Foreign economic relations of constituent entities of the Russian Federation
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the presentation of the Kemerovo Region - Kuzbass, Moscow, March 12, 2020
Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you for accepting our invitation to participate in a presentation of a Russian region – this time, the Kemerovo Region - Kuzbass. I would also like to welcome the representatives of federal and regional ministries and agencies, the diplomatic corps, Russian and foreign businesses, and the media.
The rich history of this region dates back to the time of Peter the Great, when industrial development began in the region. Kuzbass acquired strategic importance during World War II when it was the main supplier of coal and metal for the production of weapons and military equipment.
I know that today you will be able to see firsthand that the Kemerovo Region is a dynamically developing entity of the Russian Federation that makes a major contribution to the entire country’s economic growth. Although greatly supported by its convenient geographical location and a wealth of natural resources, this growth is largely the result of the consistent efforts of the region’s leaders to provide for its comprehensive modernisation and, of course, the efforts of the wonderful people living there.
The region is known for its minerals and its modern facilities for extracting and processing minerals. The most famous is the Kuznetsk coal basin, one of the world’s largest coal deposits. About 70 percent of all Russian coal reserves are concentrated in its soil; Kuzbass distributes coal to the Russian market as well as to dozens of countries in Asia and Europe.
The Kemerovo Region firmly holds a leading position in the production of metallurgy, in mechanical engineering, and in food processing. Growing dynamics can also be observed in agriculture, trade and services. I know the governor and members of his team will tell you more about it today.
A well-developed transport system is also one of the region’s strengths, including an extensive railway network with a link to Russia’s main railway corridor, the Trans-Siberian Railway, and the Siberia federal motorway. There are also two international airports, in Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk.
The regional government focuses on creating favourable conditions for doing business, for attracting foreign investment, improving employment, and the quality of life. There are four territories of priority social and economic development there – Anzhero-Sudzhensk, Novokuznetsk, Prokopyevsk, and Yurga. Several industrial clusters are being developed successfully – agri-industrial, biomedical, tourism and recreation, and coal chemical centres.
Efforts are being made to strengthen the region’s research potential. Given its most developed industries, the main emphasis is being made on the development and implementation of advanced technologies in the production of solid minerals, reducing impact on the environment, and increasing the level of safety and production efficiency.
We would like to specifically point out the successful progress in the region’s external relations, primarily in economic projects. The Kemerovo Region’s biggest trading partners include countries in both Asia and Europe. For many years, large foreign companies have been operating here successfully, and joint business projects have been implemented. The region has signed six agreements with foreign provinces.
Kuzbass is an integral part of Russia’s cultural and historical heritage, being the homeland of many prominent writers, scientists, public figures, and military leaders such as astronaut Alexey Leonov, the first man to take a spacewalk, the outstanding Russian physicist Sergey Korovin, and renowned Russian writer Viktor Likhonosov.
The Mountain Shoria economic preferential treatment zone for tourism and recreation is operating quite successfully. Its Sheregesh ski resort attracts tourists and athletes from around Russia and from abroad. The local natural highlights are rich in unique landmarks such as the rock pillars Spassky Palace and Alguy Tremolite, the Rocky Mountain Canyon and many others.
I am confident that the participants in today’s event will become interested in getting to know the multifaceted potential of Kuzbass, its glorious history, and rich cultural traditions.
And, of course, I cannot fail to congratulate Kemerovo residents on the excellent performance of your volleyball team yesterday. Congratulations on a well-deserved victory! We were enthusiastically rooting for you. In conclusion, I would like to wish Governor Sergey Tsivilev and his team, and all residents of the region all the best.