Large business in the coastal zones of Russia: features and factors of localisation
Russia’s evident ‘turn to the sea’ as regards the economy, the infrastructure, and population distribution patterns is very much in line with the interests and projects of large businesses. This change manifests itself in the development of port and logistics complexes, the port industry, the construction of offshore pipelines, more active offshore oil and gas production, the growing demographic potential of coastal cities, etc. This article aims to explore the localisation of large businesses in Russian coastal zones and to analyse the ‘coastalisation’ of the country’s largest companies. It is shown that ‘coastalisation’ has taken place in forty-two of Russia’s top 100 companies, as rated by the Russian Business Channel. Another objective of the study is to identify large businesses’ industrial and regional priorities in the maritime economy and investigate how they are transformed under the influence of geopolitical and geo-economic factors. Amid active Eurasian integration, which includes the Greater Eurasia project, big businesses are spurring the development of maritime economic complexes and the formation of sea-land economic structures, including cross-border ones. The study identifies which national coastal zones are most attractive to Russian large businesses. Special attention is paid here to the Baltic Sea and the exclave of Kaliningrad where both local (Sodruzhestvo and Avtotor) and interregional/transnational companies (United Shipbuilding Corporation, Gazprom, LUKOIL, etc.) are benefitting from the coastal factor in the socio-economic development.