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A platform for dialogue: Yakutsk hosts XXII meeting of RAPP

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22nd annual meeting of the Russian-American Pacific Partnership was opened in Yakutsk today, July 19. Such a meeting is held in the republic for the first time. The participants of the event noted that RAPP is a productive platform for direct dialogue between governments, business and scientific circles of the Far Eastern regions of the Russian Federation and the western US states.

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In the sphere of development of business cooperation between Yakutia and the United States, there is unrealized potential, and the RAPP forum is being considered as one of the platforms for building up business ties. Trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian directions are the foundation of interaction between different peoples and states. This was stated by Chairman of the Government of the Republic Evgeny Chekin.

"Yakutia is actively cooperating with Alaska in the framework of the International Non-Governmental Organization Northern Forum, the mission of which is to improve the quality of life of the population and support sustainable development of the regions. Experience shows that project activities are the best platform for building interaction and sharing experiences between regions. In strengthening cooperation between Yakutia and the United States, an important role is played by sister cities and people's diplomacy," he said.

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Interest in Yakutia is not weakened on the part of diplomatic and business circles of the United States. Representatives of the United States Consulate General in Vladivostok, as well as the American Embassy, come to the republic every year, take part in international events held here. The US Consul General at the U.S. Consulate General in Vladivostok, Michael Keays, is visiting the region for the third time.

In June, he took part in 5th International Conference Development of Renewable Energy in the Far East of Russia with representatives of a group of companies from the United States. In his speech, Michael Keays stressed that the annual meeting of RAPP can help realize the investment opportunities of both countries.

"America's relations with Russia are quite complex. And although there are disagreements between the countries, it is important to understand that we have common ground. We are interested in the development of trade. The US government supports fair commercial and trading conditions and seeks to establish business relations between the Russian Far East and the United States. I am sure that we have opportunities to expand trade and commerce," Mr. Keays stressed.

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Chairman of the Council of the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Far Eastern Federal District, director of the RAPP secretariat in Russia, Boris Stupnitsky in turn noted that the trade relations between Russia and America are less susceptible to foreign policy attack, and they need to be developed, in which the RAPP can play its positive role.

"The history of our relations with the United States has never been easy. Over the past three years, we have achieved results in terms of import substitution policy, and now Russian business is set to export at a new level. Our goal is to promote domestic products in the American market. We should offer serious projects and invest considerable financial resources. We need consistent work with partners from the US to develop marketing, participation in exhibition forums. And in this case, RAPP should strengthen logistics and, most importantly, help in cooperation with competing bodies," said Stupnitsky.

RAPP has been bringing together representatives of the business community, regional and federal authorities to improve the cooperation of the Russian Far East and the West of the United States for 22 years. The significance of the site, where a constructive dialogue between the two countries is possible, is growing, stressed the President of the Council for US-Russia Relations, RAPP Executive Director Derek Norberg. He expressed gratitude for the organization of this important meeting to the head of Yakutia Egor Borisov.

"We are grateful to the government of the republic for the opportunity to hold our f orum on the territory of Yakutia. The Far East offers broad mutually beneficial opportunities for the development of confidence and cooperation between the two countries. The interests of the US and Russia in the Asia-Pacific region are less prone to conflict situations and can become the most promising direction of bilateral relations," he said.

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The Russian-American Pacific Partnership was established in 1995. The activities of RAPP are aimed at developing trade and investment cooperation between the Far Eastern regions of Russia and the Pacific states of the United States. Currently, it is a bilateral forum between the private and public sectors to identify and overcome obstacles to business and commercial cooperation.