Valentina Matvienko, Chairman of Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
Esteemed members of the Forum, I am glad to welcome you to the opening of the VII International Rail Business Forum 1520 Strategic Partnership.
Your representative Forum, which has gathered heads of national railway administrations of the CIS and European Union countries, relevant government agencies, transport and industrial companies, railway machine-building enterprises, representatives of the banking sector and the industrial sciences, offers opportunities for comprehensive, constructive discussion of the prospects for further development of the railway industry in the world today.
Railway transport plays a special role here in Russia, the world’s largest country. This year marks the 175 anniversary of Russian railways. Today, like many years ago, they are a leading strategic sector of the economy and an important factor contributing to its efficiency and the country’s territorial integrity. That is why development of the railway sector commands attention at the highest state level.
It should be noted that the rules of the World Trade Organisation, growing interaction with the European Union and strengthening of integration processes within EurAsEc add extra relevance to the issues of forming a common carriage market within the common economic space, strengthening the competitiveness of trans-Asian transport corridors and implementing major transport-logistics infrastructure projects.
Life demands that we continue to build up our common efforts to achieve consistent modernisation of the system of transport links, improve the logistics of freight flows, enhance the safety and quality of the services, introduce innovative technologies and adapt advanced international experience in the machine-building field, build effective business models in the freight carriage sphere and attract more investments into the sector.
I wish you interesting discussions, success and all the best.