Russia-China border region sees surge in investment
Ukraine-related Western sanctions against Russia have failed to stop the flow of investment in the country’s far-eastern Khabarovsk Region, bordering on China, Governor Mikhail Degtyarev said this week.
According to the official, a total of 26 new investment projects worth 133 billion rubles ($1.6 billion) were launched in the area in 2022, including a large-scale infrastructure project to build the Pacific Railroad.
“It is comparable to the historical construction of the BAM (Baikal–Amur Mainline railway). It is the first private railroad in Russia to have a length of 500 kilometers. In a short period of time, we have already built 100 kilometers,” Degtyarev stated.
Local projects launched in 2022 include a mining and processing plant at the Kutyn gold deposit in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district, and also the Solnechnaya tin ore processing station. A copper and tin producing plant in the Solnechny district is also nearing completion. The region has also started the development of the Malmyzhsky copper deposit.
Degtyarev also noted that the region last year successfully introduced a simplified procedure for granting land to businesses without them having to bid for import substitution projects, particularly in agriculture, which also drew investors to the area. This year the opportunity was extended to individual entrepreneurs and legal entities involved in import substitution, who can buy a land plot for these purposes for the symbolic sum of 1 ruble.
In his earlier interview, Degtyarev noted that Khabarovsk has been actively boosting cooperation with neighboring China over the past several months, with trade between the region and the Asian powerhouse up 31%, and cargo turnover up by 106% year-on-year as of the end of 2022.
The region also continues working on the Russo-Chinese joint trans-border development territory on Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, where both Russian and Chinese companies can be residents. They will receive significant benefits for export-import operations, making the territory a de facto free-trade zone.
“We are seeing a turn to the East. There is growth in cargo turnover, growth in industrial production as a whole, and growth in the gross regional product. The Eastern part of the country is now pulling the economy, because the Western regions, unfortunately, faced treacherous sanctions and the collapse of logistics chains,” the official stated.
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