All set for milestone in Philippine-Russian ties as 40-strong Russian delegation arrives

ORGANIZERS are all set for the opening of the Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition (PRBFEx) on October 21, 2010 as a 40-strong delegation from Russia arrives on October 20, 2010 to participate in a milestone in the developing relationship not only between the two countries but also on a broader regional level between Asia and the Russian Federation.

Honorary Russian Consul Armi Lopez Garcia said the forum will open with the unveiling of the bust of Leo Tolstoy, a monument made by the famed Russian sculptor Grigory Pototsky who had already installed 55 monuments in several countries around the world.

The Tolstoy bust is installed at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) International Park. The four-day PRBFEx 2010 will then commence at the CICC which was a summit venue of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2005.

The bust of Leo Tolstoy or Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy is significant because he was a Russian writer considered by many as the world’s greatest novelist with his masterpieces “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina” that represented in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Philippines is known around the globe for the peaceful EDSA Revolution in 1986 that catapulted Cory Aquino, the widow of Filipino hero Benigno Aquino Jr., to the presidency. President Cory is the mother of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III.

“The Tolstoy bust represents the stronger cultural relationship between the Filipino and Russian peoples,” said Consul Garcia.

Pototsky arrived yesterday with wife Olga while some 39 other Russians led by Vice Governor Igor Metelsky of St. Petersburg, Russian Federation who is expected to talk on the PRBFEx theme of moving forward not only in the business, trade, investments, tourism, and the people-to-people relationships between the Philippines and Russia will arrive today.

“The first Philippine-Russian business forum last year strengthened these ties. Now we are moving forward towards making the Philippines as an entry point for Russia’s efforts to develop its relationship with the rest of Asia,” said Consul Garcia.

“As coordinator for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) the Philippines is a strategic entry point to South East Asia and the rest of the region as we also develop broader regional relations between Asia and the Russian Federation,” she said.

The second annual business forum between the two countries will set the stage for deepening economic engagements between the Russian Federation and Asia as businesses across both regions explore cross–?border collaboration opportunities.

Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim and Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, along with Russian Federation Ambassador H.H. Nikolay Kudashev, will cut the ribbon to open the PRBFEx which serves as a business and networking platform bridging businesses across the Russian Federation, the Philippines, and Asia.

Economic observers are looking forward to economic growth in Asia and Russia that will see both increasing their presence and weight in the global economy, said Consul Garcia.

The 2nd Philippine-Russian Business Forum is organized by the Philippine Russian Business Assembly Inc. and the Embassy of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the Province of Cebu and the Department of Tourism.

The Philippine Exhibits and Themeparks Corp. is co-organizing the event in association with the City of Mandaue, Department of Trade and Industry, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu Business Club, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Cebu FAME, Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, and the Cebu Gifts, Toys and Housewares (GTH).

Supporting the four-day affair are the Cebu Energy Development Corp./Toledo Power Corp., CHI/Cebu Property Ventures & Development Corp., Hongkong Express, PLDT-SME, Smart, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Pascual Consumer Health Care Corp.,Epson, Globis Inc., GNM Printing House/SciTechs Digital Solutions, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Be Resorts Mactan, Ng Khai, Pelagos, Olimpe Capital, Gorizont Consulting Corp., Milkfish, Legwork Production & Promotions, Neo Manufacturing Services Inc./Glee Electronics, and San Remigio Pensionne Suites/Primemovers and PRWorks.

Sun.Star Online, Sun.Star Cebu, Business Mirror, Cebu Daily News, The Freeman, GMA-7, Philippine Graphic Magazine, Manila Bulletin, The Philippine Star, Alcordo Advertising, and Amazing Cebu G Channel, Kommersant, Luxe Magazine and PhotoTravel Magazine are the media partners of the 2nd Philippine Russian Business Forum and Exhibition. (PR)