Moscow keen to build seam­less Asia-Pa­cific com­mu­nity

China Daily (Canada) - - ADVERTISEMENT - By PU ZHENDONG puzhen­dong@chi­andaily.com.cn

Moscow is play­ing a more “ac­tive and con­struc­tive” role in the Asia-Pa­cific to fa­cil­i­tate the es­tab­lish­ment of “one sin­gle eco­nomic en­tity” in the re­gion, a se­nior Rus­sian diplo­mat told China Daily on Thurs­day.

“It is our ul­ti­mate goal to work with re­gional part­ners to build a seam­less Asia-Pa­cific com­mu­nity in terms of trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, based on the prin­ci­ples of open­ness, in­clu­sive­ness, trans­parency and equal­ity,” said Valery Sorokin, Rus­sia’s se­nior of­fi­cial for the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion.

Sorokin is at­tend­ing this year’s fourth and fi­nal APEC Se­nior Of­fi­cials’ Meet­ing in Beijing, which marks the cli­max of the eco­nomic lead­ers’ meet­ing on Mon­day and Tues­day.

“This is the con­clud­ing Se­nior Of­fi­cials’ Meet­ing. We are sum­ming up what we have dis­cussed and done within the year into ‘out­come doc­u­ments’ for our min­is­ters to ap­prove,” he said.

“At this stage, the bulk of this year’s min­is­te­rial state­ments and lead­ers’ dec­la­ra­tion is ready, but we are still fine-tun­ing some added.

Sorokin said one of APEC’s most sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments this year is the agree­ment to lay out a road map to the es­tab­lish­ment of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pa­cific.

“As part of the Asia-Pa­cific, Rus­sia sup­ports the in­te­gra­tion and does not want the Asia-Pa­cific eco­nomic space frag­mented,” he added.

In re­cent years, ne­go­ti­a­tions over sev­eral subre­gional trad­ing group­ings such as the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship and the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship have ac­cel­er­ated.

de­tails,” he

Sorokin said the ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing in­te­gra­tion mech­a­nisms should not seek to split the re­gion eco­nom­i­cally or in­ter­rupt the si­mul­ta­ne­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions over the FTAAP.

“Rus­sia has suc­cess­ful re­gional in­te­gra­tion ex­pe­ri­ence of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union, which we think is use­ful to APEC’s un­der­tak­ing of FTAAP,” he added.

The EEU is a po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic union be­tween Be­larus, Kaza­khstan, Rus­sia and Ar­me­nia that will of­fi­cially take ef­fect next year, cre­at­ing a sin­gle mar­ket of more than 170 mil­lion peo­ple and a gross do­mes­tic prod­uct of $3 tril­lion.

De­scrib­ing Rus­sia as “a bridge be­tween the East and the West”, Sorokin said closer link­ages be­tween the two in­te­gra­tion mech­a­nisms should be built to pro­duce more ben­e­fits for re­gional economies.

He also dis­missed spec­u­la­tions over Moscow’s shift of eco­nomic fo­cus to the more lu­cra­tive Asia-Pa­cific re­gion due to es­ca­lat­ing sanc­tions im­posed by the United States and the Euro­peanUnion, who ac­cused Rus­sia of in­cit­ing un­rest in East­ern Ukraine

Sorokin said Rus­sia’s em­pha­sis on the Asia-Pa­cific has never been out of the de­mand or re­quire­ment of the present sit­u­a­tion with Rus­sian econ­omy, but a pol­icy di­rec­tion that has been fol­lowed for years.

“Asia-Pa­cific is a ro­bust and well-es­tab­lished en­gine for global de­vel­op­ment, even in times of fi­nan­cial cri­sis. I be­lieve APEC economies are con­tribut­ing to a speedy global re­cov­ery,” Sorokin said.

“We are not start­ing to pay at­ten­tion to the Asia-Pa­cific be­cause of the sanc­tions,” he added.

On Tues­day, Rus­sia also con­trib­uted $3 mil­lion to the APEC Support Fund in an aim to en­dorse the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ca­pac­ity-build­ing ini­tia­tives for mem­ber economies.

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