On 20 September, at the Hotel oHoteHoHotelNational in Moscow, the Programme Committee of the 4th Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF 2018) scheduled for 19, 20 and 21 April 2018, held its first meeting. Tentative subjects for the YIEF 2018 were laid out and the preparations for the Forum discussed.
Over 500 international participants
The YIEF’s organizers expect over 500 international participants from 60 countries to assemble in Crimea to attend the Forum, said Andrey Nazarov, co-chairman of the Organizing Committee of YIEF 2018 and co-chairman of the Delovaya Rossiya All Russia Public Organization.
“The 4th Forum will afford us an opportunity to assemble in Crimea probably over 500 people from 60 countries. The total quota, including Russian participants, will be increased to over 3,000”, Mr. Nazarov said.
According to Mr. Nazarov, owing to the increase in the number of the Forum participants and to the technical limitations of the event’s main venue, MRIYA RESORT&SPA, differentiated participation formats will be introduced for the first time. One format will enable participants to attend all the events of YIEF 2018 except the plenary session.
He also said foreign politicians proposed that the delegations from their countries be granted “honoured delegation” status. “We have several such proposals from our foreign partners, politicians and previous forum participants. They suggest that “honoured delegation” status be granted to, for instance, the delegations from Germany and from Austria. We have several suggestions from other countries”, said the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the YIEF Foundation. In addition, in 2018, a delegation from a Russian region will be granted “honoured delegation” status for the first time.
The delegation from Greece was an honoured delegation at YIEF 2016 and that from Italy at YIEF 2017.
Discussing the global agenda
According to Andrey Nazarov, the working title of the 4th YIEF is “The Future of the World. The Future of Russia.” The co-chairman of the Forum’s Organizing Committee said that discussions at the event would focus on problematic issues of the global economic agenda, such as the blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies.
The Forum will be held over three days, from 19 to 21 April; the main programme will be held over two days, 19 and 20 April.
“18 April is Youth Day. On 19 April, the Forum’s exhibition will be open; two sessions are also slated for that day. On 20 April, the major, two-part plenary session will be held. The greater part of the Forum’s concluding day, 21 April, is dedicated to cultural and sports events. In addition, the “Open House Day” for investor and foreign delegation meetings with Crimea’s leadership are also planned”, Andrey Nazarov said.
Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov suggested that creation of new jobs be discussed at the plenary session.
“If we are talking about a central plenary session focused on macroeconomic issues, it seems to me that the key issue relevant to Russia as a whole and to all economists is to create new jobs and increase productivity and, together, create high-productivity jobs”, the Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights said.
He also suggested that YIEF 2018 consider the work of small businesses, financing of business projects in Crimea, issues related to inheriting property rights acquired prior to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, and development of winemaking and wine tourism.
In turn, Georgy Muradov, Crimea’s Deputy Prime Minister, Permanent Presidential Representative of the Republic of Crimea, suggested that YIEF 2018 discuss creating cross-border transport corridors and developing artificial intelligence.
“One issue suggested for consideration is establishing international cryptocurrency exchange in Crimea. Crimea is a free economic zone; for our partners, its status entails certain specifics and some foreign states do not understand how to work with Crimea, since it is de facto in Russia, but they do not want to recognize it as part of Russia. Such a situation allows us to launch good international experimental sites in Crimea”, Mr. Muradov thinks.
Andrey Kalinin, President of the Opora Rossii All-Russia Public Organization, advised that YIEF participants should discuss the prospects for developing Crimea as a business education centre, similar to Malta.
“Every pre-requisite is there: hospitable climate, the logistics will soon be excellent, too. Why not make Crimea a second Malta, in a sense? If the universities have enough publicly financed slots, if the costs of paid-for education are low enough, it will be an excellent place to get a good education, including a business education”, Mr. Kalinin believes.
He also suggested that the Forum participants consider establishing a Crimean Congress and Exhibition Centre. “MRIYA is a fine venue but, in a year or two, it will just not be able to accommodate all those wishing to attend”, the President of Opora Rossii stated.
The Friends of Crimea Association
The Permanent Presidential Representative of the Republic of Crimea also reminded that the YIEF 2107 had suggested establishing an international association of Friends of Crimea.
“This suggestion came from Italian senators, our French friends, from heads of Greek and Cypriot political parties. The movement toward forming such a delegation is going ahead full tilt and we hope that, in the autumn, in early November, our friends will assemble and announce specific purposes and an action plan. If that happens, the Yalta International Economic Forum where this idea was born could definitely become one of the venues for the Association’s subsequent activities”, noted Mr. Muradov.
He emphasized that political dignitaries could join the Association. “We are talking participation by former presidents and prime ministers of several states, such as Japan’s former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, France’s former President Giscard d’Estaing, Bulgaria’s former President Georgi Parvanov, Cyprus’s former President Demetris Christofias. They all hold positive views on the subject of Crimea”, said Crimea’s Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr. Muradov noted the significance of the Yalta International Economic Forum for developing Russia’s international relations. “This is not merely a Crimean Forum. This is a major, all-Russia international Forum. In its importance, we strive to match our ‘big brother,’ the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. While St. Petersburg is orientated on the West, on Europe, Crimea’s geographical location determines the Yalta Forum’s orientation of Russia’s affairs in a southerly direction, toward the countries of Southern Europe and the Middle East, toward Iran, India and China”, the Permanent Presidential Representative of the Republic of Crimea believes.
Presenting Crimea’s Investment Map
Minister of Economic Development of the Crimea Andrey Melnikov said that the Republic’s government would present the region’s investment map at the YIEF.
“At previous Forums, the Republic of Crimea presented individual investment projects”, Mr. Melnikov said. “At the 4th Forum, we want to try something different. We would like to present a system of support for investment projects; this system is currently under development; we are going to present Crimea’s investment map. Investors are very much looking forward to seeing it. We need to show people interested in investing in Crimea’s economy what exactly we suggest they create. We need to present to the public a list of specific investment sites indicating their purpose.”
He also said investment projects currently under way in Crimea involve RUB 300 billion in investment. “Already, today, we see RUB 300 billion of potential investment through the free economic zone and through offering investors land plots or property in Crimea. Owing to that currently accumulated investment factor, Crimea’s economy should double in the next three years”, Crimea’s Minister for Economics stated.
Developing congress events
Sergey Lazutkin, Director of the YIEF Foundation, reported to the Programme Committee on the work the Foundation’s directorate was doing in preparing the Forum’s venues and on the event’s invitation campaign.
“The upcoming Forum’s participants will number approximately 3,000, which is 50% more than this year”, Mr. Lazutkin stressed.
He said that invitations to potential participants would be sent out well in advance, in the fourth quarter of 2017. “Those who do not receive an invitation may visit the Forum website and apply to participate”, the YIEF Foundation’s Director noted.
Sergey Lazutkin reminded his audience that MRIYA RESORT&SPA in Greater Yalta would again serve as the Forum’s main venue. “At the same time, we realize that our Forum has already outgrown this venue and some sessions will be held at other locations, in particular, in the palaces on Crimea’s southern coast”, the YIEF Foundation’s Director stressed.
Mr. Lazutkin called upon major Russian companies to partner with the Forum. “In the first three years, Crimean companies were the Forum’s partners”, he noted. “I hope that federal Russian businesses and major companies will pay more attention to the Forum and will not only attend as participants but as fully-fledged YIEF 2018 business partners, with their own exhibitions and big delegations.”
The YIEF Foundation’s Director also reported on expanding the YIEF Youth Day programme. The Youth Day will be held on 18 April. “This year, we will pay far more attention to the Youth Day. We will use the capacities of Artek and the Crimean Federal University. I think the Youth Day programme will be significantly larger and far more interesting”, Mr. Lazutkin said.
In conclusion, he suggested that the YIEF 2018 programme include a session on “Congress Events as a Mechanism for Developing the Business Environment.” “We hold quite a large number of Forums. We would like to assemble their organizers, including representatives of Roscongress, and discuss potential development directions”, the Director said.
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The Yalta International Economic Forum (YIEF) is an annual business event held in Crimea.
The Forum is sponsored by the Government of the Republic of Crimea and the Yalta International Economic Forum Foundation, with the support of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.
More than 2,200 people took part in YIEF 2017 on 20–22 April, including over 200 foreign participants from 46 countries. The biggest delegation to the Forum was from Italy, including over 50 people.
The Programme of YIEF 2017 featured 35 business events: 25 topical discussions, a grand session on construction development and the key event of the Forum – the Plenary Session, divided into 3 topical blocks: “World”, “Country” and “Human”. The “World” part was devoted to analyzing the economic environment in Russia through the eyes of international business. Participants in the Plenary Session considered Russia’s place in the global economy, collaboration experience with the RF as a business partner and discussed opportunities for foreign investors in Russia. The “Country” block featured the outlook for forming an innovative economy in Russia, complying with demands of the future. The “Human” part focused on social and environmental issues.
Agreements and contracts worth RUB 100 billion were concluded at YIEF 2017.