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Russia Message from Consul General

GREETINGS FROM THE CONSUL GENERAL OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION IN THE HONG KONG SAR AND MACAO SAR TO THE READERS OF THE "International Link Magazine" 

俄羅斯聯邦駐香港總領事 Vladimir A. Kalinin 獻辭

 

It gives me great pleasure to address the readers of "International Link Magazine " newspaper on the occasion of the National Day of Russia. This red-letter day is celebrated on June 12 in commemoration of the adoption in 1990 of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Federation. Over these last years Russia has gone through dramatic transformations and became a strong nation with stable political, economic and social structure, which provides the necessary foundation for its successful development in all spheres and the most efficient use of our rich human and natural resources.

The Russian Federation is conducting a well-balanced foreign policy aimed at creating favourable conditions for its comprehensive development and modernization to secure the deserved place in the new, multipolar global architecture of international relations. The very fact that in 2013-2015 the Russian Federation holds presidency of G20, G8, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS is a good manifestation of the multiple-vector character of Russia’s foreign policy and its active stand in international affairs.

Since Russia is a Pacific Power, the development and strengthening of our ties with the states and organizations of the Asia-Pacific region is one of our main priorities, the People's Republic of China being our crucial partner. The recent visit of the President of the People's Republic of China Mr. Xi Jinping to Russia has become a most significant factor, which created a very favourable atmosphere for the further promotion of bilateral contacts, expansion of trade and investment, deepening of cultural ties.

Today we have every reason to assert that our relations with Hong Kong SAR, which we regard in the general context of Russia’s strategic partnership with PRC, have strengthened over the past period. It is worth noting that there is a close and dynamic interaction between Russia and Hong Kong within the framework of the APEC. In September last year a Hong Kong SAR official delegation headed by a Financial Secretary Mr. John Tsang took part in the APEC Summit in Vladivostok which resulted in a Final Declaration that included principles of close partnership and further development for the APEC economies.

It is also encouraging that the bilateral trade between Russia and Hong Kong last year for the first time exceeded 3,2 billion US dollars and Russia made a step up from 28th position to 26th among 30 main trade partners of Hong Kong SAR. It is well known that recent years were full of uncertainties for the world economy, affecting Russia as well. Nevertheless, the overall outlook of the economic prospects in our country is quite positive. This could be well illustrated by a constant interest towards Russian markets by foreign investors, including Hong Kong business circles. The growing interest of Hong Kong business community was once again demonstrated during a roundtable “Country briefing series: Russia”, which was held here recently by the HK General Chamber of Commerce.

I am glad to point out that we managed to strengthen further the legal basis of our relations with Hong Kong SAR. Hopefully we will be able to finalize by the end of this year a number of important bilateral agreements including an agreement on avoidance of double taxation, an agreement on mutual protection and promotion of investments, an agreement on mutual legal assistance, etc.

It is important to note that today not only the political and economic ties between Russia and Hong Kong are strengthening but the cultural exchanges as well. The most recent examples are: a unique exhibition in Hong Kong “Treasures of Faberge”, arrival to Hong Kong of the world's biggest Russian sailing vessel “Sedov” and a bright music performance, given by Yuri Bashmet, one of the distinguished viola players of the modern age.

We believe that one of the most promising areas of cooperation remains the sphere of tourism. After signing a Visa free Agreement the tourist exchanges between Russia and Hong Kong have been growing from year to year. Last year more than 186 thousand Russian citizens visited Hong Kong and Russia welcomed around 17 thousand visitors from Hong Kong. Whether one is looking for ancient history and quiet old towns or extreme sports and bustle of modern cities – he or she would surely find it in our country. So, why not visit the country personally to see all the places of interest and feel the dynamism and energy of new developing Russia especially during the current year - the Year of Chinese Tourism in Russia. And it gives me a pleasure to invite honkongers to make more journeys to Russia, travel by comfortable cruise-ships along our beautiful Volga-river, visit not only Moscow and Saint-Petersburg but also beautiful places in the Far East and Siberia. Moreover, in February 2014 Russia will host the XXII Olympic Winter Games so the visitors would have a good opportunity to combine supporting HK sport team with an unforgettable experience of travelling across our country.

Summing up may I express confidence that the fruitful cooperation between Russia and Hong Kong SAR in different spheres will gain new momentum in the years to come especially with the new leadership in place after the elections in both Russia and Hong Kong SAR.

Taking this opportunity I would like to extend my best regards to all readers of the "International Link Magazine" wishing prosperity, health and happiness.

Vladimir A. KALININ
Consul General of the Russian Federation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China


俄羅斯聯邦駐香港總領事 Vladimir A. Kalinin 獻辭

本人在俄羅斯聯邦國慶日之際向《國際連線雜誌》讀者們致辭感到甚為高興。六月十二日這個紅字日子是慶祝一九九零年通過《俄羅斯聯邦國家主權宣言》。在過去的歲月,俄羅斯經歷了戲劇性的變化,現已成為一個政治、經濟和社會結構穩定的強國,並為各個領域的成功發展以及最有效利用我國豐富的人力資源和自然資源提供了必要的基礎。

俄羅斯聯邦現正進行良好的平衡外交政策,目的是要為全面發展和現代化創造有利條件,並確保在新型的、全球多極化結構的國際關係當中獲得應有的位置。極好的事實是,俄羅斯在二零一三至二零一五年間,將會是G20、G8、上海合作組織和金磚四國的主席國,體現了俄羅斯外交政策的多元向量特質和在國際事務中的積極立場。

自俄羅斯是一股太平洋力量以來,發展和加強與亞太地區的國家和組織的連繫是我國優先處理的事項之一,而中華人民共和國正是我們重要的夥伴。中華人民共和國國家主席習近平最近訪問俄羅斯便是甚具意義的元素,為進一步促進雙邊聯繫、擴展貿易與投資、深化文化連繫創造良好氣氛。

今天,我們很有理由地斷言,在俄羅斯與中華人民共和國是策略性夥伴的背景下,我們與香港特別行政區的關係比以往有所加強。值得注意的是,俄羅斯與香港在亞太經合組織框架內的互動更為緊密和具活力。去年九月,由財政司司長曾俊華率領的香港特別行政區代表團參加了在符拉迪沃斯托克舉行的亞太經合組織高峰會議,該會議的總結宣言便包括了亞太經合組織經濟體緊密夥伴和進一步發展的原則。

另一鼓舞的事是,俄羅斯與香港在去年的雙邊貿易首次突破三十二億美元,使俄羅斯成為香港特別行政區三十個主要貿易夥件的排位,由第二十八位躍升至第二十六位。眾所周知,近年的世界經濟充滿不明朗因素,而俄羅斯也受到影響。儘管如此,我國的經濟前景,總體而言仍是頗為正面。從包括香港商界在內的外來投資者持續對俄羅斯市場感興趣便很好地說明一切。最近由香港總商會舉行的題為:「國家簡介系列:俄羅斯」圓桌會議,再次引證香港商界對俄羅斯的興趣正在增加。

本人很高興地指出,我國與香港特別行政區在法律基礎方面的關係得到進一步的加強。我們期望在今年底能就《互免雙重課稅》、《相互保護和促進投資》和《相互法律支援》等多項重要的雙邊協議能得到落實。

還有值得重視的是,時至今日,俄羅斯與香港不單在政治和經濟的連繫正在增強,而文化交流方面也是如此。最近的例子包括:在香港舉行了「法貝熱 – 俄羅斯宮廷珍寶展」、世界最大的俄羅斯古帆船《謝多夫號》訪港以及當代最傑出的中提琴家之一的尤里‧巴什梅特普樂表演會等。

我們相信,旅遊業仍是我們最有合作前景的領域之一。自俄羅斯與香港簽署了旅遊互免簽證之後,遊客的數字年有遞增。去年,逾十八萬六千名俄國公民訪港,而俄羅斯亦接待了約一萬七千名來自香港的遊客。不管是尋找古代歷史、靜謐古鎮、極限運動和忙碌的現代城市,相信他或她都可在我國尋找到。因此,為何不親身前來造訪我國,參觀各有趣的景點、感受正在發展中的新俄羅斯的激情與活力。況且,二零一三年更是俄羅斯「中國旅遊年」。本人誠邀香港市民多些前往俄羅斯旅遊,不應只往莫斯科和聖彼得堡,閣下可乘坐舒適的郵輪暢遊景色優美的的伏爾加河、遠東地區和西伯利亞的勝景。此外,二零一四年二月,俄羅斯將會主辦第二十二屆奧林匹克冬季運動會,屆時遊客既可支持香港體育隊,並可遍遊我國,留下畢生難忘的經歷。

最後,本人堅信,俄羅斯與香港特別行政區在不同領域的合作會取得豐碩成果,特別俄羅斯和香港特別行政區兩地經選舉更替了新領導人之後,在未來的歲月將會獲得新的動力。

本人藉此機會,謹向所有《國際連線雜誌》的讀者們致以最良好的問候,並祝繁榮、健康和幸福。

 

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