The Agency for Strategic Initiatives (ASI) and the Roscongress Foundation presented the economic potential of 8 regions of the Russian Federation to Korean investors in Seoul (Republic of Korea) on 25 October 2017. The business event ‘Business in Russia: Regional Opportunities for Korean Business’ was organized jointly with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), and the Korean International Trade Association (KITA), which in practice reflects the implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the Roscongress Foundation and KOTRA for which signed documents were exchanged at the EEF in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in.
On the Russian side, the event was attended by Novgorod Region Governor Andrei Nikitin, Governor of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District-Yugra Natalia Komarova, Kaluga Region Governor Anatoly Artamonov, Head of North Ossetia Vyacheslav Bitarov, Sakhalin Region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako as well as representatives of the Kaliningrad, Amur, and Khabarovsk Regions.
Underscoring the importance of the development of Russian–Korean trade and economic exchanges in recent years, ASI General Director Svetlana Chupsheva noted that it is not only a matter of Russia being interested in Korean investments, technologies, and management practices, but it is also important for Korean business to learn more about the opportunities for implementing joint projects. “The recent meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok makes today’s forum even more relevant. And our meeting today signifies the practical implementation of the comprehensive partnership between our countries, as agreed by Putin and Moon”.
She also drew the participants’ attention to the positive changes taking place in the Russian economy.
“The forums of the Roscongress Foundation traditionally demonstrate the successes of the Russian economy. The Russian House will host a number of interesting events during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January of next year. And the next St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, one of the world’s largest forums on matters concerning the global and Russian economic agenda, will be held in May 2018 (24–26 May). I would like to take this opportunity to invite our Korean partners to attend these events – we will be very happy!” Chupsheva said.
The meeting participants were welcomed by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea Alexander Timonin. He stressed that an extensive legal framework has been created over the 25 years that have passed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea, including more than 50 agreements on trade, investment guarantees, fisheries, the prevention of dual taxation, military-technical cooperation, the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and cultural exchanges, among other things.
“Korea has not joined the anti-Russian sanctions that have been imposed by a number of foreign countries since 2014, and Russia has been declared a priority in the foreign policy of the current president of the Republic of Korea”, he said.
The Republic of Korea is a strategic partner of the closest Russian regions to Korea – the Sakhalin Region and Khabarovsk Territory. Sakhalin Region Governor Oleg Kozhemyako noted that the region’s geographical proximity to the large markets of the APR countries and high resource potential make the island region an attractive spot for the development of foreign trade and investment cooperation.
“The implementation of oil and gas projects on the island’s shelf has certainly had a positive impact on the development of Sakhalin’s foreign trade relations with the Republic of Korea. Korean companies are among the main importers of oil and liquefied natural gas. In addition to oil and LNG, we supply coal, fish, and seafood to the Korean market. In turn, equipment and mechanical devices, ferrous metals and products made from them, ships and boats, and polymeric materials are purchased from the Republic of Korea. Investment cooperating is also developing along with foreign trade. The island’s economy has about USD 150 million of Korean investments. The region has registered 72 enterprises with the participation of Korean businesses as well as the branches and representative offices of a number of Korean companies”, Kozhemyako said as part of the presentation.
On the Korean side, the meeting was attended by Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) President Mr. Jaehong Kim, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Korea (KCCI) Mr. Yongmaan Park, and Chairman of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) Mr. Kim In-ho. They unanimously welcomed the Russian side’s initiative to attract investment and the innovative potential of Korean business.
“This is a great chance to introduce our Russian friends to the opportunities for building a business and tell them about our investment opportunities”, Mr. Kim In-ho said.
About 200 senior officials from Korean companies took part in G2B meetings in the format of direct communication with the leaders of Russia’s regions, which demonstrates the interest of the host country’s business community in the bilateral development of new projects as well as models of state interaction and economic cooperation between Russia and Korea.