The Yalta International Economic Forum which concluded today confirmed its status as a major-league international business arena with discussion of global agenda issues.
“As a result of the Forum, documents have been signed which are worth more than 100 billion roubles. 64 billion of that figure is in the form of contracts and agreements, while the rest is in the form of memorandums. And there remain proposals to sign yet more such documents in the upcoming weeks. The number of Forum delegates continues to rise, particularly from overseas. The positive trend is clear. I believe that the Forum has achieved its aims – even if we still, as usual, have much left that we must do” - the Head of the Crimean Republic, and Chairman of the Yalta International Economic Forum, Mr Sergey Aksionov.
YIEF-2017 was attended by more than 2200 participants – more than double the attendee numbers of YIEF-2016. These delegate numbers confirm the status of the Yalta International Economic Forum as the largest-scale business event in the history of Crimea. The debates and discussions were attend by representatives of Russian and international corporations, business leaders and investors, governmental officials, leaders of civic organisations, and economic experts. President Vladimir Putin sent a personal message of welcome to the Forum delegates. The Main Plenary Session of YIEF-2017 was addressed by the Deputy Leader of the Russian Presidential Administration, Mr Sergey Kirienko, and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Mr Dmitry Kozak, in addition to the Presidential Special Envoy for the Environment & Transport Mr Sergey Ivanov.
Over 200 international participants attended YIEF-2017, from 46 different countries. This is almost three times more than the same figure for 2016, when the forum was attended by over 70 international business leaders and politicians.
The international delegates at the YIEF-2017 event came from Abkhazia, Australia, Angola, Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Brazil, Great Britain, Hungary, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, Dominican Republic, Israel, Jordan, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Cyprus, China, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Burundi, Palestine, Serbia, USA, Tunisia, Turkey, Finland, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Estonia, and Japan.
The Forum broke its own attendance record, established last year, to invite the largest group of foreign business guests in the new history of Crimea.
The largest of the foreign delegations to attend YIEF-2017 was from Italy, numbering more than 50 delegates. In addition to including Italian entrepreneurs and business leaders, the Italian delegation included politicians and MPs from the national and regional parliaments and assemblies, and governmental figures. Amongst this group were representatives from two of Italy's main political parties, Forza Italia! (whose leader is Mr Silvio Berlusconi) and the Northern League (led by Mr Matteo Calvini).
“The Forum is being attended by representatives of almost all Italian Regions. Our arrival is a way of supporting Crimea against the regime of sanctions – which are unjust and unprofitable for Italy too, and for Europe as a whole” said Forum delegate Mr Roberto Ciambetti, the Head of the regional parliament for the Italian Region of Veneto (regional capital – Venice).
There were also Italian senators visitng the Forum, including Mr Bartolomeo Amidei (from the Forza Italia! party) and Mr Sergio Divina (from the Liga Nord party), along with the President of the Reggio-Calabria Region Mr Giuseppe Raffa. MEPs were also among the YIEF-2017 attendees, notably Mr Laurentiu Rebega (Romania), Austrian MPs Herr Johannes Hüber (from the Austrian Lower House) and Herr Hans-Jürg Jenerwein (from the Federal Council, the Austrian Upper House).
FRIENDS OF CRIMEA CLUB
During the proceedings of YIEF-2017 an ongoing organisation of the Friends of Crimea Club was founded. One of its jobs is to help promote Crimea at international level.
The suggestion to found such an organisation came from the French financier and investor Monsieur Jean-Pierre Thomas. “This association could embrace historians, intellectuals, politicians, economists and people from the world of business. It needs to become a major association whose work is to open Crimea to the whole world and make it the most beloved destination of both tourists and business leaders.” Jean-Pierre Thomas said.
The Head of the Crimean Republic, Mr Sergey Aksionov approved the proposed initiative. “We believe founding this Association is a further way in which Crimea can overcome the barrier of sanctions, and form opinions about the realistic way things are going here in Crimea, and in Russia as a whole” Mr Aksionov said. A Memorandum concerning the formation of the Association of Friends Of Crimea Club was signed on the final day of the Forum at Yalta's Livadia Palace – the historic building in which the leaders of Allied Nations – the USSR, Britain, and the USA – met in the closing months of WW2, in 1945.
The rise in the number and overall value of agreements signed by Forum participants continues. More than 30 agreements, contracts and memorandums were signed on the sidelines of YIEF-2017, to a total value of over 100 billion roubles. This makes it 30 billion roubles more than in 2016. 64 billion of this sum is accounted for by contracts, while the remaining 50 billion comes under agreements and memorandums.Among the largest contracts, agreements and memorandums signed at the Forum, not including those covered by confidentiality clauses, are:
An agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Crimea and the KRYMINVESTSTROY Corporation for the building of a livestock rearing centre stated to produce 30,000 pigs and 4800 head of cattle per year, along with the production of combined fodder for these animals, plus facilities to process the milk and meat. (18 billion roubles)
A memorandum of cooperation between the Council of Ministers of the Crimean Republic and the GKG (Gorbunov Group of Companies) corporation, for the building of a major greenhouse complex (a cluster to produce and process vegetables in indoor facilities) (18 billion roubles)
An agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Crimean Republic and the Chernomorskaya Agrobusiness Corporation, for the creation of a multi-profile meat-processing cluster (9 billion roubles)
A contract between the Karelprirodresource Corporation (a division of the VAD Group) and the Union of Roadbuilders for the provision of raw buildings materials required to build the Tavrida Highway. (8 billion roubles)
A memorandum of cooperation between the Council of Ministers of the Crimean Republic, the Municipal Education section of Evpatoria, and the Riviera Corporation in the sphere of construction of a multifunctional, recreational and curative, and residential housing complex. (6 billion roubles).
An agrement between the RNKB banking corporation and the Skvorstovo Corporation to finance the building of a complex for the storage and processing of grain, to a total amount of 40,000 tons at any one time, with an annual throughput of 120,000 tons of grain for processing, and a livestock-rearing facility for a whole-cycle production handling of 100,000 head of pig per year (2 billion roubles)
The Crimean Republic Development Corporation signed six memorandums on the sidelines of YIEF-2017 for cooperation with potential investors and Residents of the Crimean Free Enterprise Zone (FEZ), in industry spheres including manufacturing, agriculture, and construction of residential housing. The total sums involved amount to over 1 billion roubles.
Of especial interest is the memorandum for cooperation signed between an entrepreneur from Qatar, Mr Al Saali Nassri of the Premium Construction corporation, the State autonomous organisation Business and Cultural Centre of the Republic of Crimea, and the Yalta City Administration. This document envisages the construction of a major hotel complex and congress centre on the southern Crimean shores, with an estimated investment value of around 100 million US Dollars (5.623 billion roubles). This will be the first public agreement with a representative of foreign business in the history of the Yalta International Economic
Crimea's investment potential was spotlighted at an exhibition of investment projects, that ran throughout all three Forum days. Forum delegates were shown over 35 projects ripe for immediate investment, and investment locations – as well as some of the largest ongoing investment projects and infrastructure investments which are already being rolled-out currently.
One of the key topics of YIEF-2017 was discussion of the mid-term economic development of Russia. Debate took place with the involvement of all four of Russia's major business associations. These include the All-Russia civic organisation Delovaya Rossiya; the Russian Union of Manufacturers and Industrialists; the Russian Chamber of Commerce; and the All-Russia civic organisation for small and medium business, Opora Rossii. Issues of strategic development also transformed the agenda of the Forum on a regional level, where one of the primary topics was the strategic development of the Crimean Republic in the period to 2030. While remaining a valuable arena for the discussion of issues of current agenda, YIEF is also becoming a venue for the discussion of strategic development of Russia, and how the country will look tomorrow.
Under the YIEF-2017 banner over 50 business events were held including more than 40 discussions whose overall duration was over 60 hours. The organisers of many of these discussions were Russian governmental ministries, major business associations in Russia, and large-scale state corporations.
This was the first year in which YIEF became a platform for the discussion of global problems, risks currently developing, and the development of mankind as a whole. Forum delegates discussed issues of the environmental conservation at the Main Plenary Session as well as at a sectional discussion entitled 'Ecological Challenges' (organised by the Ministry of the Enviroment), as well as debating issues of providing security for the energy industry at a specially-theme sectional discussion titled “IT for a secure energy sector” (organised by the Russian Ministry of Communications).
A new topic being discussed for the first time at YIEF-2017 was the development of space technology and international collaboration in the space industry. These issues were debated in the sectional discussion called “Space research and international collaboration in space” which was organised by the Russian space program state corporation Roscosmos.
A further discussion in a new format was the discussion of preservation of cultural heritage. During the thematic debate “Preservation of historical and architectural heritage” there was contribution from Russia's main museums, who shared their experience, methodology and tools for preserving cultural heritage with their Crimean colleagues, as well as issues of the creation and development of new social and cultural heritage sites.
The central debate of YIEF-2017 was the Main Plenary Session, where, for the first time in YIEF's history the plenary session was divided into three separate yet related sections – Country, World, and People.
During the session titled Country – Strategy for the development of Russia's economy, YIEF delegates discussed the path for development of the Russian nation's economy in the mid-term, gave consideration to the formation of an innovation-based economy in Russia, and analysed the practice of the way Russia's economy is being developed. Members of Russia's four principle business associations – the All-Russia civic organisation Delovaya Rossiya; the Russian Union of Manufacturers and Industrialists; the Russian Chamber of Commerce; and the All-Russia civic organisation for small and medium business, Opora Rossii; put forward their varying proposals for the formation of the innovation-based economy in Russia, and discussed economic policy from the business perspective.
The speakers in the World - Russia through the eyes of investors discussion were restricted to the international delegates who had arrived to visit YIEF-2017. They discussed the economic position of Russia currently, from the viewpoint of international business; shared their views of collaboration with Russia as a business partner; and reviewed the options which are becoming available today in Russia for foreign investors. All of the speakers in this discussion mentioned the absolute necessity of ending the deleterious sanctions policies adopted against Russia by western nations, and returning economic relations to normality once more.
The final section, People – Ecology and quality of life as priorities in governmental policy was given over to a discussion of ecological issues current in Russia, as well as challenges facing our planet which mankind must address. These include shortages of fresh water, the disappearance of biological species, carbon gas emissions, and build-ups of waste in the Pacific Ocean.