An international business forum organised by the Russian and Ukrainian Associations of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs opens today in Odessa. The Russia association's PR office announced that Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma is to take part in the plenary session. The participants in the meeting intend to look at new opportunities for bilateral partnerships, in particular, at possible investment and privatization projects. They will also discuss factors which currently prevent Russian-Ukrainian relations from developing dynamically.
Over 100 Russian and Ukrainian companies are expected to take part in the event, as well as the heads of 20 Russian and Ukrainian regional administrations. Apart from the Russian and Ukrainian Associations of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the conference is being organised by the Public Council for Ukrainian-Russian Cooperation, the Odessa Regional Administration and the Foundation for Developing Business Cooperation. The forum will end on September 22.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.