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GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY

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Vol 10, No 1 (2017)
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GEOGRAPHY

5-20 3736
Abstract

“The Belt and Road” is a long-term comprehensive strategic program for the development of Eurasia and the world, which has been promoted by China beginning in 2013. Its multi-dimensional features (in-country, regional, and global) are inclusive (multi-vector, the participation of all sectors of the economy) and have a strong non-economic component (“soft power”). The strategy is aimed at solving the problems of the Chinese economy with the help of foreign-policy methods and consolidation of China as an engine for the global economy. By virtue of its scale, the consistent implementation of the strategic provisions put forward in China would result in significant industrial and geographical transformations of the existing international division of labor. Active and proactive participation of Russia in the new course of China allows realization of the export and transit potential of Russia’s economy and helps mitigate imbalances in development between its parts. The authors discuss the concerns and risks associated with the implementation of initiatives.

21-33 1307
Abstract

“The Silk Road Economic Belt” and “the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative aims at promoting regulated flow of economic factors, allocating resources efficiently, integrating markets, and developing a broader, higher, and deeper level of regional interaction to create an open, inclusive, balanced, and widely beneficial regional economic cooperation framework. Comprehensive and objective assessment and research on investment-climate geopolitical strategy of the countries in the “Belt and Road” zone would help improve security and stability of China’s foreign economic and trade exchanges along with its political and economic influence. Based on Delphi technique, the investment environment evaluation system of the “Belt and Road” countries has been developed and used to comprehensively analyze social and economic development, traffic infrastructure, informatization, resources, and political and security environment, all of which are the important conditions for investment environment of the “Belt and Road” countries. The results show that Russia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Central Asia, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Hungary represent the attractive investment areas. Eastern Europe, India, and Iran represent the key investment areas. Based on the analysis, investment strategy steps for the “Belt and Road” countries have been formulated. We hope our research can provide the scientific foundation for decision-making in China in relation to the “Belt and Road” foreign investment strategy.

34-43 1693
Abstract

The Eurasia Canal is a proposed direct water transport connection between the Caspian Sea and the Azov and Black Sea basin. The completion of construction of the Eurasia Canal will significantly increase non-oil and gas export, and it will lead to the emergence of more than 200 thousand jobs in the South of Russia, Kazakhstan and other countries of the Caspian region. A significant part of the cargo traffic between China and the countries of the European Union, which have ports on the Mediterranean Sea, will be transported via this new trans-Eurasian route that includes the Eurasia Canal.

44-52 399
Abstract

To date, travel portals represent the most promising tool for promoting tourist destinations. Compared to traditional print media, their main advantage is the ability to access a wealth of information, services, to make online reservations, to create package-tours, and to obtain interactive representation of tourist sites. The paper discusses tourism demand for destinations of the zone of the Great Silk Road applying key statistics of the Yandex search engine queries. A comparative analysis of tourist destinations portal data has been conducted based on the following criteria: availability of multilingual information, interactive maps, selfguided tour planners, and information about attractions, tours, and accommodation facilities. In order to attract a large number of tourists and to successfully implement the project “Silk Road,” it is necessary to establish a common trans-national tourism portal which would include information on tourism opportunities in all countries.

ENVIRONMENT

53-69 1561
Abstract

A number of countries are concerned, to a certain degree, about the prospects for the implementation of the Chinese strategic initiative for the joint creation of the “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB). These concerns relate to fears of the transfer from China to the “belt” countries of excessive capacities of the polluting primaries industries, possible environmental degradation, and the destruction of the traditional way of life as a result of the implementation of mega-projects, and the fragility and vulnerability of many ecosystems along the routes of the prospective throughways between the eastern provinces of China and Europe [Bezrukov, 2016]. Environmental problems are clearly of key importance for the prospects of China’s initiative. The initiative’s program documents have stressed the need to take into account the interests of all parties and act solely on the basis of mutual benefit. The authors briefly consider the variety of natural and socio-economic conditions in the SREB zone and the sharp differences in the degree of economic development of the territory, which require close attention and scientific justification for political and economic decisions. Particular differences include temperature regime, precipitation, modern atmospheric circulation, transport of particulate matter and contaminants, soils, vegetation, land use, and risks of desertification in the SREB zone. The potential of complementarity of the natural resources of China and a number of neighboring countries may be realized. The paper also discusses China’s present policy in the transition to sustainable development and its underlying concepts and achievements, especially at the level of regions and cities, including the concept of “ecological civilization” and the six stages of greening of cities. The authors believe that tourism related activities should be coordinated specifically at the city level as part of “green development.” It is necessary to create free economic zones in the “economic corridors” along the planned transcontinental lines and utilize the existing national special zones. Such zones are particularly effective in border regions and cities. In conclusion, it is recommended to develop international research networks in the SREB zone, to establish an International Data Center, and to collect, organize, exchange, and publish jointly scientific information on the problems of transition to sustainable development.

SUSTAINABILITY

70-77 320
Abstract

The paper discusses the prospect of the development of Russia’s transport infrastructure mega-projects in the context of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization formation. The paper focuses on the country’s interests in the area of influence of the Silk and the Tea Roads. Economic cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region on the Trans-Siberian Railway-Mongolia-China direction, with diversification of transport routes to all four oceans and five continents, is the most effective policy for Russia.

78-84 459
Abstract

This article aims to develop some concept on new economic geography. The authors presented a case study of a newborn carmaker that applies an innovative business model in auto industry. The current business environment is analyzed, problems of sustainability discussed, and a new business model proposed.



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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)