PM arrives in Vladivostok for Eastern Economic Forum, packed schedule awaits


VLADIVOSTOK – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has landed here to take part in the 5th Eastern Economic Forum.

This is his first working visit to Russia since assuming office as Malaysia’s seventh Prime Minister. His last official visit to Russia was in 2002.

The aircraft carrying Dr Mahathir and delegates landed at Vladivostok International Airport 6.30pm local time and was greeted on arrival by Vladivostok’s deputy governor Melnikov Oleg. The Prime Minister was in Cambodia for a three-day official visit before this.

Dr Mahathir’s visit to Russia was at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in conjunction with the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF), held at the Far Eastern Federal University campus here.

The EEF was initiated by Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.

The organiser has lined up a series of official engagements for the Prime Minister tomorrow including bilateral meetings with Putin and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

He will also be interviewed by local media before proceeding to a working luncheon hosted by Putin which will be attended by several other leaders.

Later, Dr Mahathir and delegation will participate in the EEF’s Plenary Session, a key event of the forum.

He would be joined by other state leaders including Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mongolian President Khaltmaagin Battulga.

Dr Mahathir is accompanied by Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Darell Leiking.

The EEF was established by a decree issued by Putin in 2015 to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the region.

Organised by Roscongress Foundation, the forum has become a venue to discuss global economic issues and challenges, regional integration, new industries as well as technologies.

According to the foundation’s chief executive officer, Alexander Stuglev, several business dialogues would be held with leading partner countries in the region, particularly ASEAN, a key group of developing countries in South-East Asia.

He said over 6,500 participants from Russia and across the world could look forward to wide-ranging business meetings, exhibition, cultural and sporting programmes.

The exhibition features presentations by Russian federal government bodies on investment opportunities and incentives including major investment projects in the Far Eastern Federal District here, involving international cooperation.