Speaking at the plenary session of the Russia–Japan Business Forum (an event co-organized with the Roscongress Foundation), Russian President Vladimir Putin said:
“I am glad to welcome the leading business people of Russia and Japan. I met many of you at the second Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, and we also regularly meet at the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
This direct contact with entrepreneurs is always useful and very interesting, providing first-hand information about the issues businesses are facing and what specific action is needed to improve the business climate.
First of all, let me emphasise that Japan is an important partner for Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. It is our sincere aspiration to strengthen and deepen Russian-Japanese ties, and of course to expand mutually-beneficial economic contact between our countries.
It is for this reason that trade and investment were among the key topics during the two days of intensive talks with Mr Abe. Of course, we also discussed the contentious issues inherited from the past. I am referring to the signing of a peace treaty.
At the same time, we regretted to note that trade between our countries has been declining recently. We agreed that we can put bilateral trade back on the path of sustainable growth. For that, we need our governments and business communities to step up their efforts.
We need to undertake new initiatives and projects and change the usual frameworks for cooperation by moving away from preferential deliveries of Russian oil and gas in exchange for Japanese equipment and cars. We need to diversify our trade and economic ties”.
To be continued.