THE XII SESSION OF THE RUSSIAN-ARAB BUSINESS COUNCIL AND THE IV INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION «ARABIA-EXPO» ENTITLED «RUSSIA -THE ARAB WORLD: THE TIME TO COOPERATE FOR COMMON FUTURE» WERE HELD ON APRIL 8-10, 2019.
The XII Session of the Russian-Arab Business Council which was focused on enhancing and fostering a constructive dialogue between Russia and the Arab states as well as establishing the whole new level of friendly intergovernmental relations. The event hosted over 1500 guests from the Middle East and North Africa.
The Russian-Arab Business Council with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, the League of Arab States, Union of Arab Chambers initiated and launched the event.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov participated in formal opening sitting of the XII Session of the RABC and read out welcoming remarks of the President Vladimir Putin to the forum participants.
«The key priority of the Russian-Arab Business Council is arrangement of remarkable „Arabia-EXPO“ exhibitions designed to introduce Russians to cutting edge economic and sci tech achievements of the Arab states, to support enterpreneurs in business proposals and innovation ideas exchange. I expect that this Session will be worthwhile, encourage brand new forms and mechanisms of mutually beneficial cooperation, and surely contribute to strengthen friendship and mutual understanding among our nations», the President of Russia stated.
Foreign Minister also conveyed the words of former Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, who mentioned that Russia and the Arab states are connected with deep ties of friendship and partnership. He also expressed confidence that participation in the exhibition will completely release potential for cooperation between Russia and the region. Sergey Lavrov was pleased to emphasize that trade collaboration between Russia and the Arab countires is strengthening year on year. Thus, in 2018, turnover increased by 8% and was equal to almost $22 bln.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that dynamic political dialogue with the Arab states is supplemented by intensive trade and economic exchange.
«The Russian companies along with the Arab partners are implementing more than 400 investment and export projects to the value of $40 bln, provided that $25 bln out of this amount will be funded by Russian sovereign loans», Sergey Lavrov declared.
The high-level plenary meeting entitled «Opportunities for Development of Russian-Arab Relations» was launched after formal opening sitting of the XII Session of the Russian-Arab Business Council.
Chairman of the Russian-Arab Business Council and Chairman of the Sistema PJSFC Board of Directors Vladimir Evtushenkov; CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov participated as speakers at the high-level plenary meeting.
«Arabia-Expo» exhibition is already becoming a tradition. The fact that it attracts so many colleagues means that we are on the right path. We will not consider «Arabia-Expo» as a framework for concluding contracts and estimating their value. We will measure the number of visitors, who were and will continue interacting. Only networking can lead to contracting, taking into account the specificities of the Arab world«, Vladimir Evtushenkov stated at he high-level plenary meeting entitled «Opportunities for Development of Russian-Arab Relations».
«Attraction of Middle East capital and investors is essential in terms of national projects. We have already raised their funding for toll roads, hospitals, and many other economy sectors. We believe that significant proportion of national projects financing will be provided from Middle East soveeign funds», CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev emphasized.
Ministers from Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen, and Morocco represented the Arab states at he high-level plenary meeting. Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs at the League of Arab States H.E. Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali and Chairman of the General Union of Arab Chambers Mohammad Abdo Saeed engaged in the discussion. The representatives of the Middle East and North Africa payed attention to the need for coordination in the area of small and medium business, easing visa restrictions, simplifying customs procedures and improving information exchange.