Yuri Trutnev: The Ministry of Finance needs to listen to the president’s words about the Far East

Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev.  Photo: Vyacheslav Viktorov/

Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev. Photo: Vyacheslav Viktorov/

Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev During the press conference, he summed up the results of the VIII Eastern Economic Forum. How told Deputy Prime Minister to journalists, more than 7 thousand people from 62 countries took part in the forum events, and 373 agreements worth 3.8 trillion rubles were signed.

The largest share of investments falls on the Amur region – 173 billion rubles, followed by the Trans-Baikal Territory (76 billion), Khabarovsk Territory (72 billion) and Primorye (56 billion). Among the most large-scale agreements were the development of the Port Elga coal sea terminal, the modernization of crab fishing in partnership with industry leaders – the Antey and Russian Crab companies, as well as the construction of housing as part of the Far Eastern Quarter program.

“In addition to countries traditionally friendly to Russia, countries that are unfriendly to us took part in the EEF – the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, France, almost everyone. Apparently, they can’t do it without the Far East,” noted Yuri Trutnev, summing up the results of EEF 2023. He added that the Russian side invited all countries to participate in the EEF: “Even for those countries that do not treat us very well, we do not close the doors.”

At the same time, the Deputy Prime Minister called for thinking about the goals of sanctions, which lead to negative consequences not for Russia, but for the countries that introduced them. According to him, not a single one of the 3,000 investment projects in the Far East has stopped due to sanctions; local specialists have rolled up their sleeves and are improving their competencies, while foreign companies are losing them: “Their factories are closing. At the Amur Gas Processing Plant, the project manager told us that one German company that supplied and set up equipment fired 70% of its workers. The workshops are empty – they stepped on their own foot.” Now the share of foreign investment in the Far East, according to Yuri Trutnev, is about 7%, which, in his opinion, is not bad, since the region is developing, first of all, due to Russian investments.

Minister for Development of the Far East and Arctic Alexey Chekunkovwho also spoke at the press conference, noted that the international agenda in the current conditions is becoming more diversified due to the activation of representatives from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa: “Foreign investors understand the importance of the Far East and are looking for opportunities.”

Yuri Trutnev also responded to the words of the Chinese scientist Wang Wen, who at the WEF 2023 said that not enough investments are being made in the Far East for the huge potential of the region: “I heard this statement that there should have been more money. The Minister of Finance, on the contrary, says what a disgrace it is that so much money has been allocated to the Far East. To be honest, I don’t agree with him. If the president says year after year that the Far East is a priority for the entire 21st century, then the Ministry of Finance needs to listen.”

The Deputy Prime Minister noted that China is only 40% larger than the Far East in area, and the population density in the region is 150 times less. “Money, investments, projects, life – it’s all connected with people’s work – . While the number of people living in the Far East is small, it largely shapes and influences these processes.”

Answering KP’s question how many people does the Far East need for development and what is being done in the region to attract them, Yuri Trutnev said:

— Average density indicators for Russia (8.55 people/km², in the Far Eastern Federal District it is now about 1.2 people/km²—editor’s note) would be just right. An even distribution of human potential throughout the country would be fair and we should strive for these guidelines. We are not concerned about the density of China; conditions there are different.

Speaking about the conditions in the Far Eastern Federal District, the plenipotentiary mentioned both the extreme climate and the needs of people in a comfortable environment, as well as investment projects as a driver for attracting people. The Deputy Prime Minister also recalled climate change and expert forecasts, according to which, as a result of global warming, Siberia could become the most climate-balanced region. In this case, and for now, according to him, this is where everything is heading, it may turn out that Siberia and the Far East will become more comfortable for life, which will entail an influx of population.

“The miraculous transformation that everyone who wants to live in Moscow will want to live in Anadyr tomorrow will not happen, but step by step we will change the living environment and shape migration processes so that people come to the Far East. Much is already happening, young people under the age of 24 are coming to the region more than leaving, this is rejuvenating the Far East.

According to the plenipotentiary, the process of development of the Far East follows a completely understandable sequence: it is planned to build enterprises, create infrastructure for them, together with them create new living conditions for people and make the Far East more densely populated. Salaries at enterprises established in the priority development areas of the Far East, for example, are already 40% higher than the Russian average. In total, as Yuri Trutnev said, 62% of residents of the Far East took advantage of the support measures existing in the region.

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