Spotlight: Russia's economic forum sees Far East's potential in boosting Asia-Pacific development

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-06 14:07:10|Editor: Yurou

The file photo taken on July 19, 2017 shows the landscape of Khabarovsk in Russia's Far East. (Xinhua/Sputnik)

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- A joint exploration of the huge economic potential of Russia's Far East will contribute to the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, representatives attending an economic forum said here on Wednesday.

In the past three years, Russia's Far East region passed 19 federal laws, issued 72 government decrees and created four development institutions to enhance its investment attractiveness, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev said in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Third Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

So far, 837 investment projects have been established in the region which boasts rich natural resources, including oil, gas, portable water, diamond and forest reserves as well as unique logistic conditions, said Trutnev, who is also the chairman of the Organizing Committee of the EEF.

As a major international communication platform for business cooperation between Russia and other markets, the EEF this year continues to present better conditions for doing business in the country's Far East in a bid to attract more foreign investment.

"The Far East has become a magnet for different people from all over the world since five years ago when the APEC summit was held here... It's a great way to strengthen ties with the countries in the Asia-Pacific region," said Nguyen Van Binh, head of Vietnam's Communist Party Central Committee Department for Economic Affairs.

Under a comprehensive and strategic partnership developed in 2012, bilateral trade volume between Russia and Vietnam in 2016 reached 2.6 billion U.S. dollars, he told the opening ceremony.

"We will do our best to develop and promote trade and economic ties between the countries to contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity in the region," he said.

Calling the Asia-Pacific region "the engine of growth in the world", Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said India welcomed Russia to play a bigger role in the region and implement its initiatives for an all-round development of the Eurasian landmass.

She said India supports Russia's Far Eastern strategy and looks forward to more engagement by Indian companies in the Far East, especially in the areas of coal mining, agriculture, fisheries, pharmaceuticals, health and tourism, which will help boost bilateral trade to the target of 30 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.

"This forum is inviting the coming together of countries in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on trade ... trade that must be sustainable, creative and innovative," U.S. California Governor Jerry Brown said.

He underlined that all countries should also work together to better cope with climate change and other environmental issues while striking business deals and stimulating trade.

Over 30 investment projects worth 1.2 trillion rubles (20 billion dollars) are expected to be presented at this year's forum, according to earlier reports.

Starting in 2015, the EEF aims to improve relations between the international investment community, Russian businesses, and Federal and local governments while presenting the competitiveness and favorable conditions for investment in the Russian Far East region.

This year, more than 700 business representatives from 55 countries including China, India, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, the United States and Britain were present at the forum. The total number of participants is expected to reach 3,500.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to attend the plenary session of the forum on Thursday.