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Interview of Ambassador A.A.Timonin to Korea Post Magazine September 6, 2017

Question: What are the areas where the Korean business companies are most welcome for bilateral cooperation with Russia? What are the areas where Korean companies are most desired for investment and cooperation in Russia?
Answer: At present there are over 600 Korean companies working in Russia. This number is a vivid evidence of Korean entrepreneurs’ significant interest in mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Russia in various areas. The most important spheres of bilateral economic cooperation are petrochemistry, shipbuilding, automotive industry, fish and seafood processing, medicine, tourism and paper industry. There are also great prospects for development cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy.
There are all reasons to hope that President Moon Jae-in’s Administration will trend to be more engaged into investment cooperation with Russia. In number of join infrastructure, energy and science and technology projects. And it is important that our bilateral cooperation by no way should be limited to the field of energy. We expect significant intensification of joined efforts aimed at development and modernisation of Russian seaports as well as joint exploitation of the Northern Maritime Route.
The participation in international projects connected with the construction of the new enterprises, port terminals, and ship maintenance in Russian Far East could also be rather attractive for Korean businessmen. The cooperation in building power plants, highways and other infrastructure tends to be beneficial for Korean investors. The success in attracting Korean Investments achieved by Moscow, Tatarstan, Sankt-Petersburg, Kaluga and Primorskiy region was determined by relatively attractive investment climate created in the abovementioned regions. In this regard, it needs to be highlighted that it is important to make most of the advantages of special regime provided by Advanced Development Territories and free port of Valdivostok.

Ambassador Alexander Timonin in Seoul (left) and Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post. Ambassador Timonin said in a recent interview with Publisher Lee that there were great prospects for the development cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy as well as in various other areas for mutual interests.

Q: Which Korean companies are best known in Russia in the areas where Russia wishes Korean companies to invest?
A: 
For 27 years of cooperation with Russia South Korean Businessmen have earned a profound reputation for active cooperation with Russian counterparts in fishing industry, seafood processing, home appliances and automotive industry, medicine and tourism. Several large-scale joint projects such as construction of Lotte Hotels and Department Stores in Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg, LG Electronics Home Appliances Plant in Moscow Region and Samsung Electronics’ plant in Kaluga Region, Hyundai Motors Factory in Sankt-Petersburg, KP Chemical’s chemical processing complex in Tatarstan have been realized lately.
We have vivid examples of successful joint ventures operating in Russia. I can mention Lotte Confectionery factory, Lotte Group’s “Doshirak-Ryazan” food processing plant, KT&G Tabaco Factory in Borovskiy district of Kaluga Region and many others.
Russia is interested in new Korean investments. According to some experts the most attractive fields for foreign investments are ICT, energy, agriculture and automotive industry. There are still great prospects for bilateral economic cooperation in such areas as joint exploitation of natural and energy resources of Russian Siberia and Far East. I would also name medicine as high-tech sphere of bilateral cooperation.

Q: Who are the expected Russian counterparts of the Korean government and industrial representatives participating in the Joint Korean-Russian economic conference?
A:
 The Joint Russia-Korea Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation continues to be the major venue to discuss the current state and perspectives of bilateral economic cooperation. The 16th Session of the Joint Commission will be held September 4-5 in Vladivostok in the lead-up of the Third Eastern Economic Forum.
During the session the delegations will thoroughly discuss economic situation in Russian and the Republic of Korea, exchange information about key issues of national trade policies, coordinate cooperation in spheres of energy, transport, industry, agriculture, fishery, environment protection, science and technology, communication, space, health and medical service, culture, tourism, sport and interregional interactions.
The delegation of the Russian Federation led by Yury Petrovich Trutnev, Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District will include high-profile government official from relevant Ministries and agencies, representatives of the Russian Trade Chamber, Far East Development Corporation, Technologic Development Agency as well as members of Russian business and expert community.
The most important milestone for further development of Russian-Korean economic cooperation will be the upcoming summit between President Vladimir Putin and President Moon Jae-in in Vladivostok on the side lines of the Third Eastern Economic Forum (September 4-6).

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