The future of Russia and the Eurasian transport corridors
Material posted: Publication date: 16-04-2009

16 April 2009 at the Center for social-conservative policy held a discussion of the problems of transport system development in Russia. During the meeting were presented to the participants of the project "Euro-Asian transport corridors", which, according to the authors, will ensure communicative consistency of state and his closest partners and the common economic space along its entire length.

Opening the discussion, Deputy Secretary of the Presidium of United Russia said, "Today, many foreign countries have openly expressed doubt that Russia is able to control its own territory, natural resources. Therefore, we need to be clear about how the state will manage its wealth".

The Chairman of the state Duma Committee on transport Sergei Shishkarev said that he was afraid to make the discussion of the megaproject at a meeting of his own Committee because of the revolutionary and even to some extent the fantastic document. Presented the mega-project "Euro-Asian transport corridors" the President of Fund of development of Russia Evgeny Grinev. He emphasized that many foreign partners believe the contrary "Euro-Asian transport corridors" quite realistic and up to date by the project: "It consists of three interrelated parts. The new strategy of integration and development of Russia and Eurasia in General, the mechanisms of forecasting and planning of national and international development, new principles of institutional development of Russia, structuring of government, business and society."

What the project really has the right to use the prefix "mega" is due even the fact that it consists of 16 volumes and includes the period of implementation of 15-18 years.

The idea of the project is to combine all modes of transport: rail, road, air, river and marine, oil and gas pipelines, product pipelines (oil and gas), transport information (including management systems, satellite and other monitoring systems), transport energy (including nuclear and renewable).

Key discussion topic was the cost of this project, which is estimated at around 3 trillion US dollars. In addition, concerns are aroused and some other figures associated with the prospects of the project. So, according to Grineva, implementation of the tasks will lead to possibilities of moving with an average speed of railway transport up to 250-300 km/h and the road up to 200-220 km/h.

Chairman of the Board JSC "stock Exchange "Russian trading system" Oleg Safonov, in particular, asked a question, what is the means to ensure the realization of the project. According to him, Russia is unlikely to find the necessary amount of money. But in the implementation of the project, the expert continued, interested, and post-Soviet countries. Also need to find ways of attracting funds from global capital.

Theses of the speech of Oleg Safonov, "Russia and the Future Eurasian transport corridors":

The latter is the set of all technological processes for creating a product with the specified parameters. For example, macro-technologies in aviation is a complex of about 600 technologies.

In his works, academician Dmitri Semyonovich Lvov was indicated that at the beginning of the XXI century only seven developed countries have owned 46 of 50 known to our civilization macrotechnology, and the rest of the world only 3-4 mikrotechnologie.

46 macrotechnology operated by 7 developed countries, the US accounts for 20-22, or by which they shared or held the lead, Germany — 8-10, Japan — 7, Britain and France — 3-5, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Switzerland on 1-2.

The economic "miracle" of Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong occurred primarily due to the fact that they were implanted 1-2 macro-technologies. Thus, in particular, Singapore has only one latter — microelectronics — and a turnover of approximately 7 billion dollars a year.

Due to its geographical position Russia has a real opportunity to become the owner of a promising and competitive macro-technology — complex of the international transport corridors "East-West", "North-South" transportation corridor "Northern sea route".

The urgency of creation of transport corridors due to a sharp increase in the volume of trade between States, regions and continents. Currently, about 60% of the world's gross product is generated in the Asia-Pacific region, the total value of global shipments is estimated at $3-5 trillion, and a significant part of these shipments are made by sea for a long period of time.

However, about 80% of the total length of potentially optimal economic parameters of international corridors latitudinal direction from East Asia to the Atlantic, constitute the transport network of Russia.

Thanks to the favorable geographical position, the presence of a powerful transport complex of Russia in the future is able to switch a significant part of the Eurasian commodity flows.

Even if 50% of the Russian share in the revenues of the transport systems, this amounts to $1.5-2.5 trillion. — more than modern Russia's GDP.

On the way transport routes can be built several modern cities with populations of 1-2 million people, which will relieve the large cities in the European part of Russia and to revive the sparsely populated Siberia.

Transportation of cargoes for construction can be made of river transport, which is ideally suited for these tasks. An extensive network of Siberian rivers is practically an ideal transport route.

As a result of implementation of these projects assumes the convergence of raw and industrially developed regions of Russia, development of production systems and socio-economic spheres on the vast Eastern territories. Can get intense development of the railway, metallurgical industry, mining industry, shipbuilding, and river navigation, energy-saving technology, space navigation, gas, timber, telecommunications and many other technologies.

Air travel can be domestic aircraft when flying over Siberia is not so important noise and other environmental characteristics, like flying in densely populated Western Europe. With large-scale government orders for Russian planes may start the revival and modernization of the domestic aviation industry. It is also possible the Renaissance of the airship based on new technologies.

It is possible to solve the problems of energy security of the Far East, the improvement of the demographic situation in Russia's Eastern regions. The shift of economic development in Siberia will create millions of new jobs along the way to solve important problems of national security in the East and South-East of Russia.

There is an opportunity to invest potentially highly efficient, large-scale project, including by attracting foreign, like Japanese and Chinese capital.

A major role in the implementation of the idea of creation of transport corridors can play CIS. This will serve as a powerful incentive to integration, the creation of a strong economic Union and formation of common economic space on the territory of the CIS countries.

For the first time in Russian history can be created real preconditions for large-scale transport, industrial and social development of Siberia and the Far East.

For financial support of these transport corridors will require the creation of one or more financial centres of the type "hub"that can be localized in any existing or new major cities. It seems quite logical and expedient use in the ongoing financial operations of the Russian ruble as a regional currency.

Isn't all this a fantasy?

In our opinion, is not. We generally believe that Russia is no economic crisis (i.e. large-scale objective negative process) no. If only because the economy is still weak and uneven, with the majority of the population lives from paycheck to paycheck, and financial markets are not fulfilling their function of attracting large-scale investments. And the fact that managed to accumulate more external debt than there is funds in Russian international reserves — so it's not a crisis.

But there is a real problem associated with the decline in world prices for Russian raw materials, above all oil. However, rather than an objective and controlled process. And when prices begin to rise (and it will happen necessarily), you need to have to be ready to again, "not to step on the same rake" — not to continue to invest in the American economy, and to invest in the development of the domestic economy. And, in our opinion, one of perspective directions of domestic investment, and transport of macro-technology.

The formation of the system of transport corridors is a critical step in the Grand project of planetary scale, transport, industrial and social development of Siberia and the Far East.

Russia, ensuring the integrity of its territory from the Eastern to the Western borders, contribute to the transport Association of the entire Eurasian continent. Maybe someone will call it Imperial ambitions; our way is economic cooperation at the regional level, countries with a long joint history.

Tags: financial center , Russia , CIS