I would like to welcome the organisers and participants of the second BRICS International Municipal Forum in St Petersburg.
Dialogue at the municipalities level is growing to become an integral part of the diverse cooperation tracks among the five countries. It is difficult to overestimate its contribution to building up our economic, tourist, cultural, and interpersonal ties. Exchange of experience on urban infrastructure development is just as significant. Such efforts aimed at strengthening friendship, trust and mutual understanding between our peoples deserve respect.
I am delighted that, despite the difficult epidemiological situation, you are carrying on with the work you started last year, even though now it is fully conducted online. Your agenda is very broad; you are going to discuss a wide range of topics related to the socioeconomic life in municipalities across the BRICS countries, from construction and transport to digitalisation and innovations.
I am confident that the forum will be held in a constructive manner, will enable mutually beneficial professional contacts, and joint promising undertakings. I wish you fruitful discussions and all the best.