September 14, 2011
Prospects for Cooperation Were Discussed at “Russia-ASEAN” Round Table
“RUSSIA - ASEAN: New Horizons of Cooperation” round table was held within the frame work of the VII Baikal International Economic Forum that was attended by ambassadors of three ASEAN member countries: Malaysia, Vietnam and the Sultanate of Brunei. Seven members of the Supreme House of Parliament of Malaysia arrived as members of delegation. On the Russian side, the round table was attended by Leonid Moiseev, Special Presidential Representative for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; Sergey Chernyshev, Director of Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Economic Development. The discussion was conducted by Georgy Petrov, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation.
Welcoming the participants, Georgy Petrov said that the cooperation with the Association of South East Asia Countries is of strategic importance for Russia, including the Russian business community.
In his speech, Sergey Chernyshev, Director of Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Economic Development emphasized the key issues of Russia's cooperation with ASEAN countries, the solving of which will help overcome imbalances in regional cooperation.
"The issue of interaction between Siberia and the Far East with the countries of Southeast Asia is included in the draft "road map" of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and ASEAN countries," Sergey Chernyshev said, “With respect to specific projects, the question is, for example, the transfer of the volume of containerized cargo carried by the ASEAN countries by the transport routes passing through the ports of the Far East and Trans-Siberian railway to Europe and Central Asia."
The major role in co-operation with ASEAN countries assigned to the Irkutsk region. As Sergey Anikeev, Deputy Chairman of the Government of Irkutsk Region - Minister of Economic Development, Labour, Science and Higher Education, Angara Region has all economic prerequisites for the development of cooperation with ASEAN countries: raw materials, cheap energy, water and a highly skilled workforce. "We are very interested in expanding ties and exchange of high-tech products enterprises of the Irkutsk Region with ASEAN countries. Also, development of tourism is very important for our region,"- said Sergey Anikeev.
Leonid Moiseev, Special RF Presidential Representative for SCO, informed that Dmitry Medvedev, the RF President, approved the Programme of Action in the Asia Pacific Region (APR)in April 2011, and instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare a strategy for relations with Asia Pacific countries, as well as the forecast of socio-economic development of the Far East until 2050.
"The strategy is being prepared taking into account the situation of our participation in multilateral associations in Asia Pacific. It is primarily due to the fact that we start the chairmanship of APEC. It is a very important mission. It is also very crucial and important task. In November, our President will participate in the East Asia Summit for the first time, and we have to develop a strategy for our actions in this direction," said Leonid Moiseev, the Special Representative of the Russian President for SCO affairs.
According to him, the strategy is primarily aimed at enhancing economic cooperation of Asia-Pacific region and the regions of Siberia and the Far East.
According to Leonid Moses, the development of economic relations and the achievement of definite results will make consideration of an-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement matter of fact. Most of the countries in the region follow such way. The establishment of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund (2007) has become a good tool for enhancing joint project activities.