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The Eastern Economic Forum

The Eastern Economic Forum is a meeting between countries and businesses. It's a platform for Russia and global investment communities to strengthen ties. The forum’s goal is to encourage and bring about foreign investment in Russia’s Far East, evaluating the region’s economic potential and opportunities. 

Last year, 68 countries were represented at the forum, with around 7,000 participants ranging from business representatives to government delegates, media officials, speakers and moderators. 296 agreements were signed at 2022’s forum, worth a total of 3.272 trillion rubles, or $23.471 billion. Infrastructure, transport projects, construction, industry and agriculture agreements were made at the EEF. The largest delegations were from China, Myanmar, Mongolia, India, Armenia and South Korea, with heads of diplomatic corps from 11 countries. 

In this year’s forum, 10 countries are participating. These are China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Singapore. China, South Korea, Japan and India are large influencers in the Far East region.

Over 300 Chinese companies are attending the EEF, the largest number of Chinese companies thus far during the post-pandemic period, according to Chairman of the Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia Zhou Liqun. Perhaps this increased interest is motivated by the Belt and Road Initiative and the Polar Sea Route in the Russian Far East: initiatives China values. Approximately 90% of total investments in the region are from China, explains The Hindu

Putin emphasized several goals for the forum. He aims to create efficient production and logistics chains, modernize transport and energy systems and ensure food and environmental security in the Far East region. In his address to participants of the EEF, Putin stated, “Our country is fully open to an inclusive dialogue on pressing regional problems and has every intention of continuing to participate actively in efforts to nurture relations between the states of the Asia-Pacific region and contribute to a system based on equality, mutual benefit and respect for the legitimate interests of all.”

Due to this year’s Eastern Economic Forum, investments of over 200 billion rubles ($2.066 billion) will be implemented on Russky Island in Russia’s Primorsky Territory until 2030, being potentially responsible for creating more than 12,000 jobs in the area. In the realm of agriculture, transportation and logistical infrastructure, specialized machinery production and heavy industry projects will be implemented with Chinese investment in the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia. As an additional result of the forum, the Udokan copper mining and metals complex will be launched, influencing the budget and trade of the Far East region.

What will the economic effects of this 8th forum be? How will they affect Russia and its Far East? Only time will tell. 

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