Libmonster ID: UK-1346
Author(s) of the publication: S. L. SAZONOV


Candidate of Economic Sciences

Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Keywords: Trans-Siberian Railway, international transit corridor, logistics chain, cargo transportation, transit potential, transport infrastructure, United Russian Transport Highway

For more than 20 years, the problems of economic development of the Baikal-Amur Mainline zone and the use of its capacities, which are currently loaded only by a third, have been discussed, despite the fact that the road has a capacity of 12.6 million tons of cargo and up to 100 thousand containers per year [1]. The main line remains unprofitable in terms of cargo turnover, and the share of passenger traffic on this road is less than 1% of all-Russian railway passenger traffic.

At the beginning of 2011, the once-most powerful construction site of the Union significance began its "renaissance" - the implementation of the interregional investment project "Strategic Program for the development of the Baikal-Amur Mainline for the future until 2020". The program approved by the Government of the Russian Federation provides for a phased set of measures to increase the throughput and carrying capacity of the Northern Latitudinal Route from Taishet to the port of Vanino. It is also planned to further increase the carrying capacity of its Eastern section with the restoration and opening of new separate points along the entire route, the construction of second tracks on the limiting stages, the strengthening of the upper structure of the track and artificial structures.


The project for the development of leading railways for the long term up to 2020 provides for the following measures for the development of Far Eastern seaports:

- construction of specialized high-tech coal transshipment complexes to develop exports and increase the competitiveness of Russian coal in world markets (Vostochny, Vanino, Posyet);

- construction of modern complexes for transshipment of mineral fertilizers (Vostochny), liquefied natural gas (LNG), petrochemical products (Vanino), grain (Vladivostok);

- construction of modern container terminals to meet the challenges of Russia's entry into the system of international transport corridors (Vostochny, Nakhodka, Vladivostok, Vanino) [2; p. 25-29].

The current "Strategy for the Development of Maritime Activities of the Russian Federation" sets the task of ensuring by 2015 the total volume of cargo handling by the ports of the Far Eastern Federal District to 145.1 million tons [3] and reducing the volume of Russian cargo passing through foreign ports from 15% in 2010 to 5% in 2020 [4].

At the moment, traffic management in the Russian Far East is far from perfect, and as traffic increases, the situation worsens. And if we want to make the Russian Far East one of the world's transport hubs, we need to radically improve the organization of transportation. This can only be done by creating a regional managing transport and logistics center. A unified transport logistics system would benefit all participants in cargo transportation in the Russian Far East, ensuring optimal loading of loading and unloading capacities of ports due to the delivery of those goods that are "provided" by ships. This alone would lead to a reduction in the downtime of railcars, which, in turn, would dramatically reduce the loading time of ships, including through the use of direct reloading. The creation of such a center automatically reduces the number of intermediaries between the shipper and the railway, since the center takes on the functions of the transportation operator, providing the most cost-effective technology for cargo transportation, including loading it on the ship, and this reduces the costs of shippers and consignees. Equipping the Far Eastern infrastructure with telecommunication lines will create logistics centers at transport terminals, as well as control centers for the transport industry.-

Ending. For the beginning, see: Asia and Africa today. 2014, N 8.

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ensuring the process of cargo delivery with maximum speed, reliability and optimal prices. These lines will provide a cost-effective transit of large amounts of information and at the same time serve to create a modern information space in the Asian part of Russia.

On April 2, 2013, during a meeting of the State Commission for the Socio-Economic Development of the Far East, the Republic of Buryatia, the Trans-Baikal Territory and the Irkutsk Region, the Head of the Russian Government approved the "Program for the socio-Economic Development of the Far East and the Baikal Region for the period up to 2025", which provides for investment in the development of the Far Eastern Federal District (Far Eastern Federal District) of the Russian Federation. 10 trillion rubles in the period up to 2015 The Prime Minister noted that both state budget funds and private investors will be attracted, but did not specify in what proportions. As part of infrastructure development, it is planned to allocate 980 billion rubles for the reconstruction of the BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway, of which 260 billion rubles will be allocated. The rest will be made up of budgetary funds, and the rest will be extra - budgetary money (mainly funds from Russian Railways). It is planned to increase cargo flow through the BAM and Trans-Siberian Railway to 38 million tons per year by 2015, and to 54 million tons by 2020.

As part of the development of regional aviation, it is planned to spend 101 billion rubles on the reconstruction of two large airports in Ulan-Ude and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and 61 small regional airfields in other regions of the Far East [5]. It is planned to allocate 60 billion rubles for the construction of highways (highways Vladivostok-Nakhodka, Khabarovsk-Vladivostok, Bratsk-Mirny, etc.), and 80 billion rubles will be allocated for the construction of a bridge over the Lena River after 2018 [6].

It is quite obvious that the delay in the development of the Far Eastern transport system and seaports contains obvious potential challenges for Russia. There is a real risk of weakening the country's consolidation and degradation of existing transport networks. It is no secret that in the development of transport infrastructure, the Russian Federation is noticeably inferior to many countries of the world, and this lag is especially obvious against the background of the rapid progress of our neighbors and, above all, China. China is experiencing rapid development of the transport network connecting Chinese ports on the east coast with Central Asia and further with Europe (Lian-Yungang-Urumqi-Alashankou Dostyk (Druzhba) checkpoint - Khorgos - Kashgar).

The main reason that we do not earn as much as we can on transit is that the Trans - Siberian Railway today does not work as the International Euro-Asian Transport Corridor that it is. We are not able to offer a ready-made transport product of international level that could be sold on the world market. Russia is at the center of the transport interests of three large regions with the highest intensity of economic activity-Western Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. They are in dire need of a rapid commodity exchange channel, and transcontinental transport systems are becoming increasingly strategic in these conditions.

Despite the recent financial crisis and ongoing fluctuations in the global economy, international trade continues to develop at a fairly rapid pace. This trade is based on the understanding that a company can buy goods from a supplier in one country, use logistics to move them, and then sell them at a profit to a customer in another country. Improved communications, transportation, financial arrangements, trade agreements, etc. mean that producers and consumers of goods are now looking around the globe for the best options to carry out their operations. In this regard, international logistics moves processed materials through increasingly long and complex supply chains.

Modernization of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur highways will affect not only the development of the resource base of specific regions, but also the growth of the entire country's economy. The integration of regional intermodal infrastructure systems into a national one will be the main incentive for social and economic development on both regional and national scales. When creating East-West transit corridors, a comprehensive approach is needed, which provides for the construction of a modern network of high-speed highways that duplicate the configuration of the country's railway networks and waterways. Today, there are technological opportunities to move from patching up holes in regional transport complexes to designing and building an integrated national transit system.

There is an urgent need to involve the natural resources of Siberia and the Russian Far East in economic activities, and the creation of the United Russian Transit Highway (ORM) with adjacent transport networks will open up access to these resources, and the Russian economy will get a "second wind". The lack of human resources in the Russian Far East is not only a demographic problem, but has also become a key issue in ensuring the country's security and territorial integrity. The implementation of the ORM project can create a large number of new jobs and encourage migration to sparsely populated areas of the highway construction of labor resources not only from Russia, but also from the former republics of the near abroad. Maintenance of ORM and who-

* The foundation of modern international trade efficiency, economic growth and sustainable development is considered to be intermodality - the integrated use of various modes of transport in one transport system.

page 22

industrial clusters built along it will involve the construction of modern high-comfort settlements, and a full-fledged arrangement of the life of migrants will reduce the likelihood of reverse migration.

When talking about difficulties in developing the outlying regions of Russia, they often refer to the lack of workers. And this difficult task can be solved without attracting foreign labor. The population of the Far East can be retained and attracted to active activities by exempting them from taxes, removing bureaucratic barriers to investment, and the investment itself should also be exempt from all taxes on 20 - 50 - 70 years, depending on the industry. According to preliminary calculations of the Institute of Socio-Political Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ISPI RAS), investments in the construction of ORM can create at least 1.5 - 2 million additional jobs at the first stage (construction of the roadbed, laying of communications, etc.). At the next stage, the multiplier effect can give up to 5 million jobs - construction and reconstruction of cities and towns, maintenance of communications, road maintenance, service, etc. In fact, the construction of an ORM can "absorb" all unemployed people not only in the region, but also in Russia as a whole [6; p.25-29].

Estimating the required investment volumes, profitability, and payback periods requires additional calculations and research, as much depends on the choice of organizational forms and project management. The main expected sources of financing for the construction of the ORM will be funds from investors and transport companies. As a source of such large-scale investments, multinational holdings that collect and invest funds in large-scale projects can also be considered. Investment insurance can be provided from the state budgets of the countries to which the main investor banks belong. Experts in the field of transport believe that the phased introduction of ready-made ORM subsystems will ensure a quick payback, and then profitability of their operation. As a result, the mobilization of funds for construction can be carried out through concession agreements. A joint ORM project can bring rapid, immediate benefits to all participating countries. Having created a multinational holding company for the construction of ORM on their shares, they would immediately become co-investors and partners in a huge enterprise. This enterprise can also be considered as a system of entrepreneurial projects, in each of which the risks and benefits can be fairly reliably calculated.

The main "fast" income from ORM is expected to be received at the expense of transport services for enterprises in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, which are ready to direct their commodity flows through Russia in order to gain time. This service is considered highly profitable and will allow Russia to make a significant and stable profit. However, the development of transit cargo traffic will not give the proper economic effect if it is not accompanied by reasonable tariff regulation measures. For example, separate accounting of infrastructure, traction and carriage components will make the tariff more transparent and flexible, and will stimulate the development of competition. These mechanisms cannot be reduced to a simple cost calculation and should not be limited to taking into account the interests of an individual carrier, for example, Russian Railways. What makes Russia special is the fact that 100% of Russian Railways ' shares are owned by the state, while railways in many countries of the world are privatized, which makes it possible to apply flexible and competitive tariffs for freight transit.

The process of reforming the tariff rates and management system of Russian railway transport has already begun, but it is far from complete and even certain. Today, despite the fact that the through tariff rate of Russian transit is almost the same, a larger flow of our cargo going to Chinese ports due to the high cost of Russian railway tariffs moves around Eurasia, although the import of transport services there is disproportionately large. At the same time, our country loses its income and tax base. Given the lack of a common interest of all participants in the transport chain in optimizing margins and different approaches to setting prices for container transportation, it is necessary to abandon the regulation of transit tariffs. The state should determine only the maximum and minimum tariff levels so that carriers can flexibly adjust their tariff policy within the established tariff corridor, taking into account market conditions, which will allow them to quickly respond to market changes using the tariff component.

The presented facts and considerations lead to the following conclusion: if it is difficult to fully finance the project of the Eurasian corridor through the territory of Russia, it is necessary to look for opportunities for its implementation "in parts". Dividing the overall project into several stages (economically and technically independent) will reduce the amount of investment required and the time frame for their return. Accordingly, the requirements for the level of trust between project participants are reduced to more realistic values. The first step towards dividing the "great Euro - Asian corridor" into stages could be the allocation of a section of railway connecting two major logistics centers-one in China, the other in Russia. Such a segment can be built in the foreseeable future, and its cost-effective operation is possible long before the overall construction of the corridor as a whole is completed. In this case, the length of the trans-

page 23

port routes can be several hundred kilometers long - an order of magnitude less than for the entire international transit corridor, and the number of project participants is reduced to two countries. In this case, the difficulties of bilateral coordination of project details will be an order of magnitude less than in a multilateral project involving the United States, Japan, Korea and / or Western European investors.

According to a number of leading Irkutsk economists (Bogatev M. Yu., Khomenko A. P., Yakobson A. Ya., etc.), the first such section of the Eurasian transport corridor could be the Harbin-Irkutsk section. This section will include the major transport hub of Irkutsk and cities located along the railway line at a distance of up to 200 km from the roadbed. The presence of a large international airport, a well-developed system of roads and inland waterways makes it possible to turn this transport hub into the birth zone of a major transit center for export goods from China and other Asia-Pacific countries to the European regions of the Russian Federation and EU countries. Since the nearest "inlet valve" of export cargo traffic is Harbin in China, the construction of the Irkutsk-Harbin infrastructure bridge will stimulate the economic development of major Russian regional centers-Chita and Ulan-Ude, and from the Chinese side - Qiqihar*. Thus, the proposed plan will ensure not only the gradual formation of individual sections of the future Russian Eurasian transport corridor MTK, but will also become the basis for creating an "economic growth belt" extending to industrial centers along the highway.

Russian transit transport corridors along the Asia-Europe route are increasingly opposed by alternative Chinese corridors. In order to successfully meet the growing challenges along this route, it is necessary, first of all, to understand how the infrastructure of transport hubs of the Russian Federation (primarily ports and railway border crossings) is capable of large-scale transfers of transit containers, to assess the level of systemic risks and the pace of increasing cargo turnover in the world as a whole. Russia cannot move forward without determining how transport flows will be distributed (both by type and by technical requirements for transport infrastructure) in the formation of a new economic pole and the transformation of China into a transport superpower of the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world. Today, it is extremely necessary to launch a mechanism for implementing the national policy for the development of the transport complex of the Far Eastern Federal District, including::

- construction and reconstruction of railways and highways to meet new requirements;

- increase of capacities and optimal specialization of Far Eastern seaports to ensure increasing volumes of export cargo transportation (grain, coal, container cargo processing), switching of Russian foreign trade cargo from foreign to Russian Far Eastern ports;

- increasing the capacity of existing terminal complexes and creating additional ones, including container terminals;

- further development of logistics and information technologies, the entire transit transport infrastructure in order to accelerate the guaranteed delivery of transit cargo, ensure their safety, and improve the quality of service;

- modernization of the production base of border checkpoints of vehicles, improvement of customs inspection and clearance procedures, bringing them in line with international practice;

- introduction of modern technologies of customs clearance and control of goods and vehicles with the use of electronic logistics support systems.

The Far East, as a subsystem of the national economic system of the Russian Federation, is a key link in Russia's integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region, and its dynamic development is impossible without "embedding" in the transport and transit corridors of adjacent border territories and China, first of all.


If the process of multilateral cooperation in the field of infrastructure integration with the Central Asian SCO member states, and first of all with China, is not launched today, there is a high probability that Russia may be late, and not in such a distant future. The Russian Federation needs a long-term strategy of presence in the Asia-Pacific region, based on the integrated integration of the Russian transport system with the infrastructure network of the PRC, which is a key link in Eurasian transit and is able to ensure the organic integration of the Russian transport network into the Eurasian transit infrastructure.

The implementation of specific proposals for the development of the transport system of the Far Eastern Federal District of the Russian Federation and the formation of new configurations of joint Russian-Chinese cross-border infrastructure integration will increase the level of reliability of transport links between the Russian Federation and the PRC, interest and encourage China to mandatory transit of goods from Asia-Pacific countries to Europe through the territory of the Russian Federation on Russian routes. We should strive to implement joint infrastructure projects and determine the best options for integrating cross-border Russian-Chinese transport cooperation into the emerging paradigm of Eurasian infrastructure integration.,

* Qiqihara is an urban district in the Chinese province of Heilongjiang, the second most important urban district of this province (editor's note).

page 24

without missing out on their own benefits and without compromising their own interests. Russia should seek to expand its transport integration with the Asia-Pacific countries, which would ensure a regional interpretation of its global transit interests and a global interpretation of the regional interests of the Far Eastern Federal District, primarily related to the establishment of the closest transport integration with China.

The leaders of the two neighboring countries demonstrated a positive attitude towards developing comprehensive, mutually beneficial and pragmatic economic cooperation, especially in the field of transport integration, during the three-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow in March 2013 and his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Following the talks, the two heads of state signed a " Joint statement on mutually beneficial cooperation and deepening relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction."

At the same time, the Chinese leader stressed that "China and Russia consider bilateral cooperation as an opportunity for their own development, strive for mutual benefits, stimulate pragmatic cooperation, and turning the advantages of an unprecedented high level of political relations into the fruits of pragmatic cooperation is the future strategic task of the two countries" [7].

Speaking at an international scientific conference dedicated to the problems of economic cooperation between Russia and China in the context of integration into the Asia-Pacific region as a way to develop the Eastern regions of the Russian Federation, Director of the Institute of the Far East of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician M. L. Titarenko noted: "Serious opportunities and prospects, including from the point of view of such a structure-forming industry as rail and road transport. Cooperation in this area is also important because the state of Russian transport routes and the capacity of border crossings are one of the factors that hinder the further development of bilateral trade and economic relations. It seems to us that the intensification of cooperation with China in the field of joint transport construction will give an impetus to the economic development of the regions of the Russian Far East and Siberia, create new jobs, attract Russian and foreign investment, and create conditions for attracting labor from the overpopulated European part of Russia to the region "[8].

* * *

According to experts, the main events of the XXI century will unfold between the Western European and Asia-Pacific poles of economic and technological development from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, where the longest zone of international business activity has been formed. If the priority in ensuring trade relations between Western Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the United States remains with sea transport, then the role of transcontinental communications will increase in Eurasia.

A significant increase in freight traffic is expected, which is due not only to an increase in trade turnover, but also to deconcentration of industrial production due to the merger of national companies into international corporations and the development of assembly facilities in third countries. As a result, the role of transport in the production and technological cycle is increasing.

The role of different modes of transport in cargo transportation is changing depending on the distance. In Western Europe, the share of road transport in the total volume of traffic is traditionally high. However, transcontinental routes will be dominated by rail transport, especially in the context of increasing volumes of container and piggyback traffic. An important argument in favor of rail transport is also the environmental factor.

Under these conditions, the Eurasian transport corridor, in addition to being purely economic, is also acquiring the most important geopolitical significance. This is what determines the attention that Russia and China pay to developing cooperation in this area.

1. Ishaev V. I. Region of hope / / Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. September 2012. N 3 (24). P. 8.

2. Parliamentary hearings: "The Europe-Russia-Asia-Pacific International Transport Corridor as a space for business innovation. Commission of the Federation Council on Natural Monopolies, Moscow, 2011, pp. 25-29.

3. Zhou Jie. An Analysis of the Prospect of Russia's Far East Development Strategy // International Strategic Studies (Гоцзи чжаньлюэ яньцзю). 2012, N 4, Serial No. 106. P. 64.

4. Ishaev V. I. Ne dohonyat, a predestat [Not to catch up, but to get ahead]. December 2012. N 4 (25). P. 17.

5. Medvedev approves Far East development program ast/

6. Parliamentary hearings...

7. China and Russia are ushering in a new era of pragmatic cooperation - exclusive/txt/2013 - 03/25/content_ 28351088.htm

8. Titarenko M. L. Ekonomicheskoe vzaimodeystvie Rossii s Kitayem v kontekste integratsii v APR kak put razvitiya vostochnykh regionov RF [Economic interaction of Russia with China in the context of integration in the Asia-Pacific region as a way of development of the Eastern regions of the Russian Federation]. Reports of participants of the International Scientific Conference (Moscow, October 9-10, 2007). Moscow, IDV RAS, 2009, p. 14.


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