President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Mori, Dear Yoshiro,
Dear Mr Okuda,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, together with our Japanese partners, we are marking the start of the construction of the first Toyota car plant in Russia. First of all, I would like to wish success to everyone who will be involved in carrying out this very promising project.
Toyota, Japan’s biggest carmaker, is known throughout the whole world. It is a popular brand here in Russia, too. I am sure that there will be great demand indeed for the cars produced by Toyota’s St Petersburg plant.
Leading Japanese enterprises are taking ever-bolder steps to expand their activities here in Russia. We see in this a sign that Japanese industry and business circles feel confident about the Russian economy’s possibilities and potential.
This confidence is based on the positive experience of cooperation we already have, the growing direct contacts and ties between businesspeople in both our countries, and on our country’s successes in carrying out social and economic reform and creating an effective market economy that is showing stable development.
I am sure that there are excellent prospects for Russian-Japanese business cooperation, especially in investment, trade, innovative technology, the energy sector and joint development of Siberia and the Far East. It is very important, and I want to stress it one more time, that the political dialogue between our two countries is constantly developing and is opening up broad new opportunities for partnership.
In conclusion, I sincerely wish Toyota continued success on the Russian market.
I would also like to thank the heads of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for supporting this project. The EBRD is our longstanding partner and has a 20-percent stake in this project. I would also like to note the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s other projects, including its participation in what is a new project – the issue of rouble-denominated financial instruments on the Russian market for a total of five billion roubles. We see this as another significant step towards making our national currency fully convertible. All of this together gives us reason to expect that the Toyota project will be a success.
I hope that other recognised Japanese economic leaders will follow your example. Russia is open to cooperation and to interested, substantial dialogue.
I wish you all the best.
Thank you very much.