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Kazan Forum boasts 20,000 participants from 87 countries, displays Russia’s strategic relationship with Islamic world

The Kazan International Economic Forum, titled “Russia – The Islamic World,” announced that the relationship between Islamic countries and Moscow is one linked by a strategic relationship based on partnership and mutual benefit, during the plenary session of the forum.

The session was attended by more than 20,000 participants from 87 countries, including 40 diplomatic missions from Europe, Asia and Africa.

On the sidelines of the forum, about 180 events were held which saw 120 new agreements signed.

Participants emphasized that “90 percent of trade with member states of the Eurasian Economic Union is conducted in national currencies, and the Russian economy grew by 3.6 percent. But most importantly, the economy of countries that maintain close relations with Russia has also grown.”

These include Kazakhstan at 5.1 percent, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan at more than six percent and Tajikistan 8.3, according to Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Government Alexei Overchuk.

Trade exchange between Russia and the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation increased by 31 percent, according to Deputy Prime Minister of Russia for Construction and Regional Development Marat Khusnullin, stressing that there are a number of agreements with Iran regarding land and railway transport.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin is interested in consolidating Russian relations with the Islamic world, as agreements were signed to extend the road between Kazan and Moscow and the road was shortened by six hours,” he said.

The people of Turkmenistan is building a road towards Iran and Kazakhstan, he added, and there is cooperation with Tehran, which supplies its products via Railways, while the number of tourists increased, and the volume of trade exchange increased by 30 percent with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

He continued: “We are developing roads between Kazakhstan and Afghanistan and access to the Caspian Sea, and we are also conducting cooperation with the Gulf countries”. 

He confirmed that Putin said in China that America imposed sanctions on electric cars because they are better than their Western counterparts, and there are aircraft manufacturing projects that compete with their American counterparts.

Western countries imposed illegal restrictions, which prompted China and Russia to deal in local currencies, he said, adding that the West imagined that Russia would become isolated or the economy would fail when the result was the opposite.


UAE hails cooperation

The UAE’s Deputy Minister of Economy Abdullah al-Saleh said that with the development of logistics and investments in joint projects, the volume of trade between Russia and the UAE is growing and could exceed nine billion dollars.

According to him, Russian companies are investing in projects in the logistics sector, seaports, tourism, services, high-tech, industry, and even in the production of medicines and renewable energy sources.

He stressed that the UAE and Russia pay great attention to investments in these areas.

Saleh said that Russia has received a million Emiratis, while the UAE received a million and a half Russians in 2023.

In turn, the director of the UAE ports pointed to an increase in trade exchange, especially in the port of Dubai, where many export and import centers are located.

The UAE has great potential to connect these ports with the Russian Federation, Russian centers, and industrial areas that have seen a lot of development recently, he said.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri stated that developing logistics projects will contribute not only to economic growth, but also to the unification of many countries and the preservation of stability and peace in the region.

The President of Tatarstan, Rustam Mikhyanov, said that the Russian leadership played a major role in developing relations with Islamic countries, as the Russian President in 2003 proposed including Russia in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as an observer.

From then on, the Kazan Forum became an annual event, and Mikhyanov pointed out that Islamic banking, a halal lifestyle, and increasing tourism potential are all supported by the leadership of Russian President Putin.

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