Asian vector of Russian policy

Ambassador's view
Dr Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Deputy foreign minister (2005-2011). Follow him on Twitter @Amb_Yakovenko
Asian vector of Russian policy
The Asia-Pacific region is one of the strategic priorities in Russian foreign policy. As President Vladimir Putin stated at the APEC summit in Beijing, Russia is planning to expand its cooperation with Asian countries in many spheres.

The shifting trend of economic power towards the Asia-Pacific region is obvious. Asian countries, such as China, India, the ASEAN members, have a huge share of global GDP growth. Many Asia-Pacific countries offer successful examples of roads to follow in developing their competitive abilities. They have taken the lead in innovation and have considerable financial and investment resources at their disposal. Even faced with the negative global trends of recent years they have kept a good pace and have had only a slight slowdown in growth.

The Asia-Pacific region represents more than a quarter of Russia’s total turnover of commodities. We expect to increase this amount to 40% and are taking concrete steps to expand the geography of our exports and enlarge the share of non-raw materials, particularly high-tech goods. The overall constructive spirit that characterizes our relations with the majority of countries in that region is very important and we will do everything possible to develop bilateral and multilateral ties in a wide range of areas, including through increased trade and investment incentives.

Direct foreign investment from Asia-Pacific countries into the Russian economy has doubled since 2009 to nearly $10 billion. We are going to try to increase this sum by establishing a network of fast-growth zones in the Far East offering tax incentives and simplified administrative procedures. The plan is that the companies located there will focus on exports of non-raw materials first of all to the Asia-Pacific region.

However, it doesn’t mean that we want to develop our relationship with the Asia-Pacific and prejudice cooperation with Western countries even against the sanctions background. For us it is clear, that increasing trade and investment capacity with our Eastern neighbors is very natural for a country the major part of which is situated in the Asia-Pacific Region.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.