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ASEM Countries are committed to reducing the digital divide

Источник:Минэкономразвития России
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Дата документа:26 сентября 2017 г.
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Issues of trade and investment facilitation, strengthening economic interconnectedness and sustainable and inclusive growth were discussed at the 7th Conference of Economic Ministers from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member countries, which was held after a twelve-year break in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. At the meeting, the Russian delegation was led by Alexander Timonin, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Korea.

The discussions involved issues of counteracting protectionism and the need to intensify efforts to implement WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The Ministers expressed their unanimous support for the multilateral trading system based on WTO’s rules and regulations and agreed to make every effort for a successful conclusion to the forthcoming 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires, in December this year.

ASEM countries are active participants in integration processes today. The ASEM region accounts for almost 20% of all trade agreements in place, with more than 60% of the agreements involving one or several ASEM countries.

The Russian side informed its partners about development of the Eurasian Economic Union integration project and plans for the Extensive Eurasian Partnership among EAEU, SCO and ASEAN member states and other interested countries.

During discussions of economic interconnectedness, it was its digital and physical dimensions that were in focus. The ministers acknowledged that digitalization opened doors to new opportunities for economic growth through simplified cross-border trade and increased performance. Participants of the meeting stressed the need to ensure reduction in the digital divide and universal access to digital economy benefits.

Our ASEM partners were sensitized about Russia’s transit potential and the Northern Sea Route, in particular. Indeed, in August this year, a tanker carrying a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) had cruised from Norway to South Korea for 19 days, which was 30% faster than a journey via the Suez Canal traditional route.

Discussions on sustainable and inclusive growth focused on the issues of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, climate change and the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Ministers stressed that active discussions and best practice exchange among ASEM countries would help the member states, especially those that were emerging, identify new opportunities and challenges rising as a result of the Fourth Industrial Revolution progression. A separate ASEM event to be held in 2018 and include in-depth discussions involving international experts in the area was proposed by South Korea.

The participants reaffirmed their commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and acknowledged that ASEM countries should play a pivotal role in achieving the SDGs for poverty reduction and general prosperity.

Outcome based final documents were adopted including the Statement of the Chairman, the Statement on Supporting the Multilateral Trading System, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution Initiative. 

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