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  • President Vladimir Putin (R) and President Xi Jinping in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 7, 2019.

    President Vladimir Putin (R) and President Xi Jinping in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 7, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 7 June 2019

President Vladimir Putin rejected US actions against free access to high tech, saying they increase global inequality.

Russia is interested in a greater presence of Chinese companies in its market, said President Vladimir Putin at the Second Russian-Chinese Energy Forum being held at the Saint Petersburgh International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

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"We highly value the willingness of Chinese entrepreneurs to work with us and we are naturally interested in expanding the presence of Chinese companies in the Russian market," Putin said Friday at the forum.

His government fosters several Special Economic Zones (SEZ), areas in which business and trade laws will be different from the rest of the country so as to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). Russia continues to "work on improving its business climate so that foreign investors, including the Chinese, feel as comfortable as possible here," Putin stated.

When joint business projects are benefical for all participants, the Russian president explained, "they generate investments, technologies, talents and knowledge as well as markets and new possibilities." 

If Chinese investors join the Russian SEZs they could cut costs by up to 30 percent thanks to long-term investment contracts with certain tax conditions.

Russia's SEZs, so-called Advanced Development Territories (ADT), are mostly located at the country's far east region.

"More than 130 new companies are currently already operating there and 13,000 modern jobs have been created," Putin said and detailed that SEZ-related invetments have exceeded US$3.5 billion.

At the St. Petersburgh forum, Putin criticized the U.S. tech cold war against Huawei by highlighting that its discriminatory actions seek to expel it from international markets.

"States which previously promoted free trade ... have started speaking the language of trade wars," said the president.

"Look at the situation around Huawei," specified Russia's head of state, referring to the United States administration decision to blacklist China-based Huawei technology company, denying it and affiliate companies access to U.S. technology networks and consumers.

"They are trying not to just squeeze out, but to unceremoniously push out the company from the global market. It's already being called the first technological war of the emerging digital era," said Putin during the forum.

According to the Russian president, the new wave of 5G digital technologies and infrastructures that Huawei leads, will expand "horizons for all who are open to change."

The Russian president accused the U.S. government of acting as a monopoly and restricting free access to high tech, moves that foster global economic instability.

"Any monopoly always means concentration of profit in the hands of some to the detriment of others. In this sense, attempts to monopolize the new technological wave and limit access to it ... will take global inequality among countries and regions to unprecedented new levels."

China's President Xi Jinping, also at the SPIEF, rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's attempts to take down economic and trade ties.

"Along with the emergence of reverse-globalization and hegemonism, global society faces increasing new challenges," Xi said and added that his country will "promote economic globalization, safeguard multilateral trade systems, and is committed to resolving unbalanced global economic development," as reported by Bloomberg.

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