HOST: The Eastern Economic Forum, an investment conference held each year in Vladivostok, Russia, has wrapped up. Russia’s Far East borders China, so, not surprisingly, working together to develop the region was part of the discussions. CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic has the details.
ALJOSA MILENKOVIC: Russia’s Far Eastern University hosted the 5th Eastern Economic Forum for 3 days. Over 5 thousand 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, VTB BANK: We plan to invest billions of US dollars in many projects here together with our Chinese partners. Interestingly, though the Primorie 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.
ALJOSA MILENKOVIC: The latest example of the China-Russia collaboration is the construction of the first bridge connecting the two countries over the Amur River. We met with the mayor of the Chinese town of Heihe that will be connected with Russia’s Blagoveshensk after the completion of the bridge.
MA LI: The bridge will connect the two cities as of the end of this year. When it’s open, it will play a significant role in the development of the economic relations between China and Russia. We also want to use it for expanding collaboration with South East Asian countries through the free trade zone.
ALJOSA MILENKOVIC: 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 $1bn USD to Russia to speed up its development.
ALJOSA MILENKOVIC: The 5th Vladivostok 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.