The Analytical Center held a round-table on interregional cooperation as an instrument for implementing strategic priorities, during which the experts discussed the current trends, peculiarities and constraints of interregional cooperation and reviewed the experience of various regions in implementing joint projects.
Evgeniy Plisetskiy, Deputy Head of the Department for Regional Policy and Far East Development of the Analytical Center, talked about how interregional cooperation is prioritized in strategic planning documents. "Interregional cooperation is an important factor in the development of industry and social sectors, it can also be the source of investment, the expansion of markets for products produced in the region, policies to expand and strengthen trade, economic, research and cultural links between the regions of Russia," the expert said. The development of interregional economic relations faces a number of challenges. "Hard problems lie in the economic, political and transport geography of Russian regions and the existing imbalances in regional development," Mr. Plisetskiy said. "Soft problems are chaotic development of post soviet interregional cooperation and the vagueness of the Constitution and federal legislation." Meanwhile, there are several forms of interregional cooperation: economic cooperation associations, specialized organizations and agencies, trade, cooperation agreements and investment projects.
The possible ways of organizing cross-border and interregional cooperation named by the expert include agreements on the principles of trade and economic cooperation between two regions and agreements between the governments of two regions on trade, economic, science, technology and cultural cooperation. In addition, according to the expert, it is possible to establish a special purpose agency for international and interregional relations, organize various industry forums including business meetings for entrepreneurs abroad and within the region, assist in the implementation of joint investment projects, including projects in transport and energy.
The Chairman of the executive committee of MA Siberian Consensus Andrey Zhukov talked about the Association of Economic Cooperation. "In accordance with the law the activity of the Association includes interregional integration and socio-economic development of subjects of the Russian Federation, while the main goal of the organization is to provide the necessary conditions for this," the expert said. Mr. Zhukov believes it is necessary to give economic cooperation associations the authority of interregional project management offices.
The event also presented experience in the field of international cooperation between Trans-Baikal Territory and Kaliningrad Region.