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【Diplomat Magazine】Tatarstan is the crossroad of trade routes and civilizations 韃靼斯坦 – 貿易與文明的十字路口

The following content is provided by Diplomat Magazine

(By H.E. Mr. Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan )

 

編輯摘要/ 香港國際問題研究所研究員鄧柏霖

韃靼斯坦共和國是俄羅斯裡一個嶄新、工業化以及創新地區,內裡包含多元文化及多元信仰,東西融合、貿易路線交滙,伊斯蘭及基督教成功互動共同發展。韃靼斯坦位於俄羅斯中央,窩瓦河與卡馬河的共滙點,連接歐亞北方與南部,使當地由古時已成為其中一個文明搖籃。

 

在922年,伊斯蘭教傳入古韃靼古城博爾加爾,被當地韃靼人的祖先採納。在1000年來,這個獨特的地方成為基督教-伊斯蘭教和平共處之地。今天,韃靼人成為俄羅斯第二大的民族,過半韃靼斯坦人口是信奉伊斯蘭教的韃靼人,剩下的為俄羅斯人,包括楚瓦什人、馬羅埃爾人、鳥德穆爾特人、莫爾多瓦人,共有173個族種居住在這裡,展現了當地的文化多元。2017年甚至同時見證到保爾加伊斯蘭學院(Bolgar Islamic Academy)正式成立以及喀山主教座堂(Kazan Cathedral)的復修,可見韃靼斯坦在兩個信仰中取得平衡。這個宗教與文化多元的地方在現今顯得更加重要,2014年韃靼斯坦共和國總統魯斯塔姆.尼哈諾夫(Rustam Minnikhanov)帶領一個穆斯林策略小組,促進與其他穆斯林地區的對話及合作,並實行多個經濟及人道項目。

 

韃靼斯坦現時與150個國家有貿易關係,首要任務是在東西合作夥伴中取得平衡下建立國際合作。現時韃靼斯坦已成為環球經濟的樞紐,有一半的工業產口出口至海外市場,不單止是出口到俄羅斯其他地方。主要產業包括石油、石油化學、航機、機電工程以及工業器具,以重工業為主。地區以合資形式及創新建立俄羅斯中數一數二的基建設備。兩個特別行政區阿拉巴加(Alabuga)與Innopolis分別是俄羅斯最大型工業區及科技創新中心地帶,不少外資公司正在韃靼斯坦實行投資計劃。200年來,喀山是東歐領先的研究中心,來自120個國家近16000個海外學生在當地進修。韃靼斯坦也在運動與旅遊方面同樣出色,舉辦2018世界盃在內多個運動盛事。

 

在2020年,韃靼斯坦正慶祝現代化一百周年。高效能、人民質素高、政治及社會穩定、和平融洽的基礎令當地發展欣欣向榮!

韃靼斯坦總統魯斯塔姆.尼哈諾夫表示當地自古以來便是歐亞文化及經濟的交匯之地 (圖片來源: Wikimedia Commons)

The Republic of Tatarstan is one of the leading, industrially developed and innovative regions of the Russian Federation, the territory of intercultural and interfaith dialogue, where East and West meet, trade routes intersect, Islam and Christianity successfully develop and interact.

 

The unique location of the region in the centre of Russia, at the confluence of the two largest rivers: the Volga and the Kama, where the Great Silk Road and the Furry Road merged, connecting the north and the south of Eurasia, since ancient times it had become one of the reasons for the formation of a large civilization centre in this part of the world.

 

It was here that in 922, Islam was officially adopted by the ancestors of modern Tatars in the ancient city of Bolgar. For over a thousand years, a unique culture of Christian-Islamic dialogue and harmony has been developed in our land. Today, the Tatars being the second largest ethnicity in Russia and making up more than half of the population of the Republic of Tatarstan practice mainly Islam. The rest of the population – Russians (about 40% of the people residing in the republic), as well as the Chuvash, Mari, Udmurt, Mordovians – as a rule, profess Orthodoxy. Representatives of 173 nationalities live on the territory of the republic in the spirit of neighbourliness and friendship.

 

This largely explains the diversity of Tatarstan’s cultural wealth. The republic has a unique tangible and intangible heritage. The capital of Tatarstan, Kazan, has more than a thousand-year history. There are three sites in the republic inscribed by UNESCO onto the List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage: the Kazan Kremlin (inscribed in 2000), the Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, the place of the adoption of Islam in the region of Tatarstan (inscribed in 2014), the Assumption Cathedral and the Monastery of the Island-town of Sviyazhsk of the Russian Orthodox Church (inscribed in 2017).

 

2017 saw the opening of the Bolgar Islamic Academy, as well as restoration of the Cathedral of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God. The foundation stone of the interfaith harmony in the republic is well-observed balance of the interests of two major faiths and the equality of all religions before the law.

 

The centuries-old experience of friendship and cooperation of various religions and cultures has proved to be highly demanded nowadays. In accordance with the order of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin since 2014 President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov heads the Strategic Vision Group “Russia – the Islamic World”, aimed at facilitating the processes of dialogue and cooperation between our country and Muslim states on a cultural and civilizational basis. As part of the Group activities, there are dozens of economic and humanitarian projects being implemented.

韃靼斯坦的Innopolis科技創新地帶吸引了大量外資進駐及投資 (圖片來源: Wikimedia Commons)

Today Tatarstan has trade relations with more than 150 countries of the world. The development of international cooperation is one of the priorities of the Republic while maintaining a good balance of cooperation with Western and Eastern partners. Tatarstan is deeply integrated into global economic relations. About half of the manufactured products are export-oriented toward foreign markets.

 

The leading industries are oil production and petrochemistry, aircraft manufacturing, mechanical engineering and instrument making. The republic produces helicopters, airplanes, heavy vehicles, petrochemicals, tires, ships, compressor and refrigeration equipment, polyethylene, synthetic rubbers, medical and optical devices, detergents and medicines, as well as other products, a significant part of which are exported.

 

Tatarstan has developed one of the best infrastructures in Russia for establishment of joint ventures and innovations. There are two special economic zones on the territory of the republic, namely “Alabuga”, which is the largest industrial and production type zone in Russia, and “Innopolis” – the zone of the technical-innovative type, as well as about 100 industrial sites of various kinds. Dozens of overseas companies are implementing their investment projects in Tatarstan.

 

The republic is well known for the high level of scientific development. For over 200 years, Kazan has been one of the leading research centres in Eastern Europe. Over 16 thousand foreign students from 120 countries study here. Tatarstan is recognized as one of the sports and tourist leaders of Russia. Largescale sporting events of the second decade of the 21st century were held in Kazan: the World Summer Universiade in 2013, the FINA Championships in 2015, the FIFA World Cup Games in 2018 and the WorldSkills Competition in 2019. Number of tourists visiting Tatarstan in 2019 is estimated at around 3.5 million people.

 

In 2020, Tatarstan is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the modern statehood of the republic, as in May 1920 there were defined the borders of the territory and the Autonomous Tatar Socialist Soviet Republic was established as part of the Russian Soviet Federative Republic.

 

In the Republic of Tatarstan, there was developed a model of a multicultural, multi-confessional society, which is the most palatable for a multinational state. The most important values are high production and personnel capacity, social and political stability, interethnic and inter-confessional peace and harmony, which are the basis for further progressive development of the republic and improvement of the quality of life of its population.

 

Welcome to the Republic of Tatarstan!

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