New Delhi, September, 2022.

Several events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023 were held during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on 5–8 September. The event participants discussed various issues concerning the development of healthcare, the economy, creative industries, as well as ways to attract investment to the region. The chairmanship events are organized by the Roscongress Foundation.

“Holding events devoted to the Arctic agenda at such large-scale events as the Eastern Economic Forum is an important stage in the region’s development. Thanks to the discussions at the EEF2022, we managed to increase the number of business representatives interested in various projects in this region. Russia’s Arctic zone can only be developed with extensive cooperation between the state, the business community, and various organizations and entities. We will definitely continue to help draw attention to the Russian Arctic at various business and cultural platforms,” said Anton Kobyakov, Adviser to the Russian President and Executive Secretary of the EEF Organizing Committee.

One of the key events of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council at the EEF 2022 was the business breakfast conference ‘Investment and Trade in the Arctic’. The participants discussed the operation of both preferential regimes in the Far East (advanced special economic zones and the Free Port of Vladivostok) and the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation regime that has been specially developed for the Far North. Experts from leading Russian companies and specialized agencies also considered the prospects for Russia’s cooperation with foreign partners in the Arctic and opportunities for developing the Northern Sea Route while building new logistics chains.

“The development of Arctic infrastructure as a whole and the Northern Sea Route in particular is one of the global challenges facing our country. Another equally important goal is to attract citizens to the region and get them involved in improving various areas of life in the Arctic. The Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East will not only continue to improve the mechanisms for supporting the inhabitants of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, but will also provide all the conditions needed for the sustainable development of the Indigenous peoples of the North,” Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic Alexey Chekunkov said.

At the conference ‘Creating a Healthy Society in the Far East and Arctic’, experts from specialized companies and agencies discussed ways to preserve children’s and family health, improve the demographic situation in Russia, and alter people’s destructive behavioural patterns that lead to a large proportion of deaths in the country among working age people aged 40 to 60. One of the themes of the event was the role of women in implementing public projects to promote a healthy lifestyle in remote areas. The conference participants also discussed such issues as the quality, accessibility, and safety of medical care.

A meeting of the Arctic Economic Council, which Russia is also chairing in 2021–2023, addressed key aspects of cooperation with partners from Asia, including the development of transportation along the Northern Sea Route, energy, and mining.

Another significant part of the Arctic agenda at the EEF2022 was the Creative Business Forum ‘Socio cultural Development of the Northern Regions’, which was initiated as part of Russia’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The main themes of the Forum’s business programme were the sociocultural development of the northern regions and promising creative industries in the region. In particular, discussions at the Forum’s sessions touched upon the specifics of developing northern cities, industrial Arctic design, the traditions of Indigenous peoples, tourism, the impact of technology on the life in the North, the regional film and animation industry, and national cuisine. Other sessions focused on social aspects of supporting youth and Indigenous peoples.

The ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ Youth Multimedia and Discussion Campus was organized as part of the Creative Business Forum, with the support of the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and the Arctic, and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District – Yugra. The campus had a youth press centre,presented various multimedia projects and an interactive map, and hosted master classes on making amulets, national dolls, wood and bone carving, and the processing of leather and birch bark. Public talks with representatives of the creative sector were held in the discussion zone. In addition, during the pilot ‘Soul of Russia. The North’ Audiovisual Culture Festival, EEF participants took in the modern cultural achievements of northern regions and learned about centuries-old traditions and the epos of the Indigenous peoples of the North as interpreted by young and prominent artists.

The Creative Business Forum sessions held outside of the business programme took place at the ‘Far East Street’ exhibition in the House of Indigenous Peoples pavilion – a new platform dedicated to the culture of the Indigenous peoples of the North. The session participants discussed fundamentals of networking, ethno-cultural heritage, and ESG trends in the context of the sustainable development of Indigenous peoples.

The EEF also continued the Arctic theme with sessions of the analytical project ‘Think Arctic – Think Global’, which was implemented as part of Russia’s chairmanship. The discussion touched upon various ways to develop cooperation between different countries in the Arctic given the current situation in the world. “This year, the Eastern Economic Forum was held under the motto ‘The Path to a Multipolar World’. The discussions about international issues that took place during the Forum helped to outline specific ways to develop cooperation with countries of the Asia-Pacific region in various sectors, including as part of the environmental agenda, energy, and shipping. Russia is ready to intensify full-scale cooperation with all states that share our approaches to the sustainable development of the Arctic,” said Nikolay Korchunov, Ambassador-at-Large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials.