Interactive map of the Far Eastern Federal District
The East of Russia is a common name for 12 Russian regions of which 9 form the Far East Federal District (FEFD). These include the Amur region, Jewish Autonomous Region, Kamchatka, Magadan region, Primorsky region, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Sakhalin region, Khabarovsk region, Chukotka Autonomous Region. Total area of the FEFD is 6,169.3 thou sq. km or about 36% of Russia’s entire territory. What’s more, Trans-Baikal region, Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia (Baikal region) are considered another part of this macro-region.
In his address to the Federal Assembly Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned the upturn of Siberia and Far East as Russia’s priority for the entire XXI century. At the present time unprecedented conditions have been created in the macro-region for the attraction of Russian and foreign investments to industrial and infrastructure projects. Under way is a large-scale programme for creating priority social and economic development areas (special economic zones) with tax breaks for their residents. On the instructions of the Russian President Vladivostok was granted the free port status with an attractive lax customs and tax regime. An exceptional geographic feature of the macro-region is its immediate proximity to fast-growing Asian markets. Russia’s Far East has a common 4,209-km border with China. Another close neighbor of Russia in the Far East is Japan. The aggregate GDP of these two nations is estimated at $15 trillion.
The unique geography makes the Russian Far East a strategically important connecting link between Western Europe, North America and Asia. Its infrastructure is based upon he Trans-Siberian Railroad (the world’s longest railway with the extension of 9,298.2 km), Northern Seaway (a marine shortcut between Europe and the Pacific region) as well as Far-Eastern seaports. The Far East is the national treasury of mineral resources, the storehouse of richest reserves: diamond and gold deposits as well as the deposits of precious metals, copper, coal and rare-earth metals. The offshore waters are rich in natural gas and oil. The Far East accounts for about a fourth of Russia’s commercial timber reserves. FEFD ranks first in Russia in terms of fish and seafood harvesting: more than half of all Russian fish and seafood is harvested in offshore Pacific.
The natural and climatic conditions in each region of the Russian Far East are unique and contrasting because of the huge territorial extension from north to south (almost 4,500 km) and from west to east (2,500-3,000 km). This in itself creates broad opportunities for agriculture, fishing and tourism development – both inbound and outbound tourism (with more than 400 million people residing in a 1,000-km radius of Vladivostok). Basic infrastructure for the reception of tourists arriving by various kinds of transport has been created in prospective tourist centers (Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky).