The Prime Minister addressed the opening ceremony and toured the expo.
Dmitry Medvedev’s remarks at the expo’s opening ceremony:
President Xi Jinping,
Distinguished heads of state and government,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of Russia, I would like to welcome all those gathered here at the opening ceremony of the First China International Import Expo. This is a truly ambitious event that has brought together representatives of 130 countries who have come to Shanghai to demonstrate the capabilities of their economies and discuss the prospects of international trade – issues that must be discussed.
Today we face such common tasks as finding new sources of growth for the global economy and creating an open space for mutually beneficial cooperation, which must be pressure-free and sanctions-free and must leave no place for protectionism and restrictions. However, these are unfortunate realities of the present-day world and of the present-day economy, to which we cannot close our eyes. Trade must be based on the principles of free competition and free movement of goods and services. President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping has just eloquently stated this.
This is the approach of our country and of the People’s Republic of China, one of our key partners. We support our Chinese colleagues’ focus on long-term partnership and on establishing trade relations beneficial to all participants.
Over recent years, China has not only become the world’s factory but also a gigantic market for manufactured goods consumption, working in which is important for any country and any international company.
We are sincerely grateful to China for inviting Russia to take part in such an impressive forum as a partner country, an honourable status.
The Shanghai Expo is a good opportunity to showcase the Russian economy’s potential. We are set to double exports that are not related to raw materials and energy to $250 billion in the coming years. These exports include agriculture, engineering and other industry products. This goal has been ranked as a national development target, and significant funds have been allocated to achieve it.
Today, several dozen Russian companies are presenting their products here. We tried to make our exhibit as informative as possible. It comprises five sections – foods and agriculture, medical equipment, healthcare products, consumer goods, and high-tech equipment and services. Some large international projects will also be unveiled.
Forty Russian regions are participating in the expo, which is almost half the country. They will give a detailed account of industrial and investment projects that may be of interest to our Chinese friends and our other international partners. Cooperation continues to increase between the regions in our countries. 2018 and 2019 were announced as the Russia-China Cross Years of Inter-regional Cooperation.
Our relations stand at an all-time high. Our relations do not depend on the economic or political situation and are being built on mutual respect with consideration for each other’s interests.
This paves the way for developing trade, economic and investment ties and boosting mutual settlements in national currencies. I think it is right to further expand mutual lending both in yuans and roubles. I mean loans for investment projects. Settlements in national currencies contribute to the stability of international economic relations, including Russian-Chinese relations, when a number of reserve currencies are becoming less reliable tools of global trade.
And we are on that path. In June, Russia’s Vnesheconombank and China Development Bank signed a relevant framework agreement. We are scaling up bilateral trade. The Russian Export Centre is playing its role here. During the expo, the Centre will open its representative office in Shanghai. Its experts will help find the necessary Russian goods and offer advice on financial support. There are many promising areas of cooperation, including tourism. We can see Russians becoming more interested in Chinese culture. As for the Chinese, they are actively visiting Russia – the recent FIFA World Cup opened our guests’ eyes to the beauty of Russian cities and the hospitality of its people.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will continue consistently developing all-round cooperation with China and other partners. I am sure that the First China International Import Expo will be an excellent incentive for promoting business and, hence, for improving the welfare of our peoples. A Chinese proverb says: “A man grows most tired while standing still.” But this is not about us.
I wish you all successful and fruitful work.