Attending the meeting were head of the State Council working group, Astrakhan Region Governor Alexander Zhilkin, Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Lev Kuznetsov, Deputy Transport Minister and Director of the Federal Agency for Sea and River Transport Viktor Olersky as well as representatives of federal and regional executive bodies, the Federal Assembly, public organisations, and the expert community.
The participants noted that given the dynamic development of global maritime trade, the economic potential of the Volga-Caspian region’s entities was not growing fast enough. Cargo volumes in Russian ports have decreased and opportunities for trade expansion are not used to the full extent.
The meeting participants believe this situation is caused by the fact that there is no transport and transit cargo route from Russia via the Caspian Sea that could compete in time and cost; the economic potential of Russia’s ice-free deep waters is not being used in full; there are no up to date port and logistics capacities; state border checkpoints must be updated; proper conditions for water tourism have not been created. In addition, the growth potential of industrial and agro-industrial production to fulfil Russia’s growing needs as well as the need of international partners is not being realised in full.
The officials discussed ways to overcome the existing obstacles to the development of economic potential of the Russian constituent entities in the Volga-Caspian region.