The Baltic Region

2017 Vol. 9 № 4

Geography

Approaches to the Definition of the Baltic Sea Region

Abstract

The Baltic Sea region is one of the most developed and well-formed regions of international cooperation. It is a place for promoting collaboration between businesses, non-profits, public authorities, and municipalities of the countries located on the Baltic Sea coast and its adjacent territories. The Baltic Sea region has both unresolved problems and potential for development. This necessitates the identification of the Baltic Sea region territory having a capacity for the efficient development of mutually beneficial intergovernmental and international ties. A thorough overview of research literature, the implementation of international programmes and initiatives of international and intergovernmental organisations, and the application of the method of cartographic analysis have contributed to defining the territory of the Baltic region. The analysis shows three spaces that differ in the effect of the Baltic Sea on their territorial development. This approach proposes three definitions of the Baltic Sea region — a narrow, an extended, and a broad one, each serving a different purpose and being characterised by a different density of internal connections. According to the narrow definition, the region comprises the whole territories of Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and the coastal parts of Russia, Germany, and Poland. The extended definition adds the remaining part of Poland, most Russian and German regions, and Belarus and Norway. The broad definition of the Baltic region incorporates Iceland, some territories of Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

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Transboundary Clusters in the Coastal Zones of the European Part of Russia: Inventory, Typology, Factors, and Prospects

Abstract

This article presents an inventory and a typology of the existing and emerging economic clusters in the coastal zone of the European part of Russia. The authors hold that transboundary clustering takes priority in the Baltic coastal region — nine of the 56 clusters identified are located in the Kaliningrad region and another eight in Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad region. The authors describe major catalysts and immanent inhibitors in coastal zones. The former include a high density of coastal economies, proximity to international markets, and better logistics and communications. The inhibitors comprise geopolitical risks and institutional barriers. It is shown that the potential and prospects of transboundary clustering are affected by both global integration and disintegration patterns, coastal infrastructure, geopolitical and geoeconomic ‘neighbourhood’, cultural excellence, and business and investment environment.

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Economics

Foreign nationals on the Boards of Directors of Russia’s Ten Largest Non-Financial Companies Investing Overseas

Abstract

This author analyses the international membership of the boards of directors of Russia’s ten largest outbound investors. The data used in the study come from the companies’ annual reports and official websites. The information is correct as of February 2017. It is concluded that foreign nationals hold 30 % of board seats in Russia’s ten largest non-financial companies investing abroad. US, British, and German nationals comprise two-thirds of foreign nationals on the boards of directors. Among the 30 foreign holders of board seats, there is only one citizen of China. Women account for five percent of directors in Russia’s ten largest investors overseas. The proportion of female directors in Russia’s 50 largest corporations is similar. This suggests that internationalisation of Russian companies has not improved the chances for women to enter boards of directors.

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Billionaires and Millionaires of the Baltic Sea Region: A Comparative Analysis of National Business Elites

Abstract

Local business elites make a major contribution to the development of the Baltic region’s countries, shaping their present and future. The Baltic business elites are an integral part of the transnational capitalist class — a product of the global economy and the global division of labour. Drawing on a sizeable body of statistics, the author conducts a comparative analysis of the Baltic states’ financial elites. The author considers such characteristics of business elites as their number, total wealth, gender composition, average number of children in their families, geographical distribution, global mobility, industry specialization, a tendency towards oligarchy, and others. Germany’s business elites are strong and are characterized by considerable wealth, a large number of billionaires and millionaires, strong roots in the German society, a high level of female representation, a relatively even geographical distribution, engagement in industrial production and technology, and a weak tendency towards oligarchy. Yet, Germany has a small proportion of self-made and talented business people. The strong points of Russia’s business elite are considerable wealth, relatively young age, and a high proportion of self-made and talented business people. Russia’s business elite is limited in number, has weak roots in the society, a low level of female representation, its hyper-co

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Introducing Sectoral Models into Regional Management: An Assessment of Regulatory Impacts on the Economy

Abstract

Regardless of the geography of regions, management at the regional level, both in Russia and the Baltic Sea countries, faces many challenges. Hence, it is necessary to search for new effective economic management tools, since traditional approaches and modeling practices at the regional level are not suitable for either analysing various types of impact on regional economy (production, market (product), sector, region), or assessment of their consequences and identification of the necessary measures in any given economic conditions. The authors construct sectoral models to assess regulatory impacts on regional economic performance. Assessments of regulatory impacts on product value chains, economic sectors, and regions as a whole show good repeatability, which makes it possible to provide a rationale for economic decision-making. The authors propose new sectoral models using the Kaliningrad region as an example. The models are used in a comprehensive analysis of conditions for a GRP growth resulting from an increase in sectoral contributions. To this end, the study uses the well-known approaches of simulation modelling, as well as qualitative and quantitative methods in combination with economic-mathematical optimisation models. The article presents a pilot model of regulatory impacts for selected sectors of the Kaliningrad economy. The developed and tested models suggest that a rationale for economic decision-making and consequent actions should be based on the assessment of the impact of different groups of external, internal, and independent factors on value chains, based on the criterion of optimal factor income. In conclusion, the authors offer recommendations for using the proposed models in business, public administration and regional economic modeling.

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The Amber Industry: Development Сhallenges and Combating Amber Trafficking in the Baltic Region

Abstract

This article considers the current state and prospective development of the amber industry in the Baltic Sea region. The authors identify the main obstacles to the industry’s development in Russia — poor pricing mechanisms for raw amber, an imbalance between supply and demand, a slow pace of technological modernisation, and a delayed introduction of new technologies and processing techniques. The authors identify gaps in the regulatory framework and highlight problems of legal regulation and law enforcement as regards the amber industry. Combating illegal amber extraction and trafficking is a pressing problem in the Kaliningrad region (Russia) and other Baltic region states. The article explores theoretical aspects of the legislative policy on combating illegal amber extraction and trafficking. The authors focus on the relevant law enforcement practices and hold that administrative sanctions for unauthorised amber extraction and trade are not fully effective in Russia. The authors stress the need for introducing criminal liability for a repeated offence and outline opportunities for using forensic gemological examination of amber and amber products.

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Tourism

Cross-Border Tourist Routes: The Potential of Russia’s North- West

Abstract

Developing cross-border tourist routes is an effective way of developing cooperation between border regions of Russia and the neighbouring countries. The author presents an approach that interprets cross-border tourist routes as an instrument for the conservation, reproduction, and promotion of natural, cultural, and historical potential and as a means to boost business activities in border regions. This article summarises international practices and presents the theoretical and practical aspects of designing and developing transboundary tourist routes in the border regions of Russia’s North-West. The author describes successful tourist routes within the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) crossborder cooperation programmes. Particular attention is paid to the routes in the Republic of Karelia — the Blue Road, the White Road, and the Mining Road. The article stresses the importance of developing transboundary tourist routes in the border regions of Russia’s North-West. Designing and developing transboundary tourist routes is a step towards a transboundary tourist space. The author outlines avenues towards the development of transboundary tourist routes and transboundary tourism in the border regions of Russia’s North-West.

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The Tourist and Recreation Potential of Historical Cities in North-West Russia

Abstract

In recent years, the development of historical cities has been high on research agenda. This is explained by the growing role of tourism and recreation in socioeconomic development and the persisting problem of the national economy’s spatial organisation amidst the absence of a clear-cut regional policy. The authors stress the discrepancy between the distribution of economic activities and the established system of settlement. This is particularly true for many historical cities, whose economic resources have been curtailed. This study provides a rationale for a more efficient use of the tourist and recreational potential to boost the socio-economic development of Russia’s historical cities. The article describes problems of the cities’ development using the country’s North-West as an example. The authors explore factors behind the formation of a new development strategy for historical cities and analyse conditions necessary for the efficient exploitation of the historical cities’ tourism and recreation potential. The findings obtained suggest that strategic areas of tourism and recreation development in Russia’s historical cities should be identified depending on city type, development conditions and other relevant factors.

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