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14 Nov, 2009 03:31

Russia is set to build strong financial center – Medvedev

Russia will intensify efforts aimed at becoming a global financial center, President Dmitry Medvedev said at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Singapore.

"We have serious plans for improving financial regulation and building a strong financial center in Russia," Medvedev said.

Stimulating the economy and living in a post-crisis world topped the Russian leader’s speech.

The President spoke out against protectionism in all spheres, not just in trade, and added that any protectionism measures Russia has taken to get through the crisis and support the country’s businesses are temporary.

However, Medvedev also touched upon the positive side of the world crisis.

“The upside of the crisis is that it has taught us some lessons,” he said. “We have learned to listen to each other and have been able to consolidate our efforts. It is a good sign and hopefully we can achieve more here in Singapore.”

Medvedev also spoke about things that came out recently, during his address to the Federal Assembly, specifically pointing out the need for Russia to become less dependent on raw materials.

“The financial crisis has forced us to rethink our economic structure, to move away from the addiction to raw materials,” Medvedev said. “We need to make our economies innovative.”

It's the first official visit by a Russian President to Singapore. He's expected to meet Chinese leader Hu Jintao over how to work toward an innovative economy, which Medvedev said was a priority for Russia in his annual address to the parliament on Thursday.

Representatives from some of Russia's key companies are also in Singapore to discuss new energy deals.

On Sunday, Medvedev is due to meet with US President Barack Obama.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. It has 21 members – referred to as "Member Economies" – which account for approximately 40 percent of the world's population, approximately 55 percent of world GDP and about 44 percent of world trade.

APEC was established in 1989 and has worked to reduce tariffs and other trade barriers across the Asia-Pacific region, creating efficient domestic economies and dramatically increasing exports.

This summit in Singapore is the 17th gathering of the organization. Representatives of 21 countries have arrived at the microstate in Southeast Asia.