The Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) has opened in the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok amid heightened measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, APA reports citing Sputnik.
Held annually since 2015, the forum was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. This year's session will take place from 2-4 September on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok. The event, aimed at developing businesses ties and attracting national and international investors to Russia's Far East, will be held in a hybrid format.
This time the forum is taking place amid strict anti-COVID measures. All guests at the forum are obliged to be vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have had the disease within the last six months, the governor of Russia's Primorsky Territory, Oleg Kozhemyako, told Sputnik earlier in August. The governor described the forum venue as an "island of safety" and promised that all necessary precautions will be observed.
"All events will be held strictly in accordance with the restrictions and, of course, with the mask requirement in place. We plan to have a chessboard-like sitting arrangement or partial filling of halls with groups of up to 40 people", Kozhemyako explained.
Although the forum is about business and signing contracts, there will be an expo to catch the eye and take photos. In particular, Russia's first hydrogen-powered luxury car Aurus will be showcased at the forum, according to Aurus representatives.
"This year Aurus will for the first time be showcased at the EEF, the largest business event in the Far East, one of the key fora in Russia, which is a landmark event for our brand. Two cars will be on display in the Aurus showroom: a serial version of the Senat model and a promising development by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute (NAMI) - hydrogen-fueled Aurus," an Aurus representative stated.
The first experimental model of hydrogen-fueled Aurus Senat was introduced in late May when its serial production began at the Elabuga plant in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Aurus is a Russian luxury car brand that aspires to challenge the leading companies in the international market. The project is under the direction of the Russian Central Automotive Institute in collaboration with Sollers company.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to Vladivostok and is due to take part in the forum, which is devoted this year to new opportunities for the Far East in the changing world.
The Russian leader will hold a video-conference on the socioeconomic development of Russia's Far East region on 2 September, as part of the forum. He will be presented with the results of development projects in the Far East. Later, a meeting on the socioeconomic development of the Far East Region, also by videoconference and presided over by the president, will take place, according to the Kremlin.
On 3 September, Putin is expected to deliver a speech at a plenary session of the EEF, where the leaders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Argentina, China, India, and Thailand will participate remotely. Meanwhile, the Kremlin announced that Putin does not plan to hold any separate meetings with foreign participants of the forum.