The head of state of one of the world’s largest energy producer, the Russian Federation, sees increased cooperation with Association of Southeast Asian Nations nations in various areas, including energy transfer, agriculture, navigation and financial services, amid modest trade and investment between the two parties.
During the Asean Business and Investment Summit (Abis) 2017 on Monday at the Solaire Resort and Casino, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said there are numerous areas of high interest for Russian businesses.
“We see a true interest of the business community in our country in terms of cooperation in energy transfer, agriculture, satellite navigation, financial-services technology, so practically in all important sectors. This is indeed logical as today, Asean in terms of growth, is sixth economy in the world and third in Asia,” Medvedev told leaders of industries and heads of state.
Medvedev added Russia is ready to be involved in Asean initiatives relating to energy transfer, information infrastructure and especially in transit/transport development
“It’s important for business to develop sea and airport development in the Russian Far East [region]. The main goal of all these efforts [is] to make the transit between Asia and Europe as fast as possible, and to establish the Russian Far East as a powerful industrial hub to satisfy the needs of the Asia-Pacific region,” he added.
The prime minister added that this improved cooperation is foreseeable, even as trade and investment numbers have been modest due to improving Russian economy surpassing 2 percent, and increasing interest from Asia.
According to the Asean foreign direct investment (FDI) database, Asean’s FDI inflows from Russia has had a mixed performance in the course of five years. From $189 million in 2012, this grew to $607 million the following year only to dip to negative $113.25 million in 2014. In 2015 FDI was again in the negative territory, at $28.9 million. Last year FDI inflow into Asean from the Russian Federation is at $56.7 million.
Abis is the initiative of the Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean BAC), the representative body of private businesses in Asean. As the overall chairman of Asean for the year, the Philippines’ representative to the Asean BAC holds the chairmanship as well.
The ABIS 2017, running from Sunday until Tuesday, gathers 30 top-level government officials and chief executive officers as well as the heads of global think tanks in five issue-area fora.