The ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ Stand Provided the Key SPIEF Discussion Platform for Pressing Problems of Arctic Development

The Russian Ministry for Development of the Far East stand ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ was first opened at the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and has become a platform for 16 Arctic agenda events, including a number constituting part of the official plan of Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023 with the assistance of the Roscongress Foundation.

“SPIEF is the leading business discussion platform in Russia. The appearance of a stand devoted to the subject of the Arctic emphasises the growing global and economic role of this region. The events at the stand helped draw the attention of SPIEF participants to the Arctic agenda and to the prospects for the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The discussions disclosed the priorities of Russia's Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, including the region’s socio-economic development and the population of the Arctic, among them indigenous peoples, as well as environmental issues. We will definitely continue working along the Arctic track at the Eastern Economic Forum on 5–8 September in Vladivostok,” said Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the Russian President and executive secretary of the Organizing committee in charge of preparing for and supporting Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

“The stand of Russia’s Ministry for the Development of the Far East provided a true Arctic hub and demonstrated to the Forum visitors the space dedicated to the Northern Sea Root, Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council and other topics. The Arctic region makes an enormous contribution to Russia’s welfare and the country’s prosperity in the long term depends upon it substantially. That is why it is important to focus deserved attention on the Arctic,” said Alexey Chekunkov, Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic.

In turn, Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Arctic Senior Officials, noted the growing significance of the Arctic in world politics and the global economy.

“The Arctic region plays an important geopolitical tole in providing for Russia’s strategic, transport and economic security. The sessions held at the stand will enable us to elaborate specific steps and effective solutions for fulfilling the tasks set by Russia’s leaders to ensure balanced, sustainable development of the region and raise the welfare of its people, including the indigenous peoples of the North,” said Nikolay Korchunov.

One of the main sessions at the stand was the Conference on the Development of Telecommunications and Digitalization in the Arctic. Its participants discussed introduction of digital technologies in the Arctic, as well as provision for quality communications and high-speed Internet in the region. The International Seminar on Shipbuilding and Ship Repair in the Arctic touched on questions of fulfilling the tasks set by Russia’s President of providing for shipping at least 80 million tonnes of cargo along the Northern Sea Route by 2024 and 150 million tonnes by 2030. Also discussed were opportunities for cutting repair costs at Russian wharves and potential changes to the preferential regimes for ship owners.

The ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ stand of Russia’s Ministry for the Development of the Far East was also one of the Creative Business Forum platforms, as part of which seven events were devoted to development of creative industries in the North. Leading experts and representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, departments and organizations discussed the influence of intellectual professions on the socio-economic development of the Arctic, the opportunities for involving indigenous peoples in creative activities and the prospects for developing creative sectors of the economy in regions of Russia’s Arctic zone.   

Implementation of joint projects in different spheres in the Arctic and support for effective, multilateral collaboration at high latitudes were discussed at the session ‘International Cooperation as a Guarantee for the Sustainable Development of the Arctic’ of Think Arctic project with representatives from India, China and Norwegian universities. Particular attention was focused on constructive depoliticization of cooperation in the Arctic in the interests of sustainable development of the region and its residents, including indigenous peoples. It was noted separately that truly ground-breaking scientific projects beyond the Arctic Circle can only be international and global tasks in the region can only be fulfilled by taking collective approaches. The Think Arctic project is being implemented as part of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council with the support of the Roscongress Foundation.

The sessions at the stand also touched on the functioning of the Northern Sea Route and the role of science in fulfilling strategic tasks in the Arctic. A large session was held with the participation of the Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov, heads of major companies implementing key investment projects beyond the Arctic Circle and supplication of state support measures as residents of the ‘Capital of the Arctic’ Advanced Development Zone and the RF Arctic Zone. As part of the Arctic Investor Day at the Russian Ministry for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic stand, governors of regions in the Russian Arctic personally presented investment projects to Russian entrepreneurs and the Media. A special place on the agenda was taken by presentation of the Russian regions’ tourist potential and pressing issues of the Arctic’s education system and provision of manpower under the new reality.


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