Prospects for developing Russian Federation’s Arctic zone discussed in Moscow
On January 16, an expert roundtable was held in Moscow on the topic of ‘Socioeconomic Development in the Arctic’. The roundtable launched a series of events in the run-up to the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic
Taking part in the round table were:
- Alexander Tsybulskiy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
- Alexey Besprozvannykh, Director of the Department for Regional Industrial Policy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation
- Elena Bezdenezhnykh, Vice President, State Secretary, and Head of Government Relations, Norilsk Nickel
- Ildar Neverov, member of the General Council of the All-Russia Public Organization Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia)
Participants in the discussion touched on the topics of implementing state and business projects in the Arctic region, creating an Arctic freight traffic flow, upholding international environmental standards for natural resource use, and bringing young people into the discussion of the Arctic agenda.
Alexander Tsybulskiy, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation: “Looking forward, the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ International Arctic Forum will become a regular platform for discourse on the Arctic agenda and will be held every two years in Arkhangelsk. The key theme of the 2017 Forum, ‘People and the Arctic’, is intended to ensure that dialogue among representatives from Arctic and non-Arctic nations, business, government authorities, and scientific circles is productive and as pleasant as possible. Russia has proclaimed 2017 to be the Year of Ecology; special attention will therefore be given at the Forum to environmental management issues and the ecology of the northern territories.”
During the roundtable, there was a particular focus on the question of creating industrial clusters in the Arctic zone. Alexey Besprozvannykh, Director of the Department for Regional Industrial Policy of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, commented: “During the Forum, the topic of investment in industrial projects in the Arctic will be discussed. This will include the question of creating industrial clusters with consideration for the unique nature of the region. We are also interested in the use of advanced technologies to develop the Arctic and the creation of special sites to test the technology employed in the transport and shipbuilding sectors. The main outcome of the discussions will be the establishment of specific programmes and measures to develop the Arctic.”
At the roundtable, participants also discussed the interests of big business in the Arctic region, as well as support for the activities of small and medium-sized businesses, the successful performance of which will kick-start development of the region.
Elena Bezdenezhnykh, Vice President, State Secretary, and Head of Government Relations at Norilsk Nickel, spoke about promoting economic cooperation through public–private partnership, and in particular about discussion at the Forum of possible state support measures for the Arctic and support zones in the region. The topic of support for small and medium-sized businesses was touched on by Ildar Neverov, member of the General Council of Delovaya Rossiya (Business Russia), who highlighted the recycling not only of industrial, but also of household waste in subarctic and Arctic regions as a key issue.
All of the roundtable participants noted that open dialogue at the upcoming Forum would help to identify solutions to pressing problems. Ultimately, these solutions will translate into state programmes for the socioeconomic development of the region.