Once the transportation issue has beenproperly solved, Kaliningrad oblast will enjoy a steady and uninterruptedcommunication with the other regions of Russia, enabling Russian manufacturersto access the most important international transportation routes, thus reducingthe hard currency component in their transportation costs. In order for thisgoal to be achieved, it is necessary:
to agree on the tariffs for transit transportation of goods to andfrom Kaliningrad oblast given Lithuania’s switchover to the EU norms andprocedures;
see to it that the rates for rail transportation of goods fromRussia to Kaliningrad and back to Russia are not higher than those used in themain territory of Russia;
find ways to compensate for additional costs associated withtransit of goods and passengers to (from) Kaliningrad oblast via foreigncountries; and
build motorways and integrate them into the European network oftransport routes.
2. To ensure an effective and efficientperformance of fuel and power sectors in the region’s economy.
Kaliningrad oblast relies almost fully onenergy and power supplies from outside the region.
Kaliningrad oblasts’ energy security is seriouslyaffected by the fact that the region is not directly connected with the Russianfuel and power supply system and the Baltic states intend to synchronize theirpower plants with the power grid of the European Union as they becomeeventually full members thereof.
The situation is further aggravated by thefact that no long-term agreements have been reached between Kaliningrad oblastand Lithuania and Belarus concerning the transit of power for consumers inKaliningrad oblast, which circumstance can lead to complete isolation of theregion from the power supply system of the rest of Russia.
To solve the aforesaid problem, it isnecessary to build and put into operation KaliningradTETs-2, or a base steam power plant (the first lineincluding a 450 MWtt power generating unit is scheduled for commissioning in2005, while the time frame for the commissioning of the second unit is yet tobe decided), to upgrade KaliningradTETs-1 and other operating power supply units, tomodernize the operating gas pipeline and, if necessary, to build a new gaspipeline in Kaliningrad oblast.
It is also advisable to define the tariff policy vis-à-vis fuel and powerdelivery to the oblast and the procedure forreimbursement of supplementary costs resulting from the region’s being an enclave.
3. Further improvement of communications andtelecommunications systems in Kaliningrad oblast.
Thanks to its specific geographic position,Kaliningrad has all the chances become a large communications andtelecommunications center that will connect not only Russia and Europe but alsoa number of Baltic countries. In order for this to happen, sufficientlypowerful communications systems with high throughput capacity must be put inplace here, thus ensuring provision of high quality services using a full rangeof the most advanced technological solutions.
The Program envisages a series of toppriority measures, including the laying of fiber-optic communications lines,the building of a modern radio and television transmission station, and alsodevelopment of telephone communications facilities.
4. Promoting further development of tourismand recreational sector shall be one of the most powerful tools to be used inbringing structural changes to the region’s economy.
In its policy regarding tourism and recreation in Kaliningradoblast, the state shall aim at creating and developing a competitive touristand recreational sector.
This goal can be achieved by:
Improving the legal framework regulating the tourist andrecreational sector;
Developing interregional and international cooperation in thefield;
Promoting further development and improvement of the infrastructurefor tourism;
Putting in place a modern information support system for the needsof the tourist and recreational sector, including by introducing, on a largescale, new information technologies, by conducting an aggressive advertisementcampaign in order to promote Kaliningrad oblast’s tourist products bothdomestically and internationally;
Further improving the training, retraining and professionaldevelopment / rehabilitation system in the region to meet the staffrequirements in the sector.
When implemented, the above measure willmake it possible to switch from a fragmentary approach over to an integratedapproach to the issue of tourism and recreational sector development in theregion.
A sustainably growing sector of tourism andrecreation will stimulate trade, construction business, transport,manufacturing sector, farming, as well as cultural development. All this willhelp inject new financial resources into the region’s economy, provide jobs for mostof the population, and also boost up demand for passenger transportationservices and goods produced by local manufacturers.
5. Environmental issues.
Realization of all necessary activitiesrelated to Russia’scommitments under international conventions (the Helsinki Convention on theProtection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area and Creation of theBaltic Coast Protection System) and international agreements relevant to theissue of environmental protection.
With a view to improving the ecologicalsituation and meeting international standards in relation to indicatorscharacterizing the state of the environment, it is necessary to build, withinthe shortest possible time, water purification facilities, water supply andsewage systems in towns around the oblast, industrial and domestic wastessalvaging and recycling centers, to set up in town and villages modernprotection systems against floods and inundations, and to reinforce the coastof the Baltic sea.
Creation of a recycling and renovationcenter for special hardware and man-made wastes will also contribute to theimprovement of the ecological situation in Kaliningrad oblast and reduce thelikelihood of emergencies.
In order to raise funds necessary forimplementation of the above environmental protection measures it will benecessary to include Kaliningrad oblast in the relevant international Programs,particularly those being conducted under the aegis of the European Union,considering the impact made by cross-border transfer of pollutants from WesternEurope to Kaliningrad oblast.
6. Social Issues.
Living conditions, state of health,population’seducational, professional and cultural levels, the overall demographicsituation and the state of the social welfare system – all these factors have a directbearing on political stability in the region and local consumers’ sentiments, and therefore have adirect impact on how Russia’s interests are promoted in the region.
Social unrest in Kaliningrad oblast iscaused mainly by the region’s remoteness and isolation.
Starting from 2002 onward, the issue ofproviding participants in recovery operations following the disaster at theChernobyl NPP, and also some other categories of citizens who are subject tothe Federal Law On Social Protection of Citizens who were Exposed to RadiationFollowing the Chernobyl NPP Disaster with housing, will be addressed under“Provision of Housing for Participants in Radiation Accidents and DisastersRecovery Operations” program which is a sub-Program to the Federal SpecialPurpose Program “Housing”.
One of the still unresolved issues is thehousing of military service people on active duty and military retirees. Thecrisis in this area has a negative effect on combat readiness of the ArmedForces of the Russian Federation, and causes qualified personnel to quit themilitary service.
To gradually provide military service peoplewith housing and to defuse social tension in the region, over 5 thousand flatsmust be commissioned every year.
7. Science and innovativetechnologies.
The policy in the area of science andinnovative technologies is centered around a system that needs to be put inplace to make it possible, within the shortest period of time, to mosteffectively use the region’s intellectual and scientific potential for productionpurposes.
Further development of science andinnovative technologies is aimed at putting to a maximum use the existingpersonnel and production capabilities and to increase employment figures in theregion. Below are the top priority tasks in this field:
To set necessary conditions for the development of a moderninnovative infrastructure to make a full use of research and developmentactivities and their fruits;
To establish proper mechanisms and incentive for a rapid growth ofinnovative firms operating on the area of commercialization of newtechnologies;
To train managers with an innovative thinking for the sphere ofscience, technology and high-tech industries;
To set up a well-balanced and innovation-assimilating economy inKaliningrad oblast with a view to raising competitiveness of its products andtechnological level of production facilities, ensuring substitution of importswith domestic products;
To encourage scientific and technological innovations, to stimulateproduction of socially important and export-oriented goods;
To develop a Program for organizational restructuring,rehabilitation and reorientation of existing companies in keeping with therequirements and priority tasks set forth in this Program;
To increase competitiveness of domestic manufacturers, with aspecial focus made on the industries with a high share of valueadded;
To develop proposals aimed at improving performance of industrialorganizations through the use of new technologies and science-intensiveproductions;
To upgrade fishing and seafood-processing companies;
To further develop integration processes in the scientific,academic and educational spheres;
To expand the range of information related services, to develop newmanufacturing technologies.
8. Improvement of investment climate andbusiness environment.
In order to secure her state and federalinterests in the region, Russia must use all the positive opportunities for amutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the European Union. In orderfor the Special Economic Zone in Kaliningrad Oblast to perform efficientlyagainst the background of the EU expansion, the following preconditions shouldbe met:
а) the region’s investment climate beimproved.
The following measures need to betaken:
Favorable conditions be created for entrepreneurial activities;
Infrastructure and town-planning related issued be addressed:transportation systems, fuel and power supply systems, social insurance andprotection systems;
Performance of the Special Economic Zone be improved;
A friendly visa regime be set up for residents of KaliningradOblast and foreigners alike;
A special insurance police be underwritten by an internationallyacknowledged insurance company ready to underwrite insurance for the risks ofinvestors operating in the Special Economic Zone;
The above tasks can be solved through international negotiations.
b) Favorable conditions be established foreconomic active entities to make use of their spirit of free enterprise andoperate successfully.
The task of stimulating small businessesrequires that measures be taken to set all necessary legal, organizational andeconomic preconditions and to offer the maximum of stimuli for SME’s to grow and intensify theirmanufacturing, investment and innovation activities.
In order for this goal to be attained, thefollowing measures are being proposed:
Setting up a monitoring system to keep track of all SME’s and theirperformance;
Seeing to it that necessary personnel is trained and retrained forsmall businesses;
Creating and developing a regional innovation and technology center(Technopark);
Developing, implementing and supporting a series of integrationinitiatives as part of interregional and international cooperation Programs bymeans of providing specialized services to SME’s through a network ofinformation-processing and analysis centers, think tanks, expert teams, andconsulting firms.
To this end, it is necessary to create andfield-test a new legislative and normative framework allowing the state toregulate the market in relation to the following issues:
Lowering barriers to the market entry;
Introducing a new registration system for juridical persons andsetting up a monitoring system for all entrepreneurial activities;
Removing technical obstacles to manufacturing processes and trade,increasing efficiency and performance of the existing certificationsystem;
Easing inefficient and excessive administrative regulation ofentrepreneurial activities;
Lowering investors’ compliance costs when their investment projects are agreed uponand carried out.
In order for the above issued to be adequately addressed,well-coordinated efforts are needed on the side of federal and regional bodiesof government;
c) A special focus be made on exploiting export capabilities andinsuring import substitution.
To this end, it is necessary to make theregion appealing to investors who will be interested in setting up newstart-ups and expanding existing businesses, with their products being soldboth domestically and internationally. The availability of productionfacilities and highly qualified labor resources makes it advisable to encouragecompetitive businesses that are not typical of the region. The following twovectors are seen as the most promising ones in this respect:
setting up and developing assembly lines for automobiles andmotorcycles, personal computers, modern sophisticated home appliances and otherhi-tech intensive goods through the use of foreign components, outsourced rawmaterials and semi-manufactures; and
setting up enterprises to fine-tune and prepare for consecutiveexport the goods produced in other regions of the RF.
Such measures will help to structurallyreform the region’seconomic system, strengthen its economic potential,increase its robustness vis-à-vis externalities;
d) The infrastructure for foreign trade beupgraded and developed.
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