Issues concerning the development of regions in Russia's Far East and Siberia, and the search for new sources of economic growth will be the key topics at the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum, which will be held at the end of February, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.

"The eleventh Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum will be held from February 27 to March 1. Two main topics that will be discussed at the forum are new sources of growth and the second topic, of course, is inextricably linked to the first, but has a certain focus - the development of Siberia and the Far East," Dvorkovich said at a press conference at Interfax's head office on Tuesday.

He said the first topic is based on ideas expressed by President Vladimir Putin in his address to the Federal Assembly, as well as the prime minister in program speeches at the Sochi and Gaidar forums.

"The main ideas were expressed by the government at these venues, and now at the Krasnoyarsk forum experts, together with members of the government, together with businesses, our foreign partners and experts, will discuss how these ideas can be realized in practice most effectively - this is the main concept of the current Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum," Dvorkovich said.

The second topic will concern the development of the Far East and Siberia in particular and eastern development in general, Russia's presence on the Asia-Pacific market, he said.

"Russia already holds a substantial place in this region, but the potential is far greater and we will discus this with our partners, including in BRICS. Discussion of ways to develop BRICS countries is one of the components of this general agenda," Dvorkovich said.

"We have invited a large delegation of Dutch companies to the forum and will hold a special round table on these companies' participation in the implementation of investment projects in Siberia and the Far East," Dvorkovich said.

He said the forum will also discuss innovative development and new technologies. There will be several major events, including one of the stages of a start-up tour that is already making its way through the country.

"Two stages have already been held - in central regions, in the Volga region. Now Krasnoyarsk will also welcome the start-up tour - this will be the mid-point of a major event. This refers to a tour by representatives of the innovation institutions Skolkovo, Russian Venture Company, Rusnano, VEB and key ministers through regions of the country," Dvorkovich said.

He said there will also be a meeting of the government transport commission at which there are plans to finalize the approval and revision of the government program for development of transport taking into account already issued orders and budget constraints.

"The youth forum, which will open on February 27, will also be a major event. It is an excellent addition to what is happening at the main forum. I hope that ideas that will also be used for the main forum will be developed at this forum," Dvorkovich said.

He said about a third of the Russian government will attend the forum. According to tentative information, in addition to Dvorkovich, the forum will be attended by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, eight ministers, their deputies, as well as many other high-ranking officials from ministries and other agencies.

"We will participate in all interactive discussions, split up by sections and I hope that this will enable forum participants to get their thoughts to the people who make the decisions," Dvorkovich said.

He said the Krasnoyarsk forum will be eventful and will also include sporting events. "There will also be sports competitions at the forum - we'll play hockey and basketball," Dvorkovich said.

Krasnoyarsk Territory Governor Lev Kuznetsov said that another goal of the forum will be to attract investment to Siberia.

"This is to show not only to Russian businesses, but, what's very important, to international experts and business community what Siberia is. Because our analysis shows that for many Siberia still remains a mysterious region, with great potential but nonetheless incomprehensible," Kuznetsov said.

He said a big portion of the forum would be devoted to the social sector and efforts to make it more efficient. "It's impossible to talk about economic development, particularly in Siberia and the Far East, without understanding how the social sector, the healthcare system, education, training of workers, scientific and technical potential and much else will develop," Kuznetsov said.

He expressed confidence that the forum and Universiade would attract global brands to the region.

"Today Siberia is still considered as exotic tourism and very expensive. In a number of regions, including in Krasnoyarsk thanks to the forum and Universiade, we want to create decent city infrastructure, sports infrastructure,\" the governor said.

He said a major program is now underway to restore Yeniseisk for the 400-year anniversary of its founding as the former capital of Siberia. The restoration of ships that would sail the Yenisei River is being considered.

"It's important for us that global brands come to the region," Kuznetsov said.

The eleventh Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum will be held from February 27 to March 1 under the banner of Russia: New Sources of Growth. The business program of the forum will be divided into four areas: Business Activity and Industry Growth; Social Services - Focus on Efficiency; Governance - Reforms Inevitable?; and New Sources of Growth: the Eastern Vector.

Interfax is a media partner of the Krasnoyarsk Economic Forum.

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