Experts “Valdai” final saw Russia’s turn towards Asia

Look to the East

Russia’s turn towards Asia is already almost took place, say the authors of the report “Toward the great ocean — 4: turn to the East. Preliminary results and new challenges” discussion club “Valdai”, which will be discussed at the Sino-Russian conference in Shanghai, beginning on March 25.

The authors indicate that at the beginning of the Russian turn to the East was seen by all parties as a way of enhancing economic cooperation, but in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) has formed the “demand for Russia”. It is because in the region, despite the growing economic interaction between countries, creating an atmosphere of trust, the arms race continues. China, India, Japan and South Korea in 2014 secured 20% of global military spending. Grow and American-Chinese contradictions, and small and medium Asian States seek to eliminate one-sided orientation to China or the USA. Russia has a unique position: she is friendly to China, and the cooperation of other countries with Russia are perceived as a threat to Chinese interests.

However, Russia does not respond to the request, the authors state: although the presence of Asia in the foreign policy agenda of Moscow has increased, systematic cooperation with partners is developing unevenly. This, according to the compilers of the report, confirms the decrease in the number of Russian initiatives in APEC after the summit was held in Vladivostok in 2012. Not into the hands of Russia and played a pass of some Eastern summits with President Vladimir Putin. In Asia this is considered a signal that Moscow does not consider the area as a priority, explained in the report. At the last APEC summit in 2015, Russia was represented by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia achieved some years of membership in East Asian economic cooperation, but only in 2014 have raised the level of its representation to the level of the head of government, lead the authors is another example.

The personal involvement of Russian leader was very important for the success of “turning to the East”, but the main resource of Russia was directed not particularly skillfully, writes in the review “Turn to nowhere” program Manager of the Moscow Center Alexander Gabuev.

First mistake, according to gabuyeva, occurred in September of last year in Vladivostok during the first East of the summit, which was conceived as the main platform for the promotion of projects in Siberia and the far East for Asian investors due to hardware conflicts from Putin at the last moment canceled a meeting with prominent businessmen of the Asia-Pacific region. The second mistake happened when he decided not to go, not only on East Asia summit (EAS) and the APEC summit.

Change the strategy

Russia is considering a turn to the East as a way to develop their regions, reminiscent of the authors of the report. What is more, regions have advantages: in Siberia and in the far East can produce goods that require a lot of water and energy. However, to Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur became the regional centres, it is necessary not just to creating scientific and industrial clusters, and to clearly define what and to which markets they must produce, because without specialization it will be difficult to compete with Asian countries that have become industrial centers.

It is necessary to develop and transport infrastructure. Having transportation arteries do not meet the needs of development of the Russian TRANS-Urals, and the previously drawn up plans for the development are outdated. It is necessary to create vertical grid roads from North to South, to connect Russia with India and other countries to the South. The execution of this task may contribute to the stated authorities, the mate of the Eurasian economic Union Economic belt of the silk road (Chinese development project).

Bet on the creation of the region priority development areas while not working and may not work, experts warn “Valdai”. Their concept was developed in a different environment, and now the external environment has changed, the calculation of the mass flows of investment did not materialize. Now in the Torah only one registered foreign resident. Strategy to attract big players need to change, experts say. It is not enough to declare the island a special Russian territory, must follow steps to rethink the development of the regional economy, it is necessary to make its territories economic freedom, to lift restrictions on investors, prevent corruption, and to fulfill the proposal of the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and to relocate the offices of state corporations, advise the authors.