9 OCTOBER Egor Borisov, Head of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), met with Secretary-General of the Association of North East Asia Regional Governments (NEAR), Mr. Hong Jeong-ken.
NEAR is an international organization founded in September 1996 in the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do (Republic of Korea) by 29 regional administrations of four Northeast Asian countries, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation.
NEAR realizes projects of cooperation in various fields of activity: economy and trade, cultural exchanges, environmental protection, prevention of natural disasters, maritime affairs and fishing, tourism, development and regulation of mining, energy and climate change, issues of women and children, international cooperation in science and technology. At present, the 12th presiding region is Hunan Province, PRC (September 2016 - September 2018). Yakutia has been participating in the work of NEAR since 1996.
During the conversation, the parties discussed the prospects for expanding cooperation between Yakutia and the Association of North East Asia Regional Governments and the Republic of Korea. Also, Hong Jeong-ken invited Egor Borisov to consider the possibility of the chairmanship of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in this non-governmental international organization in 2018-2020.
Presenting the republic, Egor Borisov noted that the largest subject of Russia is comparable to the territory of India, where 1.3 billion people live; the population of Yakutia is 966 thousand people. Agriculture in Yakutia is considered to be unique, as it develops under severe climatic conditions. "Our people are very hardworking; this is the main wealth of our republic. No one is engaged in livestock further north than Yakutia," said Borisov.
Il Darkhan explained that the republic's external relations are carried out within the framework of the strategy of Russia's integration into the Asia-Pacific region. As an entity of the federation, which has been actively participating in expanding contacts with foreign countries on a regional level for more than a quarter of a century, Yakutia has extensive experience in the joint implementation of international projects in various fields. Along with trade and economic, humanitarian contacts and scientific and technical cooperation are successfully developing.
According to Borisov, Yakutia occupies one of the first places in the world in terms of diversity and mineral reserves, and this determines its economy, development of the mining and coal mining industry. The export of Yakutia is directly connected with mineral raw materials and fuel and energy resources.
Mr. Hong Jeong-ken said that the Republic of Sakha is being considered as a candidate for the chairmanship of NEAR for the period from 2018 to 2020. In his opinion, this could contribute to a significant strengthening of the Association's activities in the sphere of development of the northern economy and logistics. "Northeast Asia is changing very rapidly now, and Yakutia, as the largest region of Russia, is at the center of these changes," said Hong Jeong-ken, inviting Egor Borisov to attend the opening ceremony of the International Cultural Exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) in November this year, where the heads of the key regions of Northeast Asia will meet. There it is planned to discuss the issues of preparing Yakutia as the presiding region in NEAR.
Thanking the Secretary General for the invitation, the leader of Yakutia expressed interest in expanding cooperation with NEAR and the readiness of the republic to assume the chairmanship of the international organization.
Egor Borisov agreed that the strengthening of relations at the regional level is of high priority in the context of the continuing integration of the states of Northeast Asia.