ASEAN—Russia identify areas for business cooperation
The Business Forum of the Russian Federation and Member Nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was held in Sochi on May 19, 2016 as part of the 2016 ASEAN—Russia Summit. The Business Forum focused on developing trade and economic relations, strengthening investment potential and intensifying business cooperation between the leading representatives of business, public, political and expert circles of Russia and ASEAN members. The Forum was attended by more than 400 delegates from 16 countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, China and Singapore. The participants included representatives of governments, business circles, distinguished expert communities and international organizations. The forum was covered by 156 journalists from twelve countries.
The ASEAN—Russia Business Forum opened with two panel discussions. The panel “Towards New ASEAN—Russia Economic Partnership: Essential Tools, Mechanisms, and Drivers of Growth” was moderated by Russian First Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev and Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Indonesia Rosan Perkasa Roeslani. The discussion participants included Republic of Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov, acting Tula Region Governor Alexey Dumin, Moscow Region Governor Andrey Vorobiev, Director of Singapore’s Silverlake Global Payments Sdn. Bhd. Dato’ M. Redzuan Kushairi, Senior Vice President of Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Sombat Thiratrakoolchai and other experts and senior executives from major companies. The panel session “Russia’s Export Potential: Implementing the Strategic Priorities of ASEAN Member States” was devoted to searching for new opportunities for Russian companies to take part in the national industrial development programmes of ASEAN nations and to establish the financial tools required for Russian business to take part in different projects in the region. The session was moderated by Director of International Projects at the Russian Export Center Mikhail Mamonov and Adviser on Strategic Partnerships with Multilateral Development Institutions of the World Bank Gilles Alfandari.
The Forum concluded with the plenary session “ASEAN—Russia Partnership in the New Integration Architecture of the Asia-Pacific Region: Opportunities for Businesses”. The moderator, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation Sergey Katyrin, focused on the special aspects of integration processes in the Asia-Pacific region and the interaction of key blocs – the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and ASEAN. ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh, Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Alexey Ulyukayev, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Secretary-General Rashid Alimov, Eurasian Development Bank Management Board Chairman Dmitry Pankin, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank President Jin Liqun, Member of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and Vice President of the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Oudet Souvannavong and other speakers all shared their visions of the current situation and future prospects.
“I believe that this format has great potential in terms the prospects that it creates for intensifying interregional integration,” Russian Presidential Adviser Anton Kobyakov noted.
As part of the ASEAN—Russia Business Forum, several key international agreements were signed and Russian participants held bilateral meetings with their foreign partners. The Forum participants noted that there is enormous potential to develop cooperation between Russia and ASEAN nations. According to the Russian Export Centre (REC), “it can be said with a degree of certainty that within five years Russia could hold an up to 10% share of the export market of ASEAN nations.” REC representatives are confident that all the preconditions are currently in place for a real breakthrough on the ASEAN markets with non-raw commodity exports serving as the driver. ASEAN countries are interested in Russian products and large-scale programmes are underway there to modernize social, transportation and industrial infrastructure. Russian companies could find their niches in these projects as well, returning to the markets that were once dominated by the Soviet Union. Commenting on the results of the Business Forum, Sergey Katyrin noted: “The vector of ASEAN—Russia business cooperation has been identified. The declaration made by the Business Forum was approved by its participants.” ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh emphasized that “ASEAN nations are committed to building a comprehensive cooperation programme that would cover all aspects of our relations. We continue to develop close cooperation with Russia taking into account the potential that exists in the economies of our region.”
Svetlana Smelik, Svetlana.email@example.com, +7 (911) 112 1780