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18:09 | Feb 16 | 2012

The northern alliance

Business and cultural ties between Yakutia and Canada continue to evolve.

The foundation of relations between the Sakha Republic and Canada was laid in 1972 when Jean Chretien, who was at that time Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Territories of Canada, and after that – Canadian Prime Minister (1993-2003) came to Yakutia on a working trip. Back then Mr. Chretien visited the “Mir” diamond mine development.

From villages to palaces
Subsequently, in 1993, small towns with administrative, municipal and social infrastructure were built in the suburbs of Yakutsk jointly with such Canadian construction companies as “Ferguson Simek Clark", “Clark Bowler Construction", “Standard Electric Co., Ltd.”, “Hay River Mechanical”. The functional international airport “Yakutsk” and the Ice Palace with an indoor hockey court in the city of Yakutsk may be mentioned as examples of joint construction of large infrastructure facilities in Yakutia.
The Trade Representation of Yakutia in Canada was established a few years later. On January 21, 1999, a non-profit corporation called The Trade Commission of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) was registered in Ontario. Ivan Rozhin, the eldest diplomatic official of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) was appointed as Trade Representative. Four years later a new representative – Marina Desyatkina was appointed. And on April 28, 2010 Ms. Desyatkina was appointed as the Authorized Representative of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Canada by decree of the President of Yakutia.

Connections can settle anything
Office of the Authorized Representative of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Canada is engaged in networking of Canada and Yakutia. Among them are: heat and fuel supply (proposals for construction of mini-CHP plants and introduction of autonomous air heating systems), water treatment (The Ontario Centre for Ecology proposed a unique method of cleaning water to the Department of Biological Resources (Yakutia)), repair of roads (the technology “cold asphalt” used for roads’ repair is tested and subjected to expert evaluation, the next step will be the introduction of technology “warm asphalt” – for construction of roads in the Arctic zone) social security (exchange of experience); government initiatives in the field of antitrust laws; strategies for the industry; reformation and development of housing and municipal complex. Strong partnerships between resident companies have been established during the period of cooperation of Yakutia and Canada.
The list of responsibilities of the Authorized Representative of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) includes: support and assistance in finding and organizing business and scientific co-operation with Canadian partners; search for the investment opportunities for the Sakha-Canadian projects related to infrastructure and housing construction, natural resources development and technology transfer; study and analysis of the available best technologies, products and services in Canada with a view to their potential implementation in the economic structure of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia); strengthening the image of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in Canada as a region of Russia with an inexhaustible economic potential, sound personnel policies and ready for international activities legislative and executive base, etc.

Planes from Yakutsk will fly to Canada
In 2012, it is planned to conduct a series of reciprocal working trips, during which the agreements on interregional cooperation, as well as treaties and protocols of intentions on the economically and socially important projects would be signed. Among the anticipated visits there are trade and diplomatic mission led by John Sloan, Canadian Ambassador to Moscow, to the Sakha Republic and the working trip of the President of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) with a group of ministers and business leaders to Canada.
During the visit of the President of the Republic to Canada it is planned, in particular, to establish a connection with universities, which are ready to take seniors from the North-Eastern Federal University for a period of one to two years for training followed by granting a bachelor's degree and returning to work to Yakutia. Among other issues are the establishment of inter-regional relations with one of the provinces of Ontario to study public administration, external marketing, economic and legislative instruments; consideration of the possibility of a direct flight from Yakutsk to one of the provinces of Canada in order to develop tourism and business, cultural and other inter-regional exchanges; examination and identification of key goals and objectives of cooperation with Canada on the restoration of the Northern Sea Route in the Arctic; familiarization with the experience of municipal management in Canada, followed by the establishment of friendly relations between Yakutsk and a Canadian city with similar climatic conditions and socio-economic objectives.