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Russia’s Far East poised to become a 21st-century Silicon Valley

The development of Russia’s resource-rich Far East, which is often compared with the US’ California in terms of innovation and investor interest, is going to turn the region into a global financial hub.

(RT) That’s according to Alexey Chekunkov, Russia's Far East and Arctic Development Minister, who talked to RT on Thursday on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum. “I have heard comparisons between Vladivostok and San Francisco, not least thanks to the most beautiful and longest suspension bridge in the world, connecting Russky Island to Vladivostok,” he said, adding: “Yes indeed, in a way we are California because we do have our Klondike – the Far East, which is responsible for almost half of Russia’s gold production.”

According to the minister, the region is also becoming a hot spot for technological development. “By presidential decree, we launched the innovation technology centre on Russky Island which is focusing on the traditional strengths of the Russian Far East, [these] being marine sciences, biotechnology and information technology.”

Chekunkov also pointed out that the Russian Far East, specifically the Primorsky Region and Sakhalin, are very close to Asia, which is the most dynamic economic region in the world.

“So, I think the 21st century indeed is going to see the development of the Russian Far East as the most prosperous and dynamic place in Russia, which I believe is what California meant to the United States,” he said, adding: “This is going to be a global place for international cooperation, open to all partners across the world.”

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