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    St. Petersburg’s Business Mission to the Republic of Korea took place on October 19-21


    During the visit, the St. Petersburg delegation visited the cities Busan and Seoul.

    Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, I. N. Albin headed the delegation. Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, O. A. Markov held a number of meetings and negotiations. The delegation also included heads and representatives of dedicated committees of St. Petersburg Administration, heads of subordinate authorities and members of the city’s business community.

    The program of visit started with the business forum on bilateral cooperation, which took place on October 19 in Busan Exhibition & Convention Center.

    Representatives of 45 Korean enterprises from various industries: shipbuilding and ship repairing, food production, transport services, power sector, food industry, machine manufacturing etc. participated in the event.

    The head of the St. Petersburg delegation, I. N. Albin, Vice-Mayor of Busan on investment policy, Ki Won Han, Consul General of Russia in Busan, A. S. Vostrikov, and Chairman of the Export-Import Association of the Republic of Korea, Yeon-Sik Jung, greeted forum guests with a welcome speech.

    Presentations of innovative, industrial, investment and tourist potential of St. Petersburg and Busan were delivered within the framework of the forum. Projects, to the implementation of which Korean investors could be attracted (in particular, projects on building a “Korean Avenue” and a technopark “Fabric of the Future” in St. Petersburg, as well as a project on the renovation of the St. Petersburg’s “Grey Belt”) were discussed. After the official part was over, a networking event called “Business Contacts Exchange” for the companies of St. Petersburg and Busan were held.

    The St.Petersburg delegation also participated in Busan forum on Eurasian countries’ cooperation. Within the framework of the plenary meeting “Eurasia: first step towards the shared prosperity”, Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, I. N. Albin, addressed the participants with a welcome speech.

    On the same day, the St. Petersburg delegation had a meeting with Mayor of Busan, Suh Byung-soo. The parties discussed the development of trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural relations between the partner cities – St. Petersburg and Busan. They agreed to hold an extensive cultural and business event in 2018 in Busan and St. Petersburg, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the twin-city relations.

    As a result of the negotiations, a Protocol was signed to enact an Action Plan ("Road Map") for cooperation between St. Petersburg and Busan for 2017-2021.

    Also, the St. Petersburg delegation had a look at the operation of Busan Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plant, an innovative power plant in Busan.

    Within the framework of the visit to Busan, Vice-Governor of St.Petersburg, O. A. Markov, held negotiations with President of International Port of Busan, Mr. Woo Ye-jong. The parties agreed to develop collaboration in the field of the cruise and health tourism, as well as in the field of maritime container shipping. As a result of the negotiations, a Memorandum of Understanding between Passenger Port of Saint Petersburg “Marine Façade” and the International Port of Busan was signed.

    On October 20 the St. Petersburg delegation visited Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea. The negotiations were held with the management of Hyundai Motor Company (HMC), where the parties discussed possibilities of building a new Hyundai Motor factory in St. Petersburg for production of automotive engines.

    According to the statement made by Vice-President of HMC on Strategic Development, Jong Cheon Bae at the meeting, currently, the company is in the process of making a decision on launching the new production. Head of St. Petersburg delegation, I. N. Albin assured the partners, that the city Government is ready to invest money into the engineering preparation of the territory for the construction of a new factory, to facilitate obtaining all necessary licenses and permits, and to provide assistance in liaising with federal authorities for obtaining special investment benefits.

    Vice-Governor of St.Petersburg, O. A. Markov, as the head of the delegation of representatives of transport and tourism departments of St. Petersburg Administration, held negotiations with the management of Korean National Organization for Tourism and Korean Air management. As a result of the negotiations, a Memorandum of Understanding between the St. Petersburg Government and the Korean National Organization for Tourism was signed. Within the framework of the document, it is planned to organize an informational exchange, to hold mutual touristic events and exhibitions, and to improve the attractiveness of St. Petersburg and the Republic of Korea for tourists. The near-term plans include the launching of a tourist office of Visit Petersburg in Seoul. Special-purpose marketing campaigns can be held in Korean cities, and it was suggested to organize informational guided tours to St. Petersburg for journalists and travel agencies. The growing interest of Korean tourists to St. Petersburg will require more flights between Pulkovo and Incheon airports. To facilitate future demand, the parties have agreed on mutual cooperation in the development of air transportation and performance of year-round flights.

    Also, on October 20, the St. Petersburg delegation met with First Vice-Governor of Seoul, Mr. Kyeong Ki Ryu in the Government of Seoul. Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea Alexander Timonin and Trade Representative of Russia in the Republic of Korea Mikhail Bondarenko took part in the meeting. The Parties discussed strategic directions of cooperation in business and trade, urban planning, transport, medicine, education, culture and other areas.

    During the negotiations, an issue of E-Governance was raised. Starting from 2008, Seoul has been recognized as the best city in the area of E-Governance systems implementation for 6 times in a row. Advanced technical developments could be implemented in the Unified Information System of St. Petersburg.

    Another significant area is interacademic cooperation. During the visit to the Republic of Korea the following bilateral agreements between higher education institutions were signed:

    - Memorandum of Understanding between Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science and the D. I. Mendeleev All-Russian Institute for Metrology;

    - Collaboration Agreement between FSBEI HO St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television and Joongbu University;

    - Protocol on approval of a roadmap for the project "Improving the quality of decontamination of contaminated materials and the efficiency of the removal of radioactive contaminants" between Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology (Technical University) and Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute;

    - Memorandum of Understanding between Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital;

    - Memorandum of Understanding between Saint Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University and Seoul National University College of Medicine;

    - Road Map for cooperation between St. Petersburg State Marine Technical University and the Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering of the Seoul National University.

    As a result of the meeting, a Protocol was signed to enact an Action Plan ("Road Map") for cooperation between St. Petersburg and Seoul for 2017-2021. While signing this document, First Vice-Governor of Seoul, Kyeong Ki Ryu noted, that the scale of cooperation envisaged in the Action Plan is the largest one of all agreements ever signed by Seoul with its partner cities.

    During the visit to Seoul, the St. Petersburg delegation visited Seoul World Cup Stadium. Head of the stadium management company, Lee Man Ki, held a presentation in which he presented the aspects of the transport and pedestrian accessibility of the stadium, the public transport operation mode, the organization of safety during public events, etc. He said that Seoul Stadium while being in the ownership of the city, demands about $10 million to be spent annually, but the revenues that the stadium brings are twice as high as the costs.

    The delegation also visited Seoul TOPIS – Seoul Transport Operation & Information Service, which performs transport planning, forecasting, and management of transport flows of the capital of Korea. The St. Petersburg delegation was demonstrated the latest developments aimed at reducing traffic on the streets and roads and improving the efficiency of urban transport management. For further closer interaction between the St. Petersburg and Seoul transport specialists and IT employees, it was decided to conduct a video bridge in October.

    In addition, during the visit of October 19-20, a number of meetings of the dedicated committees’ heads were held.

    Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety, I. A. Serebritsky, took part in the Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change.

    Chairman of the Committee for Informatization and Communications, D. P. Chamara, held negotiations on cooperation with the management of Samsung Company in the company's headquarters in Seoul.

    Representatives of the Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture, St. Petersburg State Research and Design Center of St. Petersburg Master Plan, Centre of Transport Planning of St. Petersburg and Andrey Litvinov's Association of Architects visited a high-tech district called Digital Media City, which consists of residential spaces, offices, exhibition, conference halls, and cultural centers. As part of the project presentation, the hosting party presented some materials on the project history, prerequisites to the emergence and characteristics of the media space of such kind. The expertise of South Korean colleagues represents a high value for St. Petersburg specialists as part of experience exchange in the sphere of using high technologies for the development of urban infrastructure.

    On October 19, a meeting of representatives of the Transport Committee with the specialists of Korea Smart Card Co, a company servicing the T-Money transport card in Seoul, was held with the assistance and participation of the Trade Mission of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Korea. The main theme of the conversation was the use of electronic means of payment in public transport.

    During the visit to the leading research center of the Republic of Korea – the South Korean Research Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the representatives of the transport department of St. Petersburg were presented the capabilities of the Daewoo electric bus with a wireless charging system and autonomous travel of about 35 km long. The participants of the meeting shared their experience in the development and operation of electric buses and discussed advanced models and technologies.

    During the visit, the delegation also laid flowers in St. Petersburg Square in Incheon city at the monument dedicated to the heroic feat of the crew of the legendary cruiser Varyag, which had sunk during the first sea battle of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Chairman of the Urban Planning and Architecture Committee and Chief Architect of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Grigoriev, expressed gratitude to the Incheon Government and the representative from the Korean party, Director of International Cooperation Mr. Chang Byung Hoon, for active participation in strengthening the friendly relations between St. Petersburg and Incheon, and for careful preservation of memory about the brave feats made by the sailors of the cruiser Varyag and the gunboat Koreets during the Russo-Japanese War.