The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №3

From Editorial board

Human geography

Economic and Geographical Structure of the Baltic Sea region

Abstract

The Baltic Sea region is one of the most developed transnational regions. It comprises the coastal areas of Russia, Germany, and Poland and the entire territories of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. New spatial forms of international economic cooperation develop in the region. The region is not homogeneous in terms of socioeconomic development, thus there are certain differences in the areas and the intensity of international cooperation. The article sets out to identify structural characteristics of the Baltic Sea region. This requires studying practices of transnational and transboundary cooperation and possibilities for their adoption in other regions of the world. An important characteristic of the Baltic Sea region is a considerable difference between its coastal territories, the fact that affects the development of multilateral relations. This article examines the most pronounced socioeconomic differences that should be taken into account when forecasting cooperation trends in t he region, including those between the Baltic territories of Russia and their international partners.

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Framework for the Analysis of Geography of Transnational Corporations Investments Abroad

Abstract

This article develops a methodology for studying the geography of companies — an area of human geography that remains understudied in Russia. The authors refer to foreign direct investment (FDI) studies to stress the importance of analysing individual transnational corporations. Special attention is paid to FDI statistics, including international statistics provided by IMF, OECD, and UNCTAD, the official data of central banks on FDI destinations, and information on companies’ assets by geographical segments. The article emphasises limitations of classical localisation concepts (e. g. A. Lösch’s theory) and key concepts of transnationalisation (e. g. J. H. Dunning’s ‘eclectic paradigm’, R. Vernon’s ‘product life cycle’, and the ‘flying geese paradigm’ developed by Japanese authors). Dynamic localisation concepts (e. g. the Uppsala model and hierarchical/wave diffusion models) are considered an important contribution to the existing theoretical framework for studying FDI geography. Various patterns of spatial d istribution of FDI are examined taking Russian transboundary investments, including those distorted by the ‘neighbourhood effect’ as an example.

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Land Use Change and Economics of Land Degradation in the Baltic Region

Abstract

In this paper, we adapt a new conceptual framework for the assessment of the economics of land degradation and sustainable land management to the Baltic region. The findings show that the problem of land degradation in the countries of the region is quite substantial, manifesting itself through reductions in the provision of land ecosystem services. Using a benefit transfer approach, the total economic value of these losses due to land degradation is estimated to be about 9 billion USD annually. On the other hand, we find that every dollar invested into restoring the degraded land ecosystems may return about 3 dollars in social gains after a 6-year period following the re-establishment of the higher value biome, making actions to address land degradation in the region both environmentally valuable and economically attractive.

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Development of Sea Port in Gdynia

Abstract

Seaports operate on a highly competitive global transport market. To retain its competitive position a port (terminal) must strengthen its competitive advantages in all fields of activity. Ports are to expand and modernize their infrastructure and superstructure, and develop links with the hinterland and the foreland. The article describes how the port of Gdynia manages to meet these challenges. The author analyses the period 2007—2015. Special attention is paid to the port development plan for 2020. The EU Structural Funds has provided a good opportunity to strengthen the competitive position of the port by making investments in the port infrastructure and superstructure. It allowed the port to strengthen its links with the hinterland. The author uses a set of fundamental, analytical and technical research methods to analyse materials provided by the port authority and the port terminal operators. By the end of 2015, the port authority had completed five investment projects, including the modernization of th ree wharfs and a rail terminal, the development of the port infrastructure aimed to provide services to ro-ro ships. Strategically important projects for the coming years include dredging and widening of the port channel, fairways and the internal basin. Cooperation between the port and the city authorities allowed the port administration to improve road access to the port of Gdynia. The key investment project aims to link the port of Gdynia to the TriCity ring road. Apart from it, there are plans to improve access to the railroad network. Railway line 201 to Bydgoszcz is to be modernised to transport cargoes from Gdynia further inland. The current and future strategic investments create conditions for growth in handling both container and other types of cargo in the port of Gdynia and significantly improve competitiveness of the maritime sector.

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Geography of European Migration

Abstract

In recent decades, the role of international migration has increased dramatically in most European countries. The growth in migration has made some authors proclaim the beginning of a second Migration Period that could transform the social and cultural identity of Europe. The article presents an analysis of international migration geography in Europe in the last twenty-five years. The authors identify the main trends in migration, provide migration profiles of European countries, and propose a classification based on the recent changes in the migrant stock. Changes in the migrant stock (total emigration and immigration) reflect the level of involvement in international and global processes. They can serve as an indicator of a country’s attractiveness for both foreigners and the country’s citizens. The study shows that European countries are increasingly split into ‘immigrant’ and ‘emigrant’ states. The authors describe spatial patterns of migration. The volume and localisation of migration flows in Europe are affected not only by cultural and historical circumstance, such as a colonial past or a common language. The scale of immigrant influx often does not depend on a donor country’s demographic potential or the level of its socio-economic development. The links between the place of origin and destination are often more complex than it might initially seem. The authors stress the importance of a differentiated immigration policy taking into account ethnic and cultural features of host societies.

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Trade Liberalisation and its Impact on Regional Development: Theoretical and Experimental Studies

Abstract

The existing theoretical and empirical literature focusing on interconnections between international trade, trade liberalisation, and economic development provides ample evidence pertaining to nations and industries. However, another dimension of trade liberalisation — the assessment of the level of national or regional development — needs further research. This article sets out to analyse theoretical and empirical research works focusing on a varied spatial effect of expanding international trade on national economies and identifies factors affecting regional development. Firstly, it is established that expanding international trade is a more important source of growth for the regions of developing countries than for those of developed ones. Secondly, in terms of the regional impact of liberalisation, expanding trade has the most positive effect on border regions and those associated with lower cost of access to international markets. Thirdly, the analysis of regions having different industrial specialisatio n suggests that expanding international trade contributes to higher growth rates in the regions, having globally competitive national industries. The conclusions presented in this article can be used for formulating an industrial policy and a regional development policy for both small export-oriented economies, namely, the Baltic Sea states, and larger economies having uneven distribution of production resources.

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Politics

Forecasting Actions of Baltic elites: A Scenario Approach

Abstract

This paper provides an overview of different approaches to forecasting the future of the three Baltic States. The author’s theoretical approach to studying Baltic elites is used to forecast changes in the action models of the Baltic elites. The article stresses the scarcity of internal political processes in the Baltics. However, a significant number of scenarios focusing on military aspects in the Baltics have recently been published. The author distinguishes between inertia, confrontation, and cooperation scenarios and examines their prerequisites and possible consequences. The scenarios are developed based on an analysis of geographic, economic, and political factors. The decisive factor is a state-controlled foreign policy, which is affected by the international situation as well as relations between the state and the external resources exploited by political elites. The paper contributes to the general debate about the factors of political development and the role of political elites in it. The author pr ovides additional material for analysing possible developments in the domestic policies of the Baltic States in view of external factors.

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Tourism

Problems and Prospects of Cross-Border Cooperation in Tourism between Russia and Europe

Abstract

The relevance of this research is related to the increasing role of tourism in the world in general and in border areas in particular. This article sets out to identify the problems and prospects of the development of cross-border cooperation in tourism between Russia and European countries. The authors focus on the scientific and theoretical aspects of cross-border cooperation and examine the role of tourism, and recreational potential and its effective use. The authors employ the methods of expert judgement and statistical analysis, refer to the surveys of Russian and European consumers showing their preferences, as well as to the authors’ own materials. The analysis makes it possible to have a deeper insight into the issue of cross-border cooperation in tourism between Russia and European countries and to assess the prospects of it. The authors provide an assessment of changes in the socio-economic relations between Russia and European countries and identify key problems in the development of cross-border cooperation in tourism. These problems relate to both macroeconomic and regional/industrial factors. The article is of interest for researchers studying cross-border tourism, the regional and local administrations of border areas of Russia and European countries, and representatives of the tourism business.

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The Role of Tourism in the Development of Russia’s Northwestern Border Regions

Abstract

This article examines the development of tourism and recreation in the border regions of Russia’s North-West as a new promising area of regional growth. The unique natural, historical, and cultural resources, nature, and a favourable economic and geographical position are basic prerequisites for the development of tourism in the region. Historically, the barriers of state borders hampered the development of tourism; and tourism was seen as an activity bringing no economic benefits to regions since most Soviet citizens travelled as beneficiaries of social programmes. This article aims to research prospects of tourism and recreation development of Russia’s northwestern border regions. The author analyses statistical and analytical data and does the content analysis of regional strategies for tourism and socioeconomic development. A number of statistical methods, namely, the regression and the time series ones are used to give a deeper insight into the problem. The article explores the practices of tourism and recreation development in a historical perspective and examines the effect of barrier and contact functions of state borders on tourism. Particular attention is paid to tourism development in the border regions of Russia’s North-West. The author evaluates the development of tourism and recreation in the border regions of northwestern Russia at the beginning of the 21st century. The article identifies factors hindering tourism development and suggests measures to stimulate tourism as a regional economic activity.

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