ICAPP Special Conference on "Russia for Asia: New Business Opportunities Prospects for Promoting Russian Business in Asia" in Vladivostok, Russia (21-23 May, 2015)

Remarks made by: Hon. Sujata Koirala

Former DPM/Foreign Minister

Member of the Constituent Assembly/Parliament

CWC Member & Head of International Relations Department

Nepali Congress Party

&

ICAPP Standing Committee Member

 

Honorable Chair, Excellency Andrei K. Klimov, Member of the General Presidium of the United Russian Party

Honorable ICAPP Vice Chair and DPM SOK AN of Cambodia

Founding Chairman of ICAPP, Honorable Jose de Venecia, Jr

Excellency Chung Eui-yong

Former Prime Minister

Distinguished ICAPP Standing Committee Members 

Distinguished delegates,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I am glad to be back to this wonderful city of Vladivostok. A city whose prospects are great and a city which probably will give us a picture soon, in even more detail, of the ways and means the development of Far Eastern Russia can take and how it will look like - the companies and peoples involved, probably from all over the world.

 

Russia’s orientation towards closer ties with Asia comes along with tremendous amounts of benefits for cooperation to both sides. Presently the form of cooperation that is most visibly taking place are the ties that are being developed in enhancing trade relationships between Russia and various other nations in Asia. The opportunities or prospects that arise from closer cooperation in trade and business take various forms; aside from the generation of profits, work, employment and social cohesion, enhanced trade ties amongst us will also lead to closer people-to-people relations and understanding.

 

The two areas, of closer cooperation in trade, and enhanced people-to-people relations, are mutually reinforcing in that growth in one area will have the effect of leading to growth in the other, and the development of neither side should be neglected. The common forces binding them together are the mutually beneficial relationships that can be forged and the trust and understanding that can be developed.

 

I want to take this opportunity to touch upon the recent disaster that happened in my country. The loss to our country in the form of lives lost, and infrastructure and industry damaged, is incalculable, and its true extend will only be visible in a couple of months or even years.

 

We are fortunate to have true friends that have offered their utmost support and with their help Nepal will come back. Though the earthquakes have changed many things, Nepal is still a beautiful country for people to visit, and the investment opportunities in the areas of hydropower, infrastructure, tourism and agriculture, among many others, still exist. I would also like to appeal the ICAPP Member States and International Community present at the conference to assist Nepal in reconstruction program due to the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake that shook the nation last month. Dear friends, I would like to convey the message sent by our Prime Minister Sushil Koirala expressing his gratitude to the ICAPP Member States for their sympathy, support and solidarity expressed immediately aftermath of the disastrous earthquake of April 25, worst in 82 years and killing thousands of people, causing damage and destruction of property and infrastructure.   

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The great changes that are taking place at present and the deterioration of the world economic-, environmental-, and security situation call for enhanced cooperation, collaboration and coordination amongst governments and other institutional stakeholders for the sake of securing a decent living standards for our peoples, and even in the extreme case, the sovereignty and cohesion of nations. In this context the economic side of the coin takes precedence to other pressing issues. Therefore, the opportunities for closer trade and business ties between Asia and Russia could have vast prospects for forging mutually beneficial relationships and trust amongst countries, governments and the people in general. High on the priority list for Asian countries is the need for energy- and transportation infrastructure development and stable and secure access to oil-, gas- and other natural resources opening up opportunities in related fields; for example for construction and infrastructure companies, machinery- and equipment manufacturers, and leasing, financing, insurance and banking.

 

On the other hand, the Russian Far East is an attractive spot for Asian companies to invest in. The vast area, the harsh conditions and difficult terrain in Russia’s Far East could lend itself well for a cooperative effort to develop this region for the benefit of all involved.

 

What we need today is to provide for a development model that has the potential to provide our region with a large enough field of interrelated interactions on which to effectively surmount the challenges we are confronted with today, by raising the demand for large scale capital-investments, technology and knowledge transfers, and productivity growth, providing our people with productive employment thereby raising their standards of living.

 

The vast Asian markets and their potential for development, together with Russia’s vast reservoir of natural resources and its potential for development, are mutually reinforcing and perfect match for centuries to come.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Judging by remoteness, Nepal can be compared to Russia’s Far East. It sometimes takes days, even weeks to reach certain spots, which even helicopters can’t access. Similarly, Nepal too has all kinds of natural resources in excess of what it needs. And as compared to Russia, Nepal also can lend itself well to a cooperative effort to develop the neighborhood for the benefit of all. China’s proposed Silk Road development and establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Development Bank is not only going bring nations closer for economic development and enhance the connectivity but also builds people to people relationship stronger and  by working together between the government to government, Russia and Asia can bring economic prosperity in the region.  

 

Thank you.