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Top news Khabarovsk, Far East: Economic Forum, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

September 7 – September 13, results of the economic forum

Far East Economic Forum has become the main event of the last week in Khabarovsk. A number of important meetings and decisions were made regarding the future of the region’s economy. A new special economic port zone might soon be created in Sovetskaya Gavan. European Bank of Reconstruction and Development will invest into the local infrastructure. Find out more in the weekly review of events by FederalPress.

Far East Economic Forum has become the main event of the last week in Khabarovsk. A number of important meetings and decisions were made regarding the future of the region’s economy. A new special economic port zone might soon be created in Sovetskaya Gavan. European Bank of Reconstruction and Development will invest into the local infrastructure. Find out more in the weekly review of events by FederalPress.

Home gas explosions

Authorities of Khabarovsk Region are concerned with the frequent cases of gas explosions in people’s homes and apartments. Explosions destroy buildings and hurt dwellers. A special expertise group will work to analyze each case separately and develop explosion prevention measures. Additionally, educational classes for investigators will start operating soon to focus on home gas explosions.
 
New trends in the economy

Khabarovsk housed the 4th Far East International Economic Forum last week. President’s envoy in the Far East Viktor Ishaev was an active participant of the event. Thus, he met with a deputy chairman of the State Council of China to discuss the economy of the region. Raw materials orientation of the Far East is becoming the past, Viktor Ishaev believes.

Diversification, deep processing of raw materials, development of machine building and processing industries, expansion of oil and gas networks are actively replacing old economic practices of the Far East.

Geopolitical future of Russia in the 21st century depends on Siberia and the Far East, said Valery Yazev, vice-chairman of the organizing committee of the 4th Far East International Forum. The federal special purpose program “Economic and Social Development of the Far East and Eastern Siberia” was on the agenda of many discussions. The program has been well financed in 2009 (85 billion rubles).

Timber export duties

Introduction of higher export duties for round timber should be postponed for three years, considers the governor of Khabarovsk Region Vyacheslav Shport. He thinks this will better support local timber industry and contribute to its stability.

The Russian government plans to increase export duties for round timber starting 2010. It should make 80% of the declared cost, and not less than 50 euros per cubic meter. This measure might stop round timber export for good.

The governor of Khabarovsk Region suggested postponing introduction of this measure for three more years. Vyacheslav Shport also offered to cancel export duties for those companies, which run major projects involving timber processing.

For instance, the region also has no pulp processing facilities. OJSC DalLesProm plans to construct one in Amursk. The project requires investment of 30 billion rubles, including 5 billions for infrastructural development. This is one of the companies, which might be subject to zero export duties for round timber.

EBRD in Khabarovsk

Mayor of Khabarovsk Alexander Sokolov met with Bruno Balvanera, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development Regional Office Head. The city administration hopes to use the bank’s financial resources to modernize public transport fleet. The bank is also interested in participating in housing construction, heat and water supply system development, ecology issues, etc. The minimum loan is 450 million rubles.

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development participation in regional and municipal projects in Russia accounts for 2.5 billion euros, with 4-5% of annual interest.

Special economic port zone

A new special economic port zone will be created in Sovetskaya Gavan, Khabarovsk Region. The project is expected to be soon approved by the Russian government. The total amount of investments will most likely make 31 billion rubles. The new port zone will increase cargo traffic up to 25 million tons by 2025.

Additionally, the governor of Khabarovsk Region Vyachslav Shport and general director of RAO UES East Ivan Blagodyr signed an agreement on the construction of a thermoelectric power plant with the designed capacity of 120 megawatt in Sovetskaya Gavan.

CJSC Sovetskaya Gavan Sea Port is one of the potential investors for the new special economic zone. The company is affiliated by Aricom, which will need a terminal to export metal products from the Far East Metallurgical Works.

Prosecutors are after local officials

Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Gulyagin signed orders to use disciplinary measures against four officials of RosPrirodNadzor Far East Division (Russian federal supervisory agency for natural resources use). Numerous violations of the federal legislation were discovered in the control and permit papers drawn by these employees of the federal service.

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