Article by Sergey Lavrov: Collectivism and Connectivity at the heart of APEC

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
U.S. President Barack Obama holds meeting with Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) leaders at the APEC Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. © Kevin Lamarque
On 19–20 November 2016, Lima hosts regular meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. 21 countries’ leaders gather in order to discuss pressing global and regional economic issues. The Summit takes place against the background of global political and economic turbulence. The ongoing shaping of new polycentric world order is accompanied by growing instability.

In the Asia Pacific, the effects of these tendencies have been mitigated by major technological and financial potential that has enabled the region to maintain its leading positions in world affairs. However, it is evident that the growing challenges will have a negative impact on the prospects of long-term growth in the region.

As a Eurasian power and an inalienable part of the Asia-Pacific region in terms of geography, history, politics, and economy, Russia is interested in ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the entire region. The current situation demands that we apply this principle to social and economic development as well, all the more so if the regional economies genuinely want to make it inclusive.

Today, there are over 150 bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements in the APEC region. A joint strategic study has been undertaken on issues related to the realization of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. Its participants have not yet agreed upon the optimal format and operational parameters of the FTAAP. However, they have already drawn the main conclusion that it is necessary to equally take into account the experience of all regional integration associations without exception, including the APEC Economic Community, the Pacific Alliance and the Eurasian Economic Union. On our part, we are convinced that only constructive interaction, on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis, to link these associations would help avoid the risk of crisis in the world trade, as well as broader use of best regulatory practices.

We intend to continue the practice of conducting annually the APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education at the premises of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) in Vladivostok.

Russia is determined to deepen regional interrelationships in other aspects of the inter-human dimension as well. We fully support intensified regional, tourist, sport, youth, cultural and other exchanges, including through utilising the transport potential of our country.

Russia is convinced that the collaboration within APEC has good prospects. We are firmly committed to fair and mutually beneficial cooperation and will continue to play an active role and be a reliable partner in pursuit of a region-wide constructive process to the benefit of our peoples.

Read the full article here.

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