Saturday, Oct 19 2019
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Lake Baikal, where the ice queen cast her spell'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Siberia is the route to the future, says the PM

By The Siberian Times reporter
04 November 2012

The Russian government is to give priority to Siberia and the Far East as it puts modernisation on fast-forward, insists Dmitry Medvedev.

Palatial: building of Novosibirsk Train Station, the biggest of all on the Trans-Siberian route. Picture: The Siberian Times 

His commitment came in advance of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Vientiane, Laos.

'In the coming years and decades, Russia faces a major historic task - ensuring the rapid modernisation of its economy based on the harmonious development of its regions', he wrote in an article published in outlets across Asia. 

'We will give priority to Siberia and the Far East. First, because previously we did not have enough resources to ensure the full development of those parts of the country. 

'Second, given that the global economy~s focus is shifting east, Russia simply must be more active in the Asia-Pacific region. That region is becoming the centre of global economic growth, generating about 55 per cent of global GDP and nearly half of global trade.'

He repeated a commitment that Russia will exploit its transport potential as a bridge between Europe and Asia. 

'Our country, which occupies about a third of the Eurasian continent, has huge and as yet underdeveloped transport and transit opportunities,' he said.

Siberia is the route to the future

Just to let you know how far you've traveled - memorial to mark distance between Moscow and Vladivostok. Picture: The Siberian Times 

Much more can be done to take advantage of Russian assets, he said, including 'the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railway lines, ports in all oceanic basins, as well as a network of air transport lines and airports that provide shorter routes for transporting goods and correspond with major freight traffic flows. 

'Economic modernisation and liberalisation can result in a significant increase in freight traffic - by at least 15 per cent - between Europe and Asia as well as between Europe, Asia and America. 

'The Trans-Siberian railway is capable of carrying up to 100 million tonnes per year, and this will be the shortest route. Specialised freight trains travel from Nakhodka to Russia's western borders in nine days, and can reach western Europe in two weeks. Meanwhile, goods take 35 days to travel by sea from various Asian-Pacific ports to Hamburg or Antwerp.'

He stressed: 'The development of the Northern Sea Route, which is two times shorter than the current route from Europe to eastern Asia through the Indian Ocean, presents us with many promising opportunities. 

Siberia is the route to the future

Busy: Vladivostok cargo port. Picture: The Siberian Times 

'Despite all the associated difficulties, it costs 30 per cent less to ship goods through the Arctic Ocean than through the Indian Ocean. 

'Air transport will play a qualitatively new role. Using Russian airspace and Siberia's (current and planned) network of airports will be beneficial for all parties, as it will be cheaper to use medium-range aircraft and have them refuel in Russia. This applies first and foremost to flights from Europe to East Asia.'

Comments (1)

I couldn't have put it better myself. Combining air and rail transportation could make the journet from Nakhodka to Warsaw or Vienna 7 days or less. Even 9 days is pretty impressive. Only a quarter of 35 by sea. Siberia's competitive edge is already showig. Once they get the transit infrastructure sorted out they have to start advertising in the West. This journal is a great start but much more needs doing. Siberia is at least as beautiful as anywhere else on Earth that attracts visitors. Its had a very bad press. Time to change all that.
Philip, /UK
04/11/2012 17:00
1

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR71.13USD63.95GBP82.51Other...