By Denis Dyomkin, Lidia Kelly and Katya Golubkova , Reuters, Friday, Sept 4, 2015
VLADIVOSTOK, Russia–President Vladimir Putin urged domestic and foreign investors on Friday to help develop Russia’s vast Far East region, promising high returns and reassuring Asia-Pacific economies about their strategic importance.
Putin, speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in the city of Vladivostok, an event he initiated, told his government to increase its efforts to develop the region.
“(We) will provide to investors the best conditions to do business so the Far East of Russia can successfully compete in terms of efficiency and return on capital with leading business centers,” Putin told participants at the inaugural forum.
He said Russia’s largest oil firm, Rosneft (ROSN.MM), would invest 1.3 trillion rubles ($19.56 billion) in projects in the region.
Russia’s Far East, which covers the extreme part of Russia between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean, has an abundance of natural resources, including forestry and fish stocks.
Putin was chiefly courting Chinese, Korean and Japanese investors in Vladivostok after Moscow’s relations with the West ebbed following the Ukraine crisis. Russia has since turned east, seeking economic, political and military cooperation.
“I am confident that Asia-Pacific countries, despite the current problems, will surely remain the engine of the world economy, the most important market for goods and services,” Putin said.
“The strengthening of relations with the countries of the region has a strategic importance for Russia,” he said.
Putin promised more state money for the region and said Russia, with its vast resource base, could support growth acceleration for the region.
“We see and understand that the Asia-Pacific region is interested in a strong and successful Russia, one that is open for cooperation and that opens a constructive agenda,” he said.
Vladimir Putin spoke to the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 4. He spoke to journalists afterward about the political situation in Russia and the world. His remarks on the situation in Ukraine following the deadly riot in Kyiv on August 31 by extreme Ukrainian nationalists are reported here on New Cold War.org.
The president arrived in Vladivostok from the Chinese capital Beijing where he attended the military parade on September 3 marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. A full report on the parade is here on RT.com. He told journalists in Vladisvostok:
I think we are all witnessing attempts to erode the importance of World War II and its events, and sadly, this is happening in Europe and in Asia too, where we can see similar tendencies. It is therefore very important for everyone who fought Nazism and militarism to uphold in humanity’s consciousness the true meaning of what took place in the fight against Nazism and militarism.
I think that in holding such large-scale events to mark this anniversary of the end of World War II, our Chinese friends are moving in precisely this direction, the right direction, and are maintaining among their people a correct understanding of the significance of the fight against these things. The real sense in it all lies only in making sure that nothing like this ever happens again in human history.
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