Development Of Far East Cities Russia’s Priority – OpEd


Russia has made a priority the development of the Far East territory in the Russian Federation. the region almost share borders to China and other Asian countries. During the activities and meetings of the Eastern Economic Forum held under the theme “The Path to Partnership, Peace and Prosperity” fixed by Roscongress Foundation. The forum was held on 10–13 September 2023 in Vladivostok on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University.

Russian President underscored the fact that due to the location, most of the cities interact closely with China and other countries in the Asia-Pacific. Therefore, tourism, logistics and investment cooperation are at the top of their master plans. A key emphasis is made on expanding transport infrastructure such as roads and railways, bridges, train stations and airports.

There is even the world’s first cross-border cable car. It will connect Blagoveshchensk with the Chinese city of Heihe. These two cities are located on opposite banks of the Amur River, and they are actively expanding their lines of communication. For example, the Russian-Chinese Economic Forum Amur Expo 2023 simultaneously took place in both cities.

“Blagoveshchensk has the potential to more effectively use the competitive advantages of its location. It also has strong potential to expand inbound tourism, while it can also become a major centre of international business cooperation,” Putin emphasized during a meeting with the cabinet ministers in September.

On the whole, Russian-Chinese trade volumes, and trade with other Asia-Pacific countries, have been growing dynamically in the past few years. Russia’s transport and logistics infrastructure have to meet growing freight traffic demand. The Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang railway bridge across the Amur River in 2022 was an important step in this development. The Jewish Autonomous Region received additional impetus for development after the bridge opened.

As noted in the discussions, Khabarovsk is one of the largest education centres in the Far East. It is important to integrate the city’s higher education institutions and create a common education space based at the new inter-university campus. It will help train professionals more efficiently, develop cooperation with businesses, support youth business and technology teams, create platforms to develop interdisciplinary, international education and research programmes.

Considerably Vladivostok is popular Far East city, has great development potential. In order to take advantage of it, infrastructural limitations need to be eliminated. For instance, the ports are currently being rebuilt and upgraded in order to play a significant role in the economy of the entire Russia.

And of course, in Vladivostok there is a petroleum storage facility in the central part of Vladivostok, which is inefficient and completely inappropriate considering the environmental implications and modern urban construction. Russian authorities are now looking at Vladivostok, Blagoveshchensk and Khabarovsk as leading education centres in the Far East.

Significantly it is envisaged that a completely new model for an urban economy in the master plans, which should be based on developing various effective manufacturing and creative industries, as well as creating comfortable conditions for small and medium-sized businesses.

Russian Railways, jointly with Vladivostok, to consider the possibility of speeding up the construction of light rail metro in the city. This is highly important and will make it possible to ease the traffic on the roads and make headway in solving the congestion problem.

What authorities are thing of is to prepare a system of additional strategic measures for the development of settlements with greater accuracy and efficiency. Russian authorities are highlighting these development possibilities using the platform of the Eastern Economic Forum. The Eastern Economic Forum is also tasked to finalize a review of master plans for developing Far Eastern cities. 

As Russia’s strategic priority for the entire 21st century, Putin watched an interactive presentation on the results of developing Russia’s Far East. This is key to participatory approach which consists of bringing together businesses and the state in a joint effort to get to the bottom of the matters on agenda and outline interesting projects and solutions. The Kremlin has tentatively agreed to use the Far Eastern experience to draw up master plans for the backbone cities in the Arctic. 

Kester Kenn Klomegah

Kester Kenn Klomegah is an independent researcher and a policy consultant on African affairs in the Russian Federation and Eurasian Union. He has won media awards for highlighting economic diplomacy in the region with Africa. Currently, Klomegah is a Special Representative for Africa on the Board of the Russian Trade and Economic Development Council. He enjoys travelling and visiting historical places in Eastern and Central Europe. Klomegah is a frequent and passionate contributor to Eurasia Review.

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