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BUSINESS PROGRAMME FOR THE SECOND EASTERN ECONOMIC FORUM

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Plenary Session Opening up the Russian Far East: Opportunities for Investors Opening up the Russian Far East: Incentives for Investors Developing the Russian Far East – Advantages and New Opportunities for the Asia-Pacific Region Business Dialogue Strategic Session (by invitation)
02.09.2016
09:15—10:15

Opening of the Eastern Economic Forum 2016

Welcome address by Yury Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, and Chairman of the Eastern Economic Forum Organizing Committee
Welcome address by Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Strategic Vectors of Healthcare Development in the Russian Far East

The Russian Far East needs to attract people from elsewhere in Russia if it is to enjoy rapid growth. Social security, and above all healthcare, are major factors when choosing a place to live in Russia. In this context, the Far Eastern Federal District needs to provide high-quality accessible healthcare in spite of its limited resources. This will only be possible with a new perspective on healthcare development in the region, taking account of the geographical circumstances, the financial limitations and the proximity of the Asian markets. The key issues to discuss will include how to organize primary care and ensure accessibility even in remote regions. Another important topic is the possibility of attracting private firms to provide primary healthcare services and of making use of the latest advances in telehealth, following the examples of Australia and Canada. There will be a separate discussion of funding the primary sector with the aim of attracting private firms. Collaboration with leading clinics in Asian countries, including through public-private partnerships, may bring new opportunities for developing high-tech healthcare in the inpatient sector. Ensuring optimum population coverage and managing patient flows and working on pricing to ensure high-quality inpatient care are important challenges in terms of developing this area. Managing emergency care is a separate issue and requires rethinking approaches to implementing inter-regional healthcare projects – an area in which a number of regions have positive experience.

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

ASEZs for Investors: Minimum Risk, Maximum Return. Success Stories

So far, 13 ASEZs have been set up in the Russian Far East, hosting more than 60 investment projects. The zones span tens of thousands of hectares available to future residents. Once resident in an ASEZ, investors are, in addition to the necessary infrastructure, provided with tax breaks, a streamlined business environment and special rights protection mechanisms. What special conditions are offered to ASEZ residents, and how do these differ from standard practice and from conditions offered by other types of special economic zone? How well developed is the infrastructure in existing ASEZs? What investor success stories are there to date in the ASEZs? How does the business community rate the ASEZ approach, and what would they like to change? What legal changes are required in order to improve business conditions in the ASEZs?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Developing Small Enterprise in the Russian Far East

ASEZs in the Russian Far East and the Free Port of Vladivostok have become attractive not only to major investors but also to smaller companies and even individual entrepreneurs. More than 80 projects representing investments from RUB 1 million to RUB 60 million have been officially announced. In order to foster small business development in the Russian Far East, a special mechanism offering cheaper credit to small and medium-sized enterprises has been introduced in the macro-region. What are the prerequisites to achieving large-scale growth in the SME segment in ASEZs and the Free Port of Vladivostok? How effective are current support measures for small business in the Russian Far East? What new mechanisms for developing small business are currently being implemented in the macro-region and how attractive are they to entrepreneurs?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Aquatic Bioresources in Exchange for Investment

The majority – 82% – of Russia’s fishing resources are concentrated in the Far East of the country. Each year, the region produces more than 3 million tonnes of aquatic bioresources. In 2015, the State Council of Russia decided to invest 20% of these resources back in the region, namely, construction of a new fishing fleet at domestic shipyards and of new fish-processing facilities on Russian shores. What aquatic bioresources, and what fishing and breeding areas are available for investment in the Russian Far East? What is the procedure for allocating quotas for investment purposes? In the light of past projects, how well do investments in the fishing industry perform? Which areas of the Russian Far East (ASEZs, free ports) could host new fish processing facilities? Which state support measures are available to companies whose ships are built at Russian shipyards?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

“The Far East Hectare”: New Opportunities for Living and DoingBusiness in the Russian Far East

More than 145 million hectares of the Russian Far East could be allocated for private and commercial purposes. A new law went into effect on 1 June 2016, allowing Russian citizens to receive up to one hectare of free land to use for any purposes not prohibited by law. This initiative will greatly expand the economic freedoms of citizens and will stimulate development of unused territory in the Russian Far East. A special online information portal has been created for the project. Which lands may be set aside for use under the Far East Hectare initiative? Which business solutions are already popular among Far East Hectare recipients? What impact will this initiative have on the housing construction market? What are the most productive ways to improve and expand the functions of the federally administered information portal set up to support the initiative? Will this initiative influence development of human capital in the region?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Mineral Resources Management in the Russian Far East: Improving the Performance of a Resource Economy

The most attractive investment projects in the Russian Far East are in mineral resources. Companies working in the mining industry can access alluvial gold and gold ore, platinum, titanium, tin, rare earth metals, iron ore, coal and hydrocarbon deposits. ASEZs, infrastructure support from the state and many other factors further encourage investors. Which deposits are likely to become available to investors in the near future, and how much must be invested in the local infrastructure in order to tap these resources? What is the outlook for implementing mineral resource management projects, especially in view of global commodity prices? What support measures does the state offer to projects aimed at localizing mineral refining? What are the secrets of the success of companies that have already invested in mining in the Russian Far East?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Presentation of the Eurasian Diamond Centre

Creation of the Eurasian Diamond Centre is a new initiative by the company AK ALROSA. To provide for the work of the Eurasian Diamond Centre, on March 20, 2016, the company’s Supervisory Council passed a decision to set up a branch in Vladivostok. This Centre will make it possible to combine specialised companies in the gem and industrial diamond industry: those that mine and sell rough diamonds, produce gem diamonds and jewellery, gem laboratories, banks, insurance companies, associated transport companies, as well as government structures: federal customs and state control bodies of the Russian Federation.
The Eastern Economic Forum will include an open auction of rough diamonds and gems, an exhibition and retail sale of gem-quality diamonds.

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

New Economic Model of the Northern Sea Route

The Northern Sea Route is a vital transport route interlinking the vast Russian Arctic and forming a natural transport corridor between Asia and Europe. If used effectively, it could solve a whole host of problems facing the Russian North and the country as a whole, encompassing economic, demographic, social and political issues. There are, however, a number of clear obstacles, such as poor weather conditions and a lack of technology and experience. What kind of economic model would be most effective for the Northern Sea Route in the current climate? What is the Northern Sea Route’s potential as a global transport corridor? Is the Northern Sea Route competitive? What opportunities are open for investors in the Northern Sea Route?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Best Global Practices of Investment Agencies

Investment promotion agencies are a special category of development institute, created to market specific territories and support investment activity. The Far East Agency for Investment Promotion and Export Support was founded in order to attract resident enterprises to Advanced Special Economic Zones and to increase direct investment. What are the best practices of similar agencies abroad, and what are the key indicators used to measure their performance? What services should these agencies provide, and to whom? How should sectors be prioritized, and what kinds of projects should be chosen? How can the responsibility of investment be distributed between domestic and foreign investors? What are the most effective marketing instruments available? What role could investment promotion agencies play in marketing Russia’s territories? How should an investment web portal work: as an information platform, a project showroom, or a tool for generating demand?

02.09.2016
10:30—12:00

Development of Economic Cooperation “From Lisbon to Vladivostok”

Cooperation between regions of the Russian Far East and the countries of the Asia Pacific is growing apace. That said, the advantageous geographical position of the region, along with its incredibly rich resources, makes it a very interesting focal point for European companies, too. A growing number of companies from the Old World are looking at the possibility of entering the region. Once again, this highlights the need for an initiative to create a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, a “Greater Eurasia” that includes the ASEAN nations. Are European companies capable of competing with companies from the Asia-Pacific Region in Russia’s Far East? Will the region become a hub linking the economies of Europe and Asia? How can an effective model of economic cooperation in the format of a “Greater Eurasia” be built? What practical steps need to be taken in order to implement this initiative?

02.09.2016
11:30—12:15

Investment Projects in the Ferrous and Nonferrous Metals Sector

This pitch session will feature presentations on projects involving the development of the Drazhnoye, Pavlik, Rodionovskoye, Kekura, and Baimskoye deposits, as well as projects involving the construction of major mining facilities and associated infrastructure.
These large-scale metal industry projects are expected to make a huge contribution to prospecting in Russia, turning the country into a leader in gold mining, creating new jobs, and increasing the investment appeal of the region as a whole.

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Energy Cooperation within the Asia-Pacific Region: Building Bridges

In cooperation with En+ Group

Demand for energy is growing rapidly in the Asia-Pacific Region, causing each country there to seek to diversify its energy supply. Russia’s Far East has natural competitive advantages that could be exploited in joint energy projects. One example, requiring a combination of investment and expertise, is the creation of an energy ring including Russia, Japan, Korea, China and Mongolia. In the medium term, we could see construction of new gas pipelines and other energy bridges between grids in Asia-Pacific countries. What are the most promising areas for energy cooperation between the Russian Far East and Asia-Pacific countries? How can we attract foreign investment to develop the energy sector and energy-intensive industries? How should Russian companies approach foreign energy markets? How can we learn from the example of the European Supergrid project to implement a similar approach in Northeast Asia and ensure unrestricted trade between countries and electricity markets? What are the possibilities in terms of creating energy bridges between Russia and Asia-Pacific countries?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Industrial Clusters in the Russian Far East: Assembly Points

The developed economies of the Asia-Pacific Region have looked beyond their borders in search of greater efficiency, resources and new markets. Some of the countries in the region are moving from commodity exports to industrial exports; others are becoming direct investment donors. The new investment climate gives the Russian Far East the competitive edge it needs to attract production from the Asia-Pacific Region. The macro-region’s manufacturing facilities come with lower costs, a qualified workforce and access to natural resources. Several successful manufacturing clusters have already been created in the Russian Far East with the help of foreign investors. Which new industries is the Russian Far East interested in developing? How can we create new value-added chains for industrial projects in the region? Are cross-border clusters feasible? How can we promote synergy between companies in the Asia-Pacific Region and in the Russian Far East working in the same industries? In terms of export strategies for manufacturing projects in the Russian Far East, what is the quickest route to accessing Asia-Pacific markets?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Private Investments in Public Infrastructure: What has the Government Accomplished?

On 1 January 2016, a new federal law on public–private partnerships (PPPs) came into effect in Russia. Along with provisions for concession arrangements, the law stipulates rules for private investment in infrastructure sectors such as transport, energy, healthcare and so on. There are currently a number of projects in the utilities and education sectors operating under PPP terms in the Russian Far East. There are also plans for large-scale transport projects. What conditions are needed to secure private investment in the public infrastructure? What PPP projects in the Russian Far East are available to private investors? What state support measures are offered to investors under the PPP framework? What changes need to be made to regulation in order to make PPP projects more attractive to investors?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

The Timber Industry in the Russian Far East: Reaching a New Level

Although the Russian Far East has the capacity to produce approximately 100 million cubic metres of timber, woodlots currently under lease represent just a little over 20 million cubic metres. To better tap into the region’s forestry resources, the timber industry requires new investment in infrastructure. To encourage such investment, the government is offering investors woodlots in the Russian Far East on preferential terms. Which woodlots in the region are available for lease to investors, and how much must be invested in local infrastructure in order to tap these resources? Based on past projects in the Russian Far East, how well do investments in the timber industry perform? What are the prospects for creating a timber cluster in the region? What will be the procedure for investment projects seeking to acquire priority status in order to obtain woodlots on preferential terms? Which tools can the government use to support investors working in the region’s timber industry?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Russia – China

The relationship between Russia and China is a key foreign policy priority for both countries. Bilateral dialogue continues to expand across a wide range of sectors. Further enhancement of trade and economic cooperation requires a search for new sources of growth. The creation of an investment climate in the Russian Far East, Advanced Special Economic Zones, and the Free Port of Vladivostok, as well as establishment of a Russo-Chinese agricultural development fund and joint promotion of international transport corridors in the wider region, could become such sources of growth, by lending additional momentum to the development of a broad spectrum of inter-governmental relations. What projects in the Russian Far East are of interest to both Russia and China? What mechanisms will promote successful implementation of Russo-Chinese investment projects? What are some new arenas in which bilateral economic cooperation could take place?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Developing an International Medical Cluster at Vladivostok Free Port: Opportunities and Operating Mechanisms

One of the priority development objectives for the Russian Far East is to make the region more attractive to investors and to bring in foreign investment. In this context, developing the market for private medical services in the region and creating an international medical cluster capable of providing a new level of healthcare is particularly important. What conditions need to be created for the cluster to be attractive to private players, both Russian and foreign? Are the quantity and quality of the region’s existing medical personnel sufficient? Is there the capacity to train new personnel to work at foreign clinics? Can foreign players count on financing under the existing system of compulsory health insurance and publicly funded healthcare and, if so, under what conditions?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Improving Living Standards as a Driver of Economic Growth in the Russian Far East

Regions in Russia’s Far East are implementing large-scale mineral resource management projects that are heavily government-funded. But the changing global raw materials market has highlighted the need to identify new drivers of economic growth in this macro-region. Owing to public initiative, proximity to major sources of foreign investment and its logistical advantages, it possesses the potential to become a powerful growth area. Taking all these factors into account, can growth in domestic demand (particularly household demand linked to import substitution) become a source of sustainable economic growth? Should the government take steps to foster this demand and, if so, using which tools?

02.09.2016
12:45—14:15

Far East Focus for Russian Exports

In a world characterized by turbulence on the financial and commodity markets, the overall direction in which Russian business is seeking new markets is shifting towards the most promising area – a region featuring a gigantic scale, where demand is growing at an incredible rate. Given the specific nature of the economic situation in the Russian Far East, focusing on exports to Asia-Pacific countries may be the most promising development model for the region. While natural resources currently account for the majority of its exports today, the region should focus on processing, and become one predominantly selling value-added products and services tomorrow. While the favourable investment climate created in Advanced Special Economic Zones and free ports undoubtedly contributes to achieving this objective, supporting and fostering exports will still remain an integral part of the Russian Government’s policy in the Far East. This policy consists of a range of measures, including trade promotion, risk insurance, export lending and transport infrastructure development. What can the Russian Far East offer to Asia-Pacific countries, and what tools may prove most effective for unlocking the export potential of this macro-region?

02.09.2016
13:00—14:30

Free Ports: Open Gateways to the Asia-Pacific Region

In 2015, the south of Primorsky Territory received free port status, a modern version of the porto franco. The new free port has already received more than 70 investment proposals. The Russian Government has decided to extend free port status to all key harbours in Sakhalin Region, Khabarovsk Territory, Kamchatka Territory and Chukotka Autonomous Region. Tax benefits, streamlined immigration procedures, a duty free zone – these are the benefits Russia’s free ports now offer investors. How will the free port structure be replicated at other harbours? What conditions does the Free Port of Vladivostok offer investors and what is the procedure for becoming a port resident? What factors should guide investors in choosing between a free port and an ASEZ? What are the new customs procedures in the Free Port of Vladivostok? How do the first residents rate the success of the free port initiative so far?

02.09.2016
13:45—15:00

Investment Projects in the Transport and Logistics Sector

This series of presentations on transport and logistics projects will shed light on a number of issues relevant to the Russian Far East: the construction of new infrastructure facilities and the upgrading of existing ones; provision of open access to major traffic and freight routes; and cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries. The major transport and infrastructure initiatives that will be presented include projects in areas such as seaport redevelopment and the construction of coal transshipment terminals, a passenger terminal for ocean liners, a new terminal complex at Khabarovsk Novy International Airport, and so on.

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

The Far East. On the Road to Three Olympic Games

Following those held in Brazil, the next three Olympic Games will take place in countries within the Asia-Pacific Region: South Korea (2018), Japan (2020), and China (2022). Russia is ready to invest in helping teams train under the conditions found in the Far East. Implementing this plan requires immediate development of the sports and tourist infrastructure. One such project is already under way: construction of a Mountain Air Sports and Tourist Complex on Sakhalin Island. In turn, development of the infrastructure creates new opportunities for expanding international cooperation through participation in preparations for upcoming games and hosting preliminary competitions. Which tools can the government use, and what additional mechanisms are required to support implementation of this plan? What other projects for the development of the sports infrastructure are being planned in the region? What conditions will ensure an influx of private investment into this sector?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Developing Alternative and Local Energy Markets in the Russian Far East

Most communities in the Russian Far East lie in remote locations and are not linked to the country’s main power grid. This factor, along with the difficulty and high cost of transporting energy, offers unique opportunities for developing the region’s alternative and local energy sectors. Several successful geothermal, solar and wind energy initiatives have already been rolled out in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Kamchatka Territory, and Sakhalin Region. Yet the Russian Far East still has no fully fledged local and alternative energy markets. Which areas of the Russian Far East hold promise as centres for the region’s local and alternative energy sector? How well have investments in the local and alternative energy sector in the Russian Far East performed in the past? Which new local and alternative energy projects are scheduled for launch in the Russian Far East? What conditions could make the region’s local and alternative energy sector more attractive to Russian and foreign investors?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Developing the Financial Market in the Russian Far East

The investment projects and assets of the Russian Far East are attractive to investors from the Asia-Pacific Region. Indeed, it may very soon become a regional financial centre. Currently, the development institutes of the Russian Far East are helping establish a transparent mechanism for investors to participate in projects that offer a profitable outlook, while helping securities issuers to attract funding. Ultimately, development of the stock exchange and investment infrastructure will create a pricing centre for basic commodities that Russia exports to Asia-Pacific countries. What incentives and benefits can increase the investment appeal of the Russian Far East? Can the experience of developing the financial and stock exchange infrastructures of Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada be applied to the region? How can we strike a balance between sufficiently demanding quality requirements for issuers and the need to encourage them to emerge? What are the legal and economic prerequisites for developing the Russian Far East into a financial centre?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Humanitarian and Economic Development in the Asia-Pacific Region: Challenges and Opportunities

The local population’s attitude towards foreign-funded investment projects frequently, and significantly, affects the chances of successful implementation. In today’s climate, cooperation in the humanitarian sphere and the expansion of cross-cultural dialogue must be seen as key factors in the development and optimization of economic cooperation. Investment in the humanitarian and social spheres – that is, projects seeking to develop human capital – can significantly reduce the risks foreign companies face beyond their own borders. How does intercultural cooperation, as well as the humanitarian and business climate in the Asia-Pacific Region, affect implementation of investment projects? Are there any successful examples of government and business initiatives to develop humanitarian cooperation in individual countries of the region? Can educational projects and social entrepreneurship help bolster society’s faith in new technologies and create mutual trust among business representatives from different cultures? What are some of the opportunities for cooperation in development of human capital in the Asia-Pacific Region?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Integration in Greater Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific Region: Where Do Interests Intersect?

A large-scale pattern of integration is developing in and around Eurasia – the all-encompassing Eurasian partnership includes the Eurasian Economic Union, China and its Silk Road Economic Belt, India, Pakistan, Iran, links with the Republic of Korea and Japan, and other important players. The reinvigorated and expanded Shanghai Cooperation Organization will play an important role in the new community. At the same time, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement has been signed and discussions about the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) initiative are ongoing. What is the strategic potential of coordinated development in major Eurasian integration projects? Do these processes compete with or complement each other? Will they usher in a free trade zone spanning Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific Region, or will they lead to even deeper forms of integration? What global business projects might become possible through such integration? How might integration change the conditions for business development and what advantages might it create for doing business?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Global Projects for Hydrocarbon Processing: Attracting Investments

The new strategy for the Russian Far East is aimed at providing comprehensive support for the localization of advanced refining of hydrocarbons extracted in the Russian regions. The Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean oil pipeline, the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline, and various fields explored by independent gas producers have laid the groundwork for large-scale petrochemical projects in the Russian Far East. A number of companies planning to work on such projects in the ASEZs are currently looking for partners from the Asia-Pacific Region.
Yet a number of factors, including access to raw materials and information on how much can be accessed, how quickly and under what conditions, are holding back implementation of the biggest projects. Can the success of the petrochemical clusters in the Asia-Pacific Region be replicated? Will tax incentives and assistance with creation of infrastructure facilities in the Advanced Special Economic Zones be enough? What needs to be done to create value chains at ASEZs facilities with a focus on the petrochemical industry in the Russian Far East? In terms of models of government involvement in encouraging creation of such clusters, what lessons can be learned from the experience of hydrocarbon-rich countries?

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Diamonds as a Financial Instrument in Times of Economic Instability

The economic crisis is pushing investors to seek new investment tools, meaning that diamonds have all the prerequisites to become a profitable investment and savings asset. The key advantages of diamonds are their high capital intensity ratio, small size, multi-currency support, simple logistics and ease of storage. To carry this initiative forward, there are a number of issues that require discussion and resolution:
• Classifying items by the four standard parameters: carat weight, colour, clarity and cut.
• Standardizing the Russian and international diamond classification systems.
• Identifying investment diamonds to ensure investor protection
• Developing and launching a mechanism for exchange trading in investment diamonds
• Creating an attractive environment for investors, particularly in terms of taxation

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

Investor Access to Natural Resource Deposits: What Are the Rules of the Game and Do They Need to Be Changed?

The Russian Far East holds vast quantities of mineral deposits. To exploit these resources, incentives for both domestic and foreign investment are needed. Many steps have been taken by federal and regional governments over the past few years. Competition for investments on an international scale would necessitate further adjustments to the subsoil use legislation.
The following possibilities will be discussed in an open dialogue between business and government:
- Lowering the barriers to foreign investment in Russian mining companies
- Reducing legislative obstacles to classification of strategic mineral deposits
- Expanding the scope of the application procedure for obtaining licences for the geological study of subsoil
- Increasing the powers held by regional authorities to promote subsoil use.
- Initiating pilot projects to attract subsoil users to the Russian Far East
- Introducing tax incentives for subsoil users at the regional and federal levels
- Developing new government mechanisms to promote geological surveying
- Developing the mining infrastructure in the Russian Far East
- Creating a trading platform for new mining companies.

02.09.2016
15:15—16:45

The Client’s View on Far Eastern Transport Infrastructure: Requirements, Opportunities, Time

The Russian Far East is set to become a leading force in developing the transport infrastructure sector. All the prerequisites are already in place: geographical positioning, developed regional economies and the groundwork for the basic infrastructure. In addition to traditional and accelerated development, the region can become a nationwide prototype for the introduction and use of new technical, organizational and economic approaches to investment in the transport infrastructure sector. Solving this problem means finding a balance between the needs of the population, regional businesses and big corporations, and the capacities of the federal centre.

02.09.2016
16:00—17:30

Ensuring Investment Attractiveness in the Far East: The Role of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

Natural and man-made disasters cause significant economic and social damage to the economies of the Asia-Pacific Region, disrupting business and reducing the Far East’s investment appeal. In light of this, it is essential to combine our efforts, increase resilience to risk and invest in disaster risk reduction. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2015–2030 takes significant steps in this direction. Its implementation will ensure stable socioeconomic growth in the Far East. What global and Russian trends can be observed in the impact of disasters on the economy? How does the risk of disaster affect development of entrepreneurial activity in the Asia-Pacific Region? How can the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction help ensure business safety and increase the investment appeal of the Far East? What is the role of civil society in increasing national, regional and municipal resilience in the face of disaster?

02.09.2016
16:30—17:15

Investment Projects in the Infrastructure Construction Sector

At present, the Russian Far East suffers from underdeveloped infrastructure and a relatively poor quality of life. The projects in this section have a very good chance of radically changing this situation. The Talaya Health and Leisure Centre, Russia’s only such resort north of the Arctic Circle, which offers a unique combination of natural and therapeutic benefits, could become a key resort for the country, and the PrimRing project could become a calling card for Primorsky Territory and the Russian Far East. The development of the ‘Clearwater Diamond’ skyscraper will provide a boost to quality of life in the region, while the construction of a new heating main from Khabarovsk Power Plant No. 3 will ensure reliable and efficient energy supply for the district.

02.09.2016
17:15—19:00

Russian–Japanese Business Forum

The eight-point plan for economic cooperation presented at the May 2016 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe identified the development of the Russian Far East as a priority in their bilateral relations. The Japanese Cabinet’s new initiative creates favourable conditions for expanding Japanese investment in projects based in Russia. For its part, the Russian Far East can offer Japanese companies the best investment climate in Advanced Special Economic Zones (ASEZs) and the Free Port of Vladivostok, as well as tax incentives and infrastructure support. Special ASEZs may be set up under the control of joint Russian–Japanese ventures. Energy, transport infrastructure, healthcare, agriculture, and timber processing are all priority areas for Russian–Japanese cooperation in the Russian Far East. What projects are already being implemented by Japanese companies in the Russian Far East, and how effective are these investments? What projects are being proposed by Russian companies for joint implementation with Japanese business? What economic and regulatory factors are constraining Japanese investment in Russia? What are the conditions and mechanisms for creating special ASEZs for Japanese investors under the control of Russian–Japanese management companies?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

Protecting the Rights of Investors in the Far East: Guaranteed Safeguards

Targeted measures to reduce administrative barriers and expand economic freedoms have improved the investment climate in Russia, which now ranks ahead of the remaining BRICS countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business rating. The new law on arbitration courts, reduction in the number of administrative checks, liberalization of criminal legislation and better dialogue between the business community and law enforcement agencies have further contributed to increased investor confidence. To what extent is the business community satisfied with the security of its investments in the Far East? Are there still risks it would like to see eliminated? How will the regulatory environment develop and what further action should be taken by the federal and regional authorities?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

The Russian Far East: a Local Point for Investment from the Asia-Pacific Region

The Russian Far East could become a central hub for economic cooperation between Russia and Asia-Pacific nations. There are now new development institutes operating in the region, such as the BRICS New Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which can fund major projects. One of the most important conditions for attracting investors to the Russian Far East is clear and transparent rules for mutually-beneficial cooperation. What conditions must be created in order to attract foreign investment in projects in the Russian Far East? Will the Russian Far East become a focal point for new development institutes? What are the initial results of joint investment funds financed by capital from Russia and from the Asia-Pacific Region?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

Comprehensive Development of Komsomolsk-on-Amur

Komsomolsk-on-Amur is the second largest city and the industrial centre of Khabarovsk Territory. Following an order from the Russian President, a comprehensive city development plan has been prepared and approved, including measures to improve the city’s urban and social infrastructure and harmonize the living conditions there with the existing high potential for development of its industry. How can Komsomolsk-on-Amur’s industrial and innovation potential and profitable specializations be realized? How can the principles of creating a comfortable urban environment be effectively implemented in local development projects? What should be done to turn Komsomolsk-on-Amur into a professional and innovative centre of expertise? How do modern tools used to support industrial and innovative development work in the region?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

Tourism in the Russian Far East: Fostering New Opportunities

With annual revenues of more than USD 1.4 trillion, international tourism is one of today’s fastest growing global export industries. The highest rates of growth are found in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Russian Far East has all the prerequisites for the development of both domestic and international tourism. Millions of travellers with money to spend from the countries of the Asia-Pacific Region represent a powerful investment incentive to projects in the Russian Far East aimed at improving the tourist infrastructure and creating new attractions for travellers. Investors can focus on traditional sports and health and wellness tourism, or tap into the area’s extreme and event tourism potential. A number of investment projects are already under way in tourism-oriented ASEZs in Sakhalin and Kamchatka. How can investment projects in the tourism sector make use of the Russian Far East’s natural environment, geographical features, and economic potential? Based on past projects in the Russian Far East, how well do investments in the tourism industry perform? How can the new development tools (ASEZs, free ports) help attract investment in tourism?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

Russia: Contributing to Food Security in the Asia-Pacific Region

In cooperation with Rusagro Group of Companies

Asia is seeing rapid growth in its consumption of and demand for high-quality food products. At the same time, the ability of Asia-Pacific countries to increase their own food production, expanding the food supply with larger growing areas or higher crop yields, is almost exhausted. The Russian Far East, meanwhile, has a significant bank of fertile land and enjoys advantageous natural conditions for implementing projects to cultivate high-quality, environmentally-friendly crops for both domestic consumption and export. Through the ASEZs set up by the Russian Government, investors are offered unique business opportunities with guaranteed support from specialist development institutes as well as international investment platforms. Can the Russian Far East agricultural cluster supply Asia with food? How can Russia’s Far Eastern agro-industrial complex contribute to food security in Asia-Pacific countries? How do we strike a reasonable balance between global and national interests? Do the food producers of the Russian Far East need an umbrella brand and state protection in order to enter competitive Asian markets?

02.09.2016
17:30—19:00

Digitalization of the Far East: the Driver of Economic Growth and of a Better Quality of Life

Access to a high-quality infrastructure of information and communications technologies has a positive influence on GDP growth, and growth of the economy as a whole. Over the last few years, the digital gap between Moscow and other regions of the Russian Federation has been closing, yet the Far East still lags behind, and the tariffs there are the highest in the country. The reason is the lack of backbone networks. Fibre optic lines are unprofitable owing to factors such as permafrost and low population density. In order to overcome this challenge, the possibility must be considered of changing regulatory and commercial approaches. How can the Far East be made more appealing to investors and communications service providers? Which regulatory stimuli are required to make long-term investments in the digital infrastructure in the region more attractive?

02.09.2016
18:00—19:30

Innovative Projects in the Far Eastern Federal District

The high-tech projects implemented in the Russian Far East serve as practical examples of developing the innovation sector of the region’s economy. These projects are being implemented with the help of advanced scientific research supported by the Skolkovo Foundation’s Far Eastern department. Technological solutions proposed by Far East companies in the fields of robotics, information, healthcare and biotechnology not only offer considerable potential for Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, they are also of interest to partners from Asia-Pacific countries. What major breakthrough projects are being implemented in the Russian Far East? What technological sectors are most promising in terms of investment? What successful examples of state-supported innovation projects can be cited?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

New Support Mechanisms for Investors in the Russian Far East

The Russian Far East offers a wide range of measures to support investors, including infrastructure subsidies, tax benefits and financing from the Far East Development Fund. A total of RUB 50 billion in support is being made available to 21 investors. Any company that invests more than RUB 50 million in a new facility in the Russian Far East can apply for preferential corporate income tax rates and reduced taxes on mining operations, which remain in effect for ten years. How can investors working in the Russian Far East take advantage of these state support measures? How do these measures affect investment performance? How successful are projects that receive state support?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Demographic Development as a Factor in Investment Appeal

The demographic situation in the Russian Far East has seen improvements in recent years. Since 2012, for the first time in 20 years, there has been natural population growth and a steady reduction in outward migration flows. Experts believe that this positive demographic trend is directly linked to new investment projects in the Russian Far East. In order to achieve its demographic growth strategy, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East is developing a demographic policy framework for the region to 2030, including specific measures for implementation.
What measures to increase birth rates and life expectancy could have a long-term economic effect? How can the economic losses from premature mortality in the region be calculated? Can the creation of new jobs persuade residents of the Far East to stay in the region? What migration policy models should be adopted in the south and the north of the region? How can labour mobility and repatriation programmes be linked to the new economic tools, namely advanced special economic zones, the Far Eastern Hectare programme, and the Vladivostok Free Port?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Preserving Biodiversity and Maintaining Ecological Balance in the Asia-Pacific Region

In partnership with TV Channel Live Planet<br />In cooperation with Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

In addition to its large-scale industry and densely populated urban areas, the Asia-Pacific Region boasts many unique natural habitats, and is home to extremely rare animal and plant species: the Amur leopard, Siberian tiger, grey whale, oriental stork, and many other endemic varieties of flora and fauna. If the region manages to attract investment to implement major projects, this could pose serious threats to its environment and biodiversity. At the same time, there are numerous tools that can be used to help maintain a balance between the economy and the environment. The Russian Far East could become a pilot region in terms of attracting green and environmentally-friendly investment. The countries in the region and businesses operating there are increasingly aware of the need to protect biodiversity as part of their overall strategy. It has been suggested that a common approach to maintaining the ecological balance in the region needs to be discussed. What do the Asia-Pacific countries need to do to preserve biodiversity in the region? How can the interests and capacities of all stakeholders (states, businesses and local populations) be taken into account in developing a green economy? What biodiversity programmes have already proved effective? What requirements do investors in the Russian Far East currently have to meet from an ecological point of view? What economic mechanisms might enable us to maintain the region’s unique natural environment?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Integration and Health: An Epidemic Risk Management System for the Asia-Pacific Region

The ability to resist non-economic threats is a key factor in the Far East’s appeal to investors. The Asia-Pacific Region regularly faces the threat of epidemics, which not only impedes regional integration and stable socioeconomic development but also results in significant financial losses. Over the last few years, the negative effect of such threats can be measured in billions of dollars. In the Far East, the increased cross-border movement of people and goods requires further improvement of techniques for managing health risks. The existing Russian system for preventing and responding to the threat of dangerous infectious diseases has shown itself to be effective. Given the border-crossing nature of epidemics, a regional approach to combating acute threats needs to be developed (the Zika virus, Ebola, new strains of flu), as well as in addressing HIV, tuberculosis, dengue fever, etc. Losses resulting from health threats must be reduced, which will not only increase returns on investment but also improve quality of life. Policy decisions in this area have already been made by leaders within an array of multilateral and international organizations (EAS, APEC, ASEAN). The time has come for practical measures. What risks does the region currently face from epidemics? How much do infectious diseases cost investors and economies? What are the prospects for developing a regional system to manage health and epidemiological risks? What would its future components be? What measures exist for helping developing nations within the Asia-Pacific Region create basic epidemic warning and response capabilities, and what is Russia’s role? Inclusive investment: could investment in healthcare reduce losses caused by epidemics?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Regional Improvements to the Investment Climate: Assessment by the Business Community

Over the past year, the federal government has applied considerable efforts to increasing the appeal of the Russian Far East to entrepreneurs. A number of laws have been passed to encourage regional-level investment and to exploit competitive advantages, including a law on Advanced Special Economic Zones, a change in industrial policy, and a law aimed at stimulating investment. Increasing economic activity in an area depends first and foremost, however, on the approach taken by local authorities. At the regional level, measures have included a one-stop-shop investor support mechanism, simplification of administrative procedures for construction and grid connection, and allocation of land plots, among others. Despite all these efforts, none of the nine regions in the Russian Far East made it into the top twenty in the Russian Regional Investment Climate Index for 2016. How do the regional authorities plan to rectify the situation through policy changes, ensuring stable regional economic development and attracting investment? How is work to implement such a project being carried out? What has been accomplished over the past year? What has been less successful? How do entrepreneurs and investors assess the effectiveness of the regional governors’ administrations? What does business currently need most from the regional authorities?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Housing and Utilities – A Strategic Sector for the Development of the Russian Far East

The modernization of housing and utilities is an important factor in the socioeconomic development of Russia’s Far East. Russian and foreign investors are expressing increasing interest in the housing and utilities sector; investment agreements signed in 2015 amounted to RUB 70.9 billion – a tenfold increase over the previous investment period. Foreign business partners are currently very interested in implementing residential projects in the Russian Far East. What special measures for development of housing and utilities in the Russian Far East could help realize the sector’s potential? Are any additional measures required to support investors? How can existing business incentives in the Russian Far East be used to attract investment into housing and utilities? What is the best way to use the experience of foreign investors within the Far Eastern Federal District?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

Advanced Special Economic Zones 2.0: What Now?

The law governing Advanced Special Economic Zones, which came into effect in 2015, is only the first step towards creating a competitive investment climate in the Russian Far East. In order to win investors in the face of international competition, the ASEZ system must evolve until it outperforms global best practices. The practical experience of creating ASEZs amassed over the last two years has led to some strategic forks in the road. Not all of the initial ideas on conditions in ASEZs could be brought about in the first version of the legislation. Now that ASEZs in their present form have already proven successful with investors, it is vital to improve the regulations that govern the creation of ASEZs to incorporate current best practices. The goal of this strategic session is to discuss how ASEZ legislation will evolve in the future. What benefits should be offered to ASEZ residents working in various sectors and on various priority projects? What factors will shape the rating system used to evaluate proposals for new ASEZs and for new projects in existing ASEZs? Which regulatory powers will be transferred from the federal to local governments?

03.09.2016
09:30—11:00

The Transit Potential of the Russian Far East: From Geography toGeoeconomics

Freight traffic from the Asia-Pacific Region reaches all corners of the world. By rerouting some of the freight along major transport routes in the Russian Far East, shippers in China, Korea, Japan, and other countries can cut their costs significantly. In recent years, the Russian Government has issued a number of decrees designed to tap into the transit potential of the Far Eastern Federal District. The main focus of these measures is to expand the region’s port infrastructure, modernize the railways and streamline border crossing and customs procedures. Which freight from the Asia-Pacific Region could be shipped expediently via Russia’s Far East? What railway, port and cross-border infrastructure in the Russian Far East holds potential for investment? How can the Advanced Special Economic Zone (ASEZ) and free port regimes protect investors and increase returns on investment in the transit infrastructure? What steps must be taken to make transport corridors more accessible and attractive to investors? What is the outlook for using the Northern Sea Route as a global transport corridor?

03.09.2016
10:00—11:30

Russia – Republic of Korea

Close ties between the Russian and Korean leaderships provide an excellent foundation for a business partnership. The fact that Russia and Korea are neighbours provides a further impetus to deepening bilateral economic, financial and business relations. Cooperation in these sectors reinforces stability throughout the Asia-Pacific Region. Russian entrepreneurs are interested in establishing branches of Korea’s biggest medical centres at the Free Port of Vladivostok, creating a Russo-Korean agricultural investment fund and transitioning to practical implementation of joint mechanical engineering, high-tech, agriculture and aquaculture projects, in accordance with the import substitution initiative. Experience amassed by Korean companies of working in European Russia may also be successfully applied in Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. This year’s Russia–Republic of Korea business dialogue focuses on specific projects that could serve as a stepping stone toward a qualitatively new level of cooperation between the two nations. Advanced Special Economic Zones and the Free Port of Vladivostok: modern solutions. Which factors stand in the way of Russian–Korean joint investment projects? Which new Russian projects could capture the attention of Korean investors in Russia and vice versa?

03.09.2016
10:00—11:30

Budget Investment in a New Quality of Life in the Far East

The current economic situation requires concentrated development and consolidation of all available resources for sustainable socio-economic development of the regions of the Far East. At the government’s expense, a foundation power and transport infrastructure has been set up, within the scope of the preparations for the APEC Summit, Vladivostok has been transformed and a number of projects implemented for developing the social infrastructure. At the First Eastern Economic Forum, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin gave instructions to ensure priority financing of socio-economic development of the Far East within the scope of implementing state programmes of the Russian Federation. What impact do budget investments have in raising the quality of life and the investment appeal of the Far East? What is the role of the state going forward in developing the infrastructure for life and business in the Far East? How should approaches to state programming be changed to achieve maximum effect in developing the Far East?

03.09.2016
11:00—12:00

Investment Projects in the Agricultural Industry

In this session, Forum participants and guests will learn about prospective projects in farming, the food industry, fish farming, and agriculture. The presentations will cover projects involving the construction of livestock breeding and greenhouse complexes, pig farms, and broiler farms, a project to create an Antarctic krill technology park in Primorsky Territory, and more.

03.09.2016
12:00—14:00

Opening up the Russian Far East

Address by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin
Address by President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye
Address by Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe

03.09.2016
14:00—15:00

Investment Projects in the Natural Resource Extraction and Processing Sector

This series of presentations will focus on unique, strategically important projects involving the exploration and commercial development of different territories, and the extraction and mining of natural resources: development of the Zapadno-Anabarsky (West Anabar) licensed area; a project to create a coal cluster centred on the Omsukchan coal basin; development of the Soyuznoye graphite deposit; creation of a hydrocarbon refining centre in Aldan, in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia); construction of a methanol plant; and construction of the Amur oil refinery (an oil refining and petroleum product transportation complex).

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Securing a Workforce for Investors: a Turnkey Solution

The development of human capital is an important precondition for attracting investment in the Russian Far East. State policies for developing human capital are already seeing their first results: the government has launched training programmes for local residents and resettlement programmes from other parts of the country, and has simplified regulations for employing foreign workers in ASEZs and free ports in the Russian Far East. In order to help investors attract workers, the government has also created the Agency for the Development of Human Capital. The Agency is a one-stop-shop system offering investors standard solutions, as well as services tailored specifically to their needs. How acute is the region’s need for experts in various fields and at various levels, and how does the new development institute plan to fill the demand for human resources? What kind of services does the Agency offer to investors? How does support provided by the Agency affect investment performance in Russia’s Far East? How does the business community rate the Agency’s services and performance?

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

The Space Agenda for the Asia-Pacific Region

In today’s world, use of space technologies for communications, navigation and natural resource monitoring is a crucial tool for dealing with strategic matters of territorial development, ensuring the safety and efficiency of passenger and freight transport, and monitoring and minimizing the consequences of natural disasters. A number of Asia-Pacific countries, including China, Russia and Japan, are among those leading the way in developing national space-related activities. South Korea and Mexico, as well as other countries in the region, have launched their own national space programmes. The region also hosts the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF).
Work on developing a space infrastructure is continuing apace. Some of the world’s most advanced space centres started operating in the region in 2016: the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Amur Region and the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on China’s Hainan Island. A transport safety network based on the GLONASS navigation system is being created in the Russian regions and similar projects are under way in China.

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

The Innovative Economy: Identifying Areas of Growth

The extractive industries today make up as much as a third of the Russian Far Eastern Federal District’s economy, this being not only greater than the figure for neighbouring countries, but two and a half times above the Russian average. In view of this, accelerated development in the innovation sector is particularly important, both in terms of diversifying the regional economy and with respect to improving efficiency in the extractive sector during a period of low raw material prices. Despite Russia investing adequately in research and development, on a par with the UK, Canada and Norway in this respect, the range of innovative technologies on offer to businesses lags considerably behind that typical in developed economies. Developing the innovation sector in the Far Eastern Federal District will require a substantial increase in the supply of innovative technologies via three key channels: R&D localization on the part of major Asia-Pacific markets, growth in the number of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises, and an increase in the innovative activities of large companies in the region. How can the quantity and quality of commercial innovations carried out in the Far Eastern Federal District be increased? What practical steps and “quick wins” should be prioritized? What economic and regulatory incentives need to be created? What is the critical bottleneck in the Far Eastern Federal District’s innovation infrastructure? Which sectors should serve as priority areas of focus?

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Russia – Germany

Germany has not only been a traditionally reliable supplier of quality products and hi-tech equipment for Russia, but also the leading investor in the real sector. Cooperation between Russian and German businesses covers all areas of the economy, from mechanical engineering to agriculture. New Russian government projects and programmes for developing the Russian Far East, together with their raw material potential, as well as the proximity of the Asia-Pacific Region, are of interest and provide new opportunities for bilateral cooperation. On the one hand, German business is interested in participating in already declared infrastructure projects and in modernizing enterprises in the Far East. On the other hand, the rich experience of localizing the production of German companies in Russia can be successfully used in the macro region. The purpose of the event is thus to draft a roadmap for the development of Russian–German cooperation in the Far Eastern Federal District for 2017.
What are the prospects for implementing joint projects in the Far Eastern Federal District, including in Advanced Special Economic Zones and Free Port of Vladivostok? What are the stimuli and deterrents to implementing German investment projects in the Far Eastern Federal District?

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Russia–ASEAN

Russia–ASEAN On 19–20 May 2016, Sochi hosted the ASEAN–Russia Summit. During the ASEAN–Russia Business Forum, held at the same time, the participating countries adopted a joint declaration defining the main areas of cooperation between Russia and the Association. The Summit confirmed that both parties were keen to develop business contacts throughout the ASEAN region. What are the promising areas for cooperation?
A roadmap for building trade, economic and investment cooperation between Russia and ASEAN: what next?
How can best use be made of the potential benefits of merging regional integration processes, including by building economic cooperation between the EAEU and the ASEAN Economic Community?

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Law and Greater Competitiveness of Russian Far East in the APR

One of the most important tools for economic development is the law, consisting of a set of legal means and methods used by business and government. It is the legal environment that forms the basis for systemic changes in the economy of Russian Far East, for increasing the competitiveness of this region in the Asia-Pacific in the years to come. The legal landscape in Russian Far East is consistently changing, with new legal concepts emerging, such as special economic zones. Key changes are now also under way in industry-related legislation (fisheries, forestry, etc.). But this is not enough for a new legal reality to emerge. Effective dispute resolution instruments must be used in building relations with our partners from the APR nations, ones to which they are accustomed. A serious need exists for law enforcement practice to be modified and some legal provisions revised as regards foreign trade. The Forum’s legal section will focus on these and other matters.

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Investment by State-Owned Companies: the Far East as a Piority

Accelerated development of the Far East requires consolidation of all available resources. In the current economic situation, investments by state-owned companies drive economic processes and allow the conditions for private investments to be created. At the First Eastern Economic Forum, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin gave instructions to ensure priority financing of socio-economic development of the Far East within the scope of the activities of state-owned companies. What are the plans for implementing state investments in the Far East? What is to be expected from implementation of the major projects (FEPCO, Power of Siberia, construction of new power plant, extension of the Baikal-Amur and Trans-Siberian Mainlines, launch of the Vostochny Cosmodrome)? What are the prospects for development of small businesses in connection with implementation of major projects? What is the role going forward of programmes for development of state-owned companies in increasing the investment appeal of the Far East?

03.09.2016
15:00—16:30

Vladivostok Free Port: How to Improve Services for Business

The Federal Law on the Free Port of Vladivostok was signed and came into effect in 2015. The law establishes special business conditions in 15 municipalities of Primorsky Territory. One objective of the law is to tap into the transit potential of the southern part of Primorsky Territory by creating an environment that would attract investment in port, rail and other types of logistics infrastructure and by introducing simpler freight customs clearance procedures. The law stipulates special border crossing conditions for individuals, vehicles, freight, goods and livestock entering the Free Port of Vladivostok; it governs the application of customs procedures in duty free zones and defines procedures for storing certain highly valuable assets, such as luxury items, art and antiques. This strategic session has been designed as a discussion with experts and residents of the Free Port of Vladivostok focusing on the practical side of these special conditions and on steps that must be taken to ensure high-quality government services at the Free Port. Which international best practices could be applied in implementing the Free Customs Zone in the Free Port of Vladivostok? How could the Free Port legislation be modified to make it more attractive to entrepreneurs and investors? What does the process for finding and clearing land for business use in the Free Port of Vladivostok entail?

03.09.2016
16:30—17:15

Investment Projects in the Innovation and Materials Sector

In this section, projects involving the construction of a factory producing energy-saving materials, a high-tech sawmill, and a high-tech park, and the development of innovative soil stabilization technologies will be presented. These projects are aimed at furthering the region’s economic and innovation-driven growth, creating new jobs, improving infrastructure, and protecting the environment thanks to the use of the latest technologies and high-quality equipment. This also enables the products concerned to play a successful role in import substitution programmes and to help develop exports to Asia and the East.