Proceedings of the 4th International Forum on Regional Cooperation and Development in Northeast Asia
This article is devoted to the development of migration in the Russian Far East over the past centuries. Analyzing census data (from the first census in the Russian Empire in 1897 to the Russian Census 2010), the author investigates temporal and spatial transformations of migration processes in the Russian Far East regions.
Using the concept of lifetime migration, the author reveals, what regions and territories provided the growth of the population of the Russian Far East during the last centuries, where these people were going and what results it produced. This paper also tries to explain, how the Russian Far East modified from the most colonized and actively increasing population region to the most quickly losing it territory in the Russian Federation.
This concept allows to estimate migration over a long period in the absence of other reliable sources of information. The Russian Far East made the transition from the most colonized and actively increasing population to the territory of most losing it.
Starting from Sakhalin projects and following the production facilities establishment by Japanese companies in manufacturing industries in Russia investment relations between the two countries started expanding rapidly during the recent couple of decades. Today investment cooperation has reached a new development stage, which reveals not only quantitative, but also qualitative changes in the pattern of FDI flows, especially in terms of structure and technological level.
The paper addresses the aspect of regional differences in the approach of Japanese investors toward projects in Russia. The comparison of the major macro-regions that attract Japanese investment (Far-Eastern and Western regions, including Central and North-Western Federal Districts) allows to reveal the critical differences in the industrial distribution that reflect specifics of economic development and investment climate of these territories. However, the Western and Eastern parts of Russia complement each other in terms of investment attraction and contribute to the development of multifaceted and diversified framework for investment cooperation between Russia and Japan.
Since 2015, the Free Port of Vladivostok regime has been functioning on the territory of five Far Eastern regions. It offers a simplified customs regime and a reduction in customs duties for entrepreneurs, as well as tax benefits and an immunity from time-consuming audit inspections. The Ministry for Development of Russian Far East introduced this economic instrument along with the Advanced Special Economic Zones to create an economic environment that will attract foreign investment to these territories, foster grassroots entrepreneurialism, and stimulate international trade with the Asia-Pacific countries. However, the local stakeholders negatively assess the results of the Free Port’s functioning. Over the past five years, the regime has not been able to fully reveal its potential. This article presents an analysis of Free Port’s development and highlights the most significant problems that impede the implementation of the concept of the Free Port, including legal regulation, strategic contradictions, malpractices, and infrastructural restrictions. The study is based on the analysis of official documents and legislative acts, statistical data, and analytical materials published by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Far East Development Corporation, as well as sixteen semi-structured interviews in Vladivostok.
This article explores the multivalent meanings of the “porto-franco” concept and practices in the discussions of the duty-free trade in the Russian Far East in the second half of the 19th century. Taken both as a phenomenon of everyday social, economic and management practices and as a concept that was a product of global intra- and inter-imperial comparison “porto-franco” entered the political language in which the discussion of the political organization of imperial space was conducted. Based on a comparison of several political projects, such as nationalistic and regionalist ones, and their stance towards duty-free trade in the Russian Far East, the article reveals the presence of “porto-franco” in the political vocabulary and imagination of the era due to the politicization and nationalization of economic discourse in the modernizing empire.
In The Baron's Cloak, Willard Sunderland tells the epic story of the Russian Empire's final decades through the arc of the Baron's life, which spanned the vast reaches of Eurasia. Tracking Ungern's movements, he transits through the Empire's multinational borderlands, where the country bumped up against three other doomed empires, the Habsburg, Ottoman, and Qing, and where the violence unleashed by war, revolution, and imperial collapse was particularly vicious. In compulsively readable prose that draws on wide-ranging research in multiple languages, Sunderland recreates Ungern’s far-flung life and uses it to tell a compelling and original tale of imperial success and failure in a momentous time.
In 2012, the Valdai International Discussion Club presented its report “Toward the Great Ocean or the New Globalization of Russia” for the political and expert communities in Russia and abroad. The present report, “Toward the Great Ocean-2”, is a follow-up on the previous one; it has taken into account the experience gained in implementing some of the recommendations contained in the first report and results of its broad discussion.
The authors of the present report hold that the shift of the center of gravity and the pivot of Russia’s foreign and foreign-economic policies toward the Asia-Pacific region is a natural and top-priority response to the challenge faced by the country in the global and diverse world of the 21st century. We have been witnessing an unprecedentedly fast shift of the center of the world economy and politics to Asia. Asia’s economic growth has become a “locomotive” driving many economies in the world, which have reoriented themselves to the supply of raw materials and goods to China, India and Southeast Asian countries. None of the leading states in the contemporary world can claim a truly global status without a strong presence in the Pacific. Russia, too, can and must use opportunities opened by the “Asian century.”
Russia’s recent domestic and foreign policy steps demonstrate that the Russian government is setting a long-term geopolitical task of integrating the country into the Asia-Pacific through the accelerated development of its Siberian and Far Eastern regions. While attempts to reorient Russia toward the East are not completely new in the Russian history, this chapter demonstrates that now the geopolitical setting is different and this time conditions are ripe for Russia to make this change feasible. These circumstances open up new opportunities for international cooperation in the development of Russia’s Far East and Siberia, and many countries display interest in cooperation with Russia. However, to make international cooperation blossom in Russia’s eastern regions, Russia, together with foreign partners, needs to deal with a range of structural challenges and make changes accordingly.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.