About the Region

Foreign economic activity

Beyond any doubt, territories adjacent to Lake Baikal and the Far East of Russia have a special role in matters of economic interaction between Russia and APR countries, since this macroregion possesses every prerequisite to become the link between the key global centers of economic development. Main counterparts of the region's foreign trade include: China, Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Germany in the list account for over 75% of total foreign trade turnover of Irkutsk region.

Development of foreign trade

Development of foreign trade activity in Irkutsk region is regulated by federal legislation, in particular, by the following:

  1. Federal Law "On Fundamentals of State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activity" No.164-FZ dated 08.12.2003.
  2. Federal Law "On Coordination of International Foreign Trade Relations of Regions of the Russian Federation" No.4-FZ dated 04.01.1999.
  3. Resolution of the Governor of Irkutsk region "On Organization of Implementation of International and Foreign Trade Relations of Irkutsk Region by Executive Bodies of State Power in Irkutsk Region" No.365-p dated 14.08.2007.

Cooperation with PRC

Cooperation between Irkutsk region and the PRC is following a traditionally dynamic path, primarily thanks to advantageous geographic position of Irkutsk region. Since 2001, China has been holding the first place among foreign trade partners of Irkutsk region.  Over the last five years, aggregate amount of investments reached 272.08 mln. USD.

Irkutsk region and the PRC actively exchange delegations at the level of Irkutsk region Government and governmental / regional delegations from the PRC. Guests from China traditionally participate in thematic international exhibitions and forums conducted in Irkutsk region. It is important to underline the projects related to creation of high-tech wood processing facilities, production and bottling of Baikal and artesian water of supreme category, as well as other innovative and knowledge-intensive developments.  Part of these projects are already underway.

In particular, the wood-processing complex project in Magistralniy settlement of Irkutsk region being development by LLC "Eurasia - Lespromgroup" is a priority investment project in wood resources development area. Implementation of this project involves construction of a wood harvesting/processing complex to produce dry sawn wood products at the rate of 400,000 m3/year, with total amount of investments at 2 bln. rubles. 75% of total required investments have been obtained at present.  When the project reaches its full capacity, it will create 850 new jobs.

 Cooperation with Japan

Throughout many years, Japan remained one of the leaders in cooperation between Irkutsk region and foreign counties, while at present, it is the second most significant trade partner of the region. Foreign trade with Japan accounts for 20% of total regional goods turnover.  Aggregate investments over the last few years amounted to 2.58 mln. USD.

An example of successful cooperation is the Russian-Japanese engineering enterprise "Enerprom-Mikuni", which was incorporated by the Russian mechanical engineering Holding Company "Corporation Enerprom" and the Japanese engineering firm "Mikuni Kikai Koge", under the auspices of the Japanese Association on Trade with Russia and the Eastern Europe (ROTOBO), and with support of the Administration of Irkutsk region.

In 2009, the Japanese National Corporation of Oil, Gas and Metals (JOGMEC) and LLC "Irkutsk Oil Company" created two joint ventures - CJSC "INK-Sever" and CJSC "INK-Zapad" in order to implement joint projects of hydrocarbons exploration in northern petroleum fields of Irkutsk region.

In addition to the above, numerous enterprises operate in the region in the area of supply of Japanese-manufactured vehicles and spare parts to the regional market.

Cooperation with the Republic of Korea

Republic of Korea has been traditionally listed among top five foreign trade partners of Irkutsk region, now having the turnover share of 6.2%.  Trade between Irkutsk region and Republic of Korea has been developing dynamically.  Results of the last three years allow the statement that negative consequences of the global economic downturn in mutual trade have been overcome, and a considerable increase of goods turnover value is observed, which surpassed 600 mln. USD in 2012. Traditionally, over 90% of trade turnover is composed by export supply of Irkutsk region producers into the Korean market.

A Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed between the Government of Irkutsk region and the Government of Northern Gyeongsang Province of the Republic of Korea, aimed to promote friendly relations between the regions in economic, social, research, cultural and other domains.

A Protocol of Intent was signed in July 2013 between the Government of Irkutsk region and the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

Cooperation with the USA

A successful example of implementation of joint projects involving foreign capital is the large-scale project of a new kraft-pulp plant undertaken by OJSC "Ilim" Group" in the city of Bratsk. This project titled "Bigger Bratsk" involves construction a state-of-the-art pulp production line with capacity of 720,000 ton of coniferous pulp per year.  Total annual production volume will amount to over 1 mln. ton. Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation recognized the "Bigger Bratsk" project as a priority investment project in wood resources development industry.


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