Issue № 1



Doctor of Economic Sciences,
advisor at the university administration, scientific director of the Institute for Northern European Studies,
Petrozavodsk State University,
Petrozavodsk, Russia,
Ключевые слова:
international relations
foreign economic relations
Republic of Karelia
Аннотация: By 2005, the Republic of Karelia has reduced the gap in the levels of socio-economic development and people's living standards in comparison with the neighboring territories of Finland. After 2006, the Republic began to noticeably lag behind in terms of socio-economic development from neighboring subjects of the Russian North-West. The main reasons for the lag were the deterioration of the business climate and miscalculations in strategic planning, in particular, the rejection of medium-term planning for international and foreign economic activities. Karelia, faced with new external challenges and overcoming internal problems associated with a decline in the competitiveness of the region over the past 12 years, must take decisive measures. We are talking about the urgent need to improve the business climate, support medium and small businesses and create a comfortable environment for foreign economic activity. It should be noted that the Republic of Karelia, despite its border position, has more than modest results in the export of services. In general, in the Russian Federation, exports of services are noticeably lagging behind in their development compared with the highly developed countries of Northern Europe. According to the Statistical Center of Finland, the ratio of exports of services and exports of goods, for example, in Finland in 2017 was 38%, and in our country, according to the Bank of Russia, only 17%. Against this background, the corresponding figure of Karelia — 2%, speaks for itself. There is a real potential for priority development in the service sector, especially in transport, in international tourism, in the field of information and communication technologies and educational services in Karelia. This requires creating a favorable business climate in the Republic, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, to achieve concerted actions of the business community, the Government of the Republic of Karelia, heads of cities and districts, and public organizations. Over the past two years, much has been done in this direction. The systematic dialogue of the republican authorities and the business community in the region, the tangible reduction of electricity tariffs, and the desire to reduce administrative pressure on business inspire optimism. In our opinion, the Government of the Republic could use the own experience of regional marketing of Karelia in Russia and abroad, gained in the 1990s — the beginning of the 2000s, which has not lost its relevance today, and also use the elements of modern regional marketing acceptable for us, used by Tatarstan, Leningrad, Kaluga regions and a number of other subjects of the Russian Federation. The initiative of the Government of the Republic of Karelia to create a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the border village of Värtsilä deserves attention. At the same time, having publicly announced this initiative in the spring of 2018 and having aroused the interest of domestic and foreign potential partners, its authors have not yet decided on the concept and type of SEZ, and have not coordinated organizational, administrative and administrative issues with the federal center. In our opinion, it would be worthwhile to think about creating a compact unit in the economic bloc of the Government of the Republic of Karelia (maybe a committee or department within the Ministry of Economic Development and Industry of the Republic of Karelia), professionally dealing with a set of issues of inter-regional, international and foreign economic relations of the Republic with inviting a few well trained specialists — regional economists, lawyers, engineers with experience in the real sector of the economy. This unit will, based on the analysis of the socio-economic development of the Republic of Karelia, interregional, international and foreign economic relations of the Republic, proposals of the leaders of the regional business community and potential external partners, develop proposals for the medium-term strategy of foreign economic activity of the Republic of Karelia, promote priority project initiatives and joint projects for Karelia, make proposals to the Government to improve the business climate and implement activities for regional marketing of the Republic. In any case, we proceed from the fact that in our country in the foreseeable future, inter-regional competition for qualified personnel, domestic and foreign investments, and the localization of progressive technologies will increase. Almost all the subjects of the Federation (including border ones) solve similar problems. Therefore, for the Republic of Karelia, given its neighborhood with the dynamically developing St. Petersburg, Leningrad and Murmansk regions, as well as with one of the most highly developed European countries — Finland, it is crucially important to use its competitive advantages and propose new ideas and project initiatives.

© Petrozavodsk State University

Is passed for the press: 29 december 2018 year

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