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Far Eastern bridgehead: how Yakutia ensures the prosperity of the region for decades to come (October 26, 2022)

It was possible to achieve such results not only due to the favorable economic and geographical position, but also due to the early creation of investment projects that are already working for the long-term well-being of the region and make it possible to build a new modern socially significant infrastructure.

The struggle for leadership

The indicators of industrial growth in Yakutia are ahead of the average for Russia, and this is primarily facilitated by resource investment projects implemented long before the aggravation of the geopolitical situation this year. Local government data show that the economic recovery of the region this year was mainly due to the growth of the primary industry: coal production increased by 29.8%, natural gas and condensate – by 32.2%, oil and associated gas – by almost 10%, and metal ores – by 7.5%.

One of the main drivers of growth in the economic indicators of these industries was the increased demand for energy resources in a number of dynamically developing economies of the East. Among them are China, India, and in the future will join and Pakistan. It is possible to ensure uninterrupted supplies to these countries thanks to the Power of Siberia gas pipeline launched several years ago and the ongoing development of upstream projects at the Chayandinskoye field – at the end of September, Gazprom Neft introduced put into operation a new infrastructure, thanks to which the export of oil from the field to the Asia-Pacific countries will grow to 1.9 million tons per year.

“The turn to the East did not begin today. We, the eastern regions, including Yakutia, have always advocated that this reversal should proceed at a faster pace. For not trying to hold on to old connections, old supply chains,” spoke in a recent interview with the head of the republic, Aisen Nikolaev.

New coal projects are also actively developing in the region: within the framework of the EEF, in early September, the start of work at the Syllakhansky open pit in the Neryungri district of Yakutia was announced, and there were also signed agreement on the development of a mining cluster in the Arctic part of Yakutia.

At the same time, regional companies are constantly increasing their resource base for new projects. So, YATEK this year increased total initial gas reserves up to 582 billion cubic meters, in particular, at the Srednevilyuiskoye field – up to 307.9 billion cubic meters, and class A reserves increased by 55% due to this.

It is important to mention the little-known fact that certain branches of the regional industry of Yakutia are critically important for the global economy, which, among other things, causes splits in the elites of countries unfriendly to Russia. One of the clearest confirmations of this thesis is exception from the latest package of EU sanctions against the diamond giant Alrosa, which operates on the territory of the republic. This decision was made due to the protest of Belgium, which is one of the world’s key centers of trade in precious stones.

Far Eastern Express

From a logistical point of view, the development of the industry in the region is facilitated by the further expansion of the transport corridor of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), through which, after the creation of the processing cluster, it is planned to increase LNG supplies to China. About this, in particular, spoke Minister of Industry and Geology of the Republic of Sakha at SPIEF-22.

It should be noted that the gradual expansion of the NSR has a positive effect on the quality of the transport links of the region with other parts of the country – in early October, this route to the northern regions of Yakutia was the first delivered food and building materials from Astrakhan.

Among other projects to improve the quality of the region’s transport infrastructure is an agreement on a joint construction new road to China, the prospects of which were discussed with the head of the neighboring subject at SPIEF-22 by the head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev. Together with the ongoing “spreading” of transport corridors and multimodal connectivity, this will further increase the region’s export opportunities in the foreseeable future.

Labor Reward

The success of the local industry obviously affects the tax revenues to the regional budget, due to which the local authorities get the opportunity to develop the modern social infrastructure of the region, which is in demand by the inhabitants of Yakutia. So, according to the results of this year in the republic will appear 16 new schools, seven kindergartens, a vocational education institution will be opened, 12 centers for the development of physical culture and sports, 15 cultural centers and 30 health care institutions will start operating.

In terms of providing the population with medical services, the region shows particularly noticeable success: this year, the workshops of the Yakutsk Medical College were recognized the best in the country. At the same time, it is planned to open several innovative medical facilities in the republic, among which is a new cardio-vascular center with 150 general and 25 intensive care beds, opened this year. Built in 2.5 years, it occupies more than 20 thousand square meters. meters, and in terms of its equipment it has no analogues in the Far East and Siberia.

Another large-scale facility will be the Republican Cancer Center, the construction of which is carried out with the direct support Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. At the end of next year, the region will surrendered the first “smart” polyclinic in the region was put into operation.

“It will house children’s and adult polyclinics, a women’s clinic, an outpatient cancer care center, as well as other specialized departments. The new polyclinic will operate in the “SMART” format with connection to a single information system “smart polyclinic”. It will be equipped with modern expert-class equipment,” Aisen Nikolaev commented on the progress of the project.

For the largest subject of the Russian Federation, whose area is comparable to the territory of India, the issues of transport accessibility are of great importance. That is why local authorities are developing a program to subsidize air tickets in the Arctic zone of the republic. Thanks to increased funding from the regional budget, from 2022, subsidized tickets are available to all residents of 13 Arctic regions, and not just to privileged categories of citizens.

The development of the socio-economic infrastructure of the region and investments in the human capital of the population of the republic contribute to the rapid improvement of the investment climate in Yakutia. At SPIEF 2022, it was announced that, according to this indicator, it came out to 13th place in the country, although four years ago the region was only in 52nd place.

The improvement of the business climate in the republic is facilitated not only by federal, but also by regional programs to support entrepreneurship. So, at the end of September, the head of the region, Aisen Nikolaev, announced his intention to extend business tax incentives. The effect of such decisions of local authorities is visible even from the latest data: according to the statistics of the SME Platform, over the past month, the revenue of local SMEs increased by almost 2%, their average check increased by 15%, and the number of registered companies increased by 1.3%.

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