible. We need to finalize these master plans now, while the Government needs to identify the sources of financing. This is the most important thing. Then we need to start designing and construction, i.e. implementing those master plans to make Far Eastern cities better,” noted Mr. Trutnev.