Despite the high anticipated economic impact of the Yalta International Economic Forum for the Republic of Crimea and Russia as a whole, its political significance is much greater than the economic one, according to Sergey Aksyonov, Head of the Republic of Crimea, speaking on 13 April during the Moscow – Simferopol televised question and answer session.
“We see that foreign politicians, businessmen and journalists come here to take part in the YIEF and form their own opinion about what is happening in the Republic of Crimea”, Sergey Aksyonov said. “I’d like to thank the journalists for their unbiased coverage of almost all the information from previous Forums and letting the people of European know what is actually happening on the peninsula. Anyway, the economic impact is still there, as Russian and foreign companies (from about 40 countries) are sending their representatives to the YIEF in 2017.”
The Head of the Republic pointed out that YIEF had proved its effectiveness in 2016, when, following the Forum, a number of Italian regional councils called for the sanctions to be lifted from Crimea. In addition, representatives of 30 more foreign companies visited Crimea following II YIEF.
According to Dagmar Belakowitsch-Jenewein, Chairman of the Committee for Health Affairs of the National Council of Austria and Vice-Chairman of the Freedom Party of Austria faction, there is a two-way perception of Crimea in Europe: the political establishment and ordinary European people see the peninsula differently. “It’s important to be talking to one another, rather than about one another. I believe it’s important to maintain relations with Russia”, Dagmar Belakowitsch-Jenewein pointed out at the press conference. “I represent Austria: it’s not part of the NATO, which makes it easier for us to choose our own position in relations with Russia. I represent the Freedom Party of Austria. We believe Russia is a natural partner of ours and we are linked by cultural traditions.”
The politician mentioned that agricultural companies and people employed in this economic sector in her country advocates lifting the sanctions on Russia. Apart from that, Austria could cooperate with Crimea in the sphere of medicine and recreation, as the peninsula’s Nature has unique healing properties.
“Sanctions against Russia are unfair. We are ready to establish relations for the purpose of economic cooperation”, said Yaroslav Golik, member of the Czech Parliament representing the Freedom and Direct Democracy party. “I saw a lack of water in Crimea and brought with me some specific solutions to this problem. There has been a major mobilisation of internal resources here: I see cultivated gardens and new car models, I see great progress in the region’s development.”
The Italian delegation is to be the most numerous at YIEF-2017: more than 50 people are expected. It includes a group of politicians representing the Forza Italia party and the Lega Nord parties. Forza Italia party leader Silvio Berlusconi has sent a letter of greetings to the Forum participants. The Mayor’s Offices of Yalta and Rovigo intend to sign a cultural cooperation agreement. A similar agreement was entered into by Simferopol and Padua in 2016.
All members of international delegations will be present at the Russia in the Eyes of Investors plenary session, according to Andrey Nazarov, Chairman of the Board of YIEF Foundation and Co-chairman of the All-Russia Public Organisation “Delovaya Rossiya”, speaking at the press conference.
“More than 1.5 thousand participants from over 40 countries have confirmed they will be attending. These are well-known politicians, economists, businessmen and investors. They will take part in more than 30 business events”, Andrey Nazarov said. “All foreign speakers will participate in the Russia in the Eyes of Investors plenary session. They are going to speak about what attracts them in Russia and what obstacles they face.”
Mr Nazarov also stated that another two sections of the major plenary session would be dedicated to the prospects for a future-orientated innovation economy in Russia, as well as social issues and nature conservation.
He points out that YIEF demonstrates high growth dynamics and, if the number of Forum participants maintains the same growth rate, three facilities like Mriya Resort will be required to hold the X Forum. “If the Forum shows the same dynamics, then 20 thousand participants from all over the world and 5 thousand journalists will come to us in 7 years”, Andrey Nazarov predicted.
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