IRKUTSK, September 9 (Itar-Tass) – The 5th Baikal Economic Forum (BEF) that opens here on Tuesday is held under the motto “Europe-Russia-Asia-Pacific Region: Roads of Integration and Cooperation”.
An official at the BEF organising committee has specified that the meeting of the political, business and scientific elites on the shores of Lake Baikal will be dedicated to the development of this country’s eastern territories and removal of economic development imbalances between Russia’s west and east.
It is planned to discuss the role of Siberia and the Far East in the socio-economic development of the entire country, the competitive advantages of Siberia’s potential, the development of Russia’s transportation system for eastern regions and a rise in transport accessibility to the population.
Special emphasis is laid on the theme of a Europe-Russia- APR transportation corridor and the establishment of logistics systems of Federal and international importance. A separate plenary meeting will be devoted to the theme of “Siberia the Land of Opportunities”, at which it is planned to discuss the problems of attracting population to Siberia.
The main reports on these matters are expected to be presented by First Deputy Premier Igor Shuvalov and Sergei Mironov, Speaker of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament. Discussions will also involve Elvira Nabiullina, Minister of Economic Development, Igor Levitin, Minister of Transport, Yuri Trutnev, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology, and Alexander Shokhin, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
As a result of discussions at the previous forums, decisions were taken to elaborate a strategy for the development of Siberia, and the Russian Federation’s Energy and Transportation Strategies for the period ending in the year 2020. The previous forum’s recommendations were taken into consideration in the Russian government resolution, dated 2007, about setting up a State Commission for the Socio-Economic Development of Eastern Regions.
On September 11, on the concluding day of the BEF proceedings, there will be a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Day. A session of the SCO Business Council Board is to be held on the same day.
Representatives of more than 20 regions of Russia, not only eastern ones, are gathering in Irkutsk. Those of Krasnodar Territory, in particular, also intend to attend the forum.
Thirteen foreign delegations, among them those from the People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, and Japan, have also applied for participation in the BEF.
The guests are to familiarise themselves with the Lake Baikal, the problems of which will figure importantly at the forum. A special roundtable meeting will be devoted to this theme. Those present are to discuss how to conserve this unique lake and rationally manage natural resources on its shores. Participants in the forum are also to be present at the start-up of purifying installations and a closed-cycle water circulation system at the Baikal pulp-and-paper integrated mill.