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EEF 2020 Organizing Committee: the Forum is a Development Instrument for the Russian Far East

22 November 2019
Заседание Оргкомитета ВЭФ-2020: Форум является инструментом развития Дальнего Востока

The Eastern Economic Forum is slated to become a permanent platform with events under the EEF umbrella, including field sessions in Far Eastern regions, occurring throughout the year. The issues discussed at these events will shape the business programme of the Forum itself. This decision was reached following an Eastern Economic Forum 2020 Organizing Committee meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev.

As Yuri Trutnev noted, «the Eastern Economic Forum is not a singular event, it is one of the elements of a general system for developing the Russian Far East. Work in this area has gone on for six years now. 45 legislative acts on the development of the Russian Far East have been passed, 20 Advanced Special Economic Zones have been created, and the free port regime is now operational in five regions. With the help of ASEZ and the free port regimes, the Russian Far East is seeing the implementation of over 2,000 investment projects. The total volume of investment across all of these projects is RUB 4 trillion. RUB 733 billion have already been invested and over 250 enterprises have been constructed. Over 70,000 people have received plots of land as part of the Far Eastern Hectare programme, allowing them to build houses, do business, and launch farming enterprises. The Forum serves as the platform for presenting and discussing Far Eastern development mechanisms, for understanding what needs improvement and what areas require attention. This is a platform for meetings with major Russian and international investors. The Forum serves as an opportunity to direct President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin’s attention to the issues that need to be addressed in the Russian Far East. That is also a very important moment for us. The Forum has hosted a State Council Presidium meeting for the third year in a row. We hope to continue this tradition. It is time to look to the future and consider the 6th Eastern Economic Forum. Far Eastern Federal University will continue to serve as the Forum venue.»

The meeting summarized the main outcomes of EEF 2019. The Forum was attended by a record number of participants: over 8,500 people from 65 states and territories. 270 agreements worth a total of RUB 3.4 trillion were signed. The Forum featured over 120 events held with the participation of over 700 speakers and moderators. The plenary session was attended by the Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation and four foreign heads of state representing  Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia, and Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Mongolia. Over the Forum’s five years of existence, it has featured the participation of eight leading Asian economies. In 2020, the 6th Eastern Economic Forum will be held on 2–5 September.

According to Adviser to the President of the Russian Federation and Deputy Chairman of the Eastern Economic Forum Organizing Committee — Executive Secretary Anton Kobyakov, «each year, the Eastern Economic Forum proves itself to be a worthy, authoritative, and popular communication platform for discussing key global economic issues.» He noted that the Forum programme traditionally includes the most topical issues and discussion formats and that the programme has expanded beyond the Forum itself, creating the field session format. «As part of the preparations for EEF 2019, Mumbai (India) and multiple Far Eastern regions hosted field sessions dedicated to the main Far Eastern development challenges. This format will continue as part of the preparations for the following Forum,» he said.

He also believes that other EEF tracks should be expanded. «The sporting programme included over 20 events in 14 different types of sports. Its central event was the International Jigoro Kano Judo Tournament. The Forum’s calling card is the ‘Far East Street’ exhibition. This was the first year that the exhibition featured the Russian—Japanese House of Sumo, which may become an annual event. The highlight of the cultural programme was the exhibition featuring Italian painter Sandro Botticelli’s Madonna della Loggia from the collection of Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, organized with the support of the Italian embassy and Sberbank,» said Kobyakov.

The meeting also touched on preparations for the EEF 2020 business programme.

«It has been proposed that we expand the programme to include the topics of global competition, intergovernmental cooperation in Asia with Russia’s participation, and improving people’s quality of life. The Forum’s Start Day will include a foresight session with representatives of major Russian and international businesses and experts to discuss new projects and integration mechanisms for Russia and the Asia-Pacific region,» said Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East Alexander Kozlov.

The meeting also covered the execution of the orders issued by the President of the Russian Federation following the conclusion of the Eastern Economic Forum 2019.