January 15, 2021 16:23

Russian Arctic: Arctic concessions for business and major investment projects

Russian Arctic: Arctic concessions for business and major investment projects

New opportunities for development of the Arctic Region as the integrated macroregion have been the main subject of expert discussion "Exploration of Arctic – new opportunity for development of the northern regions", held on the second day of the Gaidar Forum–2021. Governors have agreed that such development is the national priority, and spoke about growth of their regions in the coming years.

The discussion was held with participation of Aleksey Chekunov, Minister of the Russian Federation for Development of the Far East and the Arctic Region; Dmitry Artyukhov, Governor of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area; Aleksander Tsybulskiy, Governor of Arkhangelsk region; Andrey Chibis, Governor of Murmansk region; Vyacheslav Fetisov, Deputy Chairman of Duma Committee for Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, Patron for polar regions' affairs.

The Ministry is preparing the new north-polar format of public-private partnership in the Arctic, Alekey Chekunkov gave the game away. "What we have announced in the Far East will be called the Far Eastern Concession. Also we are preparing a similar package of proposals for the new format of public-private partnership which will be called the Arctic Concession, where the interests of all participating groups - the state, the future infrastructure users, the general public - in order to minimize the cost of capital raised and maximize the return on such infrastructure, will be initialized," Aleksey Chekunkov said.

He noted that creation of the list of core cities which will become the basis of the development strategy for the entire Russian Arctic, has been initiated.

The Arctic territories must be developed as a single macroregion on the basis of a certain state Arctic development plan, Aleksander Tsybulsky, Head of Arkhangelsk region, suggested.

"Having no specific analysis of development of the Arctic territory in general, with no good spatial planning of further macro-territory, alone, we will be unable to do it. To be honest, any decision to support a particular investment solution in a particular region, in fact, contributes to artificial distortion of the macroregion's economic system. Maybe, even within the framework of this macroregion, we should consider some new system of interbudgetary relations, as well as additional equalization tools that need to be used to achieve a balanced development," Aleksander Tsybulsky reckoned.

Andrey Chibis, Governor of Murmansk region, believes that "putting cities in order" is not just enough to make life in them attractive, and the economy - efficient. Development of the infrastructure and commencement of gasification of the region is one of the region's main tasks for 2021. Gas supply will contribute to reduced price of utility bills, improved quality of life, allow to switch to new industrial technologies and accelerate economic development, Head of the region believes.

"Various options are currently being considered : liquefied natural gas or gas from Leningrad region. I have great hope that in 2021 we will be able to get and fix the decision, as that is the opportunity to place new environmentally friendly production facilities," Andrey Chibis said.

Creation of gas chemistry, the new industry, will be one of the largest projects in the Arctic for the second half of this decade. In March-April, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area is expected to come with its vision of the project, Governor Dmitry Artyukhov said.

"I think that front-end engineering work will take several years, and, starting from 2025, we will be able to proceed safely. This will be a fundamentally new stage in development of the Arctic. According to various estimates, that will involve investments worth 3 -5 trillion rubles. Can you imagine what effect this could have for the domestic industry if more than half of the above amount – and I hope we will set a standard at 70-80% of equipment - is allocated in Russia? There will be trillions of rubles. Of course, it means we need new specialists, and that will be an order for the education system," Artyukhov confided.


Photographer: Gerdo Vladimir / TASS

The Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World After the Pandemic” will be held on January 14 and 15 at the Presidential Academy. The Forum will traditionally open the annual business agenda of Russia. In 2021, this large-scale event will be held in a hybrid format, both online and offline.

This time, the main discussion track will be social and economic transformations that have occurred in the country and the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expert discussions will be focused on the national and global development goals and the search for practical solutions to the most urgent challenges of today. The Forum’s participants include ministers from the Russian Government, members of the Federal Assembly, governors of the Russian regions, largest world experts, representatives of foreign states.

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom PJSC and Gazprombank JSC.

The strategic partners are Russian Railways OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, ACIG Group, Novartis.

The partner of the forum is MasterCard, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)

The discussion partners are Magnit, Pepsi, Huawei, Coca-Cola, AstraZeneca, Takeda, EY.

General media partners: TASS, Business FM, RIA Novosti, RBC. Strategic media partners: Interfax, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant Publishing House, RIA FederalPress, Invest-Foresight magazine. Main media partners: Anews, News.ru, lenta.ru. International media partners: Russia Today.

Media partners: PRO Business TV channel, AEI PRIME, Polit.ru, Strategy magazine, Public Administration magazine, Ekonomika i Zhizn newspaper, Econs portal, Finam, Bankovskoye Obozreniye magazine, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, Snob media project, Echo of Moscow radio station, Nauchno-Obrazovatelnaya Politika Telegram channel.