Arctic potential discussed at SPIEF regional session

A regional session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, entitled ‘Russia’s Regions: New Areas of Growth – The Arctic Agenda’, was held on November 15, 2017.

The main topic of discussion was how to draw the attention of potential investors to the development of the Arctic regions. Participants discussed the growth of manufacturing and the expansion of the regions’ export potential.

Alexey Teksler noted that the integrated development of the Russian Arctic is dependent on how effectively governments can develop key zones. Arctic development is a political priority, as it facilitates new sources of fuel and energy supply. “It is crucial that energy infrastructure allows the realization of planed multidimensional investment projects to run smoothly.”

Taking part in the session were representatives of government and business from Murmansk Region and other areas of Russia. Among those attending were Governor of Murmansk Region Marina Kovtun, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexey Texler, Deputy Director of the Second European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Petrovich, Regional Communications Director at the Russian Export Center Dmitry Makeyev, Executive Vice President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Viktor Cherepov, Deputy General Director of Rosenergoatom Pavel Ipatov, Director of the Department for Relations with Federal and Regional Authorities at Norilsk Nickel Andrey Grachev, and Deputy Minister of Economic Development for Murmansk Region Elena Tikhonova. Also invited to join the discussion were Consul General of the Kingdom of Norway in Murmansk Erik Svedahl and Consul General of the Republic of Korea in St. Petersburg Lee Jin Khen.

At the plenary session, participants discussed the development of state policy in the Arctic, the cultivation of interregional and international ties, the significance of international factors, and cooperation in the Barents/Euro-Arctic Region.

As Marina Kovtun noted: “Over many years, and indeed centuries, our country has established a strong foundation for promoting our national interests in the Arctic. Russia continues to be a world leader in Arctic research.”

In addition, during the Russian Export Center briefing session, participants touched on key legislative initiatives relating to state policy in the Arctic, and raised questions about information and education support for regional exporters, as well as assistance with promoting their products on foreign markets. “Murmansk Region is a promising area for the development of non-commodity exports. Supplies of fish and seafood, metal products, and equipment, among other things, are sent abroad from here. The Russian Export Center is prepared to provide all the support it can to local export-oriented companies. Joint events with the Roscongress Foundation give us the opportunity to attract increasing numbers of new exporters to work together with us”, emphasized Dmitry Makeyev.

In March 2017, the first ‘Arctic – Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum was held in Arkhangelsk. The SPIEF regional session in Murmansk continued the discussion begun at that event on opening up the Arctic and developing the region. The next opportunity to address this issue will be the Conference on the Economic Development of the Arctic at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in May 2018.

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