An offsite meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's Diplomats Club on the development of the Russian Far East was held in Vladivostok on September 27-28. It was attended by the Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East, Alexander Galushka, and representatives of the SCO member states, dialogue partners and observer states.
Mr. Galushka recalled in his report that Russian President Vladimir Putin described the development of the Far East as a national priority for the 21st century and instructed that a number of priority development areas be organised in the Far East for this purpose. The minister said there were plans for an annual Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok to promote the region's development, including the economy and investment activity, and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. He said the first forum would be held shortly. "The St.Petersburg Economic Forum offers a view of Russia's European progress, while the Eastern Economic Forum will be focused on the future in Asia Pacific," the minister said.
Alexander Galushka also said that Russia supported the Chinese initiative to revive the Silk Road. "There are serious plans regarding our contribution to a project to revive the Silk Road," he said. "It will not be a literal revival of the old route, but the creation, development and modernisation of new modern transport corridors such as the Northern Sea Route, the Baikal-Amur Mainline and the Trans-Siberian Railway."
In conclusion, the minister pointed out that the SCO was a unique venue of great importance for all participating countries, which can use it not only to discuss potential economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region but also to launch practical cooperation projects.
The agenda of the offsite meeting of the SCO Diplomats Club included a meeting with Governor of the Primorye Territory Vladimir Miklushevsky and visits to the sailing ship Nadezhda plus the museum of submarines. The participants also went to Russky Island for a meeting with the management of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).