02 September 2016

    On September 2, 2016, the second Eastern Economic Forum was officially opened. A welcome speech was given by Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District – Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Eastern Economic Forum. First of all, he addressed the participants who are already working in the Far East and confirmed that “we will accompany and support every one of your projects to ensure they are a success”.

    Mr. Trutnev noted that the central topic of the Forum remains raising investments and creating new investment projects in the Far East. The keynote speakers at the Forum would, moreover, be investors who are actually working, who would explain what needs to be done to develop the region.

    At the first Forum, 92 agreements worth RUB 1.8 trn were signed, out of which agreements to RUB 1,116 trn became concluded contracts.

    For the Second Forum, 140 agreements worth RUB 1.6 trn have been drawn up and, as the Chairman of the Forum Organizing Committee stressed, “we will do everything possible to ensure that they all come to fruition”.

    For the second Forum, new instruments have also be prepared, such as the Voskhod investment system, the Eurasian Diamond Centre and a mechanism for distribution of investment quotas in the fish industry.

    In conclusion, Mr. Trutnev invited the Forum participants to visit the Far East Street Festival, where projects improving life in the Far East are on show.

    The gala opening ceremony of the second Eastern Economic Forum was attended by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and as the tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Shamshad Akhtar and Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka.

    The Forum guests and participants were greeted by Ms. Akhtar. In her speech, she focused attention on the “seven lessons of regional integration”, saying that “study of the following lessons will have a positive effect on development of free trade in the region”:

    1. The need for strong political will and state support;
    2. A desire for stability and development of competition;
    3. Creation of well managed regional institutions based on the priority of law and provision of equal conditions;
    4. Promotion of skills and professional experience;
    5. Signing of agreements on free trade and trade integration;
    6. Provision of a regime of special preferential conditions promoting a rise in demand; creation of a competitive labour market;
    7. Financing for sustainable development.

    In conclusion, Ms Ahtar underlined that further integration in the APR and Eurasia is of major significance for development of the Far East.

    Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Galushka made a presentation to the Forum participants of significant events and measures that had occurred since the first EEF. He recalled that a rise and development of the Far East had been determined by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin as a national priority for development of Russia for the entire 21st century. The Minister went on to say that, over the last year, thanks to new development instruments, the Far East had become competitive in terms of conditions for investing and doing business. “The Far East today can offer the best conditions for investors who want to work here”, Mr. Galushko noted. The presentation slides gave examples of specific Far East investment projects: 316 projects with investment of RUB 1 trn 64 bn, resulting in 67 thousand new jobs. In conclusion, Alexander Galushko said: “Looking ahead, at the third Eastern Economic Forum in 2017, we are counting on signing 500 new projects worth RUB 2 trn 900 bn. We invite you to co-operate; we are open; our work is to support your projects, create maximally favourable conditions for investing and doing business.”