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Eastern Economic Forum: Forum concludes, with China-Russia cooperation topping agenda

An economic forum wrapped up in Russia, discussing better collaboration between Russia and China – particularly when it comes to expanding trade in Southeast Asia. CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic has more from Vladivostok.

Russia’s Far Eastern University hosted the 5th Eastern Economic Forum for three days. Over 5,000 experts, officials and business owners took part in the event, including some of the most influential figures in Asia.

Hundreds of businessmen from Europe also joined them. And all agreed that China – Russia collaboration is the key to the development of the entire region.

Businesses from both countries also believe in that and are ready to work together on expanding relations, particularly in Russia’s Far East.

One of them is VTB, one of the largest banks in Russia.

ANDREY KOSTIN PRESIDENT OF VTB BANK “We plan to invest billions of US dollars in many projects here together with our Chinese partners. Interestingly, though the Primorye Region represents only 5% of the GDP of the Russian Federation, over last four years it attracted 30% of all the foreign direct investments to Russia, and those are mostly from China.”

One of the latest examples of China-Russia collaboration is the construction of the first bridge connecting the two countries over the Amur River.

We met the mayor of the Chinese town of Heihe that will be connected with Russia’s Blagoveshchensk after the completion of the bridge.

MA LI MAYOR OF HEIHE “The bridge will connect our town, Heihe, with Blagoveshchensk as of the end of this year. When it’s open, it will play a significant role in the development of economic relations between China and Russia. We also want to use it for expanding collaboration with the Southeast Asian countries through the free trade zone.”Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was also present at the Forum, acknowledged the significance of Russia’s Far East region too.

He announced the opening of a credit line of over one billion US dollars to Russia to speed up its development.

ALJOSA MILENKOVIC VLADIVOSTOK “The 5th Eastern Economic Forum is officially over. It was marked by some high profile visits, strong political statements, and also a promise for better collaboration among Asian countries, the kind of collaboration the whole world needs to aspire to if it wants to prosper. Aljosa Milenkovic, CGTN, Vladivostok.”