"If we want to see sustained economic growth in our country we have no choice but to implement new long distance transportation projects at the same scale as the Baikal Amur railway line and the Eastern Testing Ground," said the head of the Analytical Center Vladislav Onishchenko on RBC-TV answering a question about whether transportation corridors can create new points of growth.
Onishchenko: There Can Be No Economic Growth Without Traffic Arteries
He pointed out transportation corridors themselves cannot make a profit for the state, the main benefit that such projects generate comes from the links they create between regions, thus facilitating economic growth across multiple areas of the country. "Without roads and railways it will be impossible to deliver raw materials, industrial and agricultural products from remote regions and ports, and then all talk of exports would have to be forgotten. So if we want to generate sustained long term growth, there is simply no other options than to build new high capacity transportation links," Mr. Onischenko explained.
And according to him, technologies to ensure safe and quality delivery of cargoes along the entire route of travel are just as important as the physical transportation infrastructure. "But then again, simply having a road, an airport, a port or a railway line is not enough, you've got to know how to use all this infrastructure, you need technology for that," Mr. Onischenko pointed out.
According to the expert, the goal is to get deliveries from the country's east to the west in no more than seven days and eliminate all the obstacles that consignors run into today.
"We need to make sure there is physical transport infrastructure in place to carry cargo and also to make sure we have the technology to facilitate deliveries, i.e. we need to link all the processes with each other, such as crossing the border, clearing customs, delivery by rail, dispatch from port etc so as to minimize time in transit," the expert added. "Because at the end of the day the bulk of the problems that exist today can be solved simply by streamlining the existing business processes, without the need to build any new infrastructure."
Mr. Onischenko noted that today the capabilities of Russian transportation links practically aren't being used at all to move cargoes from the Persian Gulf, India and Pakistan to Europe. This can become an important point for growth if logistics are treated the right way.
It should be added that the discussion about the big Baikal Amur transport line and the future of transport corridors was held as part of the commemoration of the 45th anniversary of the Baikal Amur rail link as one of the largest rail links in the world.