On May 19, 2016, a business forum was held within the framework of the Russia-ASAEN jubilee summit. The event was attended by leading representatives of the business community, public affairs and expert circles of Russia and the ASEAN countries, who discussed key issues on economics and trade, investment and technological cooperation, as well as the economic development of the economies of Russia and the South-East Asian nations. The red line of the Russia-ASAEN Business Forum was the idea that it is now time to move from “words to deeds”.
At the business forum in Sochi, the President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Alexander Shokhin, identified the main direction for development by remarking, “Russia has set the task to occupy the 20th place in terms of investment climate by 2018.” The Vice President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Jin Liqun, also noted the need for real action when he said, “We need to develop our countries’ economic infrastructural capabilities.”
The leading experts pointed out that Russia-ASEAN trade is growing rapidly. According to the ASEAN General Secretary, Mr Le Luong Minh, Russia-ASEAN political and economic cooperation is already developing into a qualitatively new level – the cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN nations.
The Eurasian Economic Commission panel member (Minister) for trade, Veronica Nikishin, also commented on the possibilities of cooperation, and paid particular attention to the fact that the countries are presently enjoying greater opportunities for interaction: “Some ASEAN countries have taken initiatives to establish a zone of free trade with our Union. These are Singapore and Cambodia. “
However, this actually accelerates cooperation between the two sides, instead of interfering with it. Within the framework of the Russian-ASEAN Business Forum, the Deputy Chairman of the Board, Head of Treasury of the SDM Bank, Edward Looshin, said, “I believe that we should speed up cooperation between our countries. Of course, we can see that the ASEAN countries, above all, protect their market players and create conditions for their growth and development.”
However, there is also need to build a mutually beneficial relationship based on the availability of information, the presence of experts and much more, and then we will move to a new leap in our relationship, “from words to deeds.”
Overall, the forum turned out to be packed with statements and remarks on the need for real measures and actions to improve trade and economic, technological and investment cooperation between Russia and the South-East Asian nations. Today, Russia and the ASEAN countries need to form a new economic partnership for economic growth and for improving the living standards of their citizens.
Text: Anna Maksimova