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Stanislav Voskresensky: Russia’s experience in economic integration based on Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be useful for the realization of the FTAAP

17.11.16

On 17 November 2016 deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Stanislav Voskresensky participated in the first session of the APEC Ministerial Meeting "Regional Economic Integration and Quality Growth".

First of all let me thank Peru for the excellent organization of the event and warm hospitality! I also would like to congratulate Peruvian colleagues with very dynamic and productive APEC year!

Economic recovery is still very fragile. Due to slack growth in major advanced economies, weakness in world trade, persistently low commodity prices and decreasing capital flow global growth is anticipated to slow to 2,9 percent in 2016. World merchandise trade volume expected to grow only by 1,7% in 2016.

Structural reforms conducted in the APEC economies could be a good response to modest global economic development.

We appreciate the work done by APEC to promote structural reforms through the Renewed APEC Agenda for Structural Reform. Russia continues implementing a number of reforms such as improvement of tariff regulation; development of regulatory policy; increasing the employment of socially vulnerable groups of people, including women with young children and people with disabilities; development of the E-government, etc. Realization of ambitious measures aimed at enhancing investment climate has resulted in improving Russia’s Doing Business rating from 51nd in 2016 to 40 in 2017.

Russia welcomes the Bogor Goals Second-Term Review and the progress of APEC economies in facilitating trade and investments, reducing tariffs, non-tariff barriers in services and foreign investments. We all did great job and the results achieved are really tangible. Over the past 25 years the average applied tariffs of APEC economies have been reduced by more than 10 percentage points.

We congratulate all APEC partners with the finalization of the ambitious document – Collective Strategic Study on Issues related to the Realization of Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

We encourage economies to recognize the importance of FTAAP being inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all potential members.

We understand the importance of FTAAP pathways that will provide with useful lessons for the eventual realization of FTAAP. Nevertheless we believe that APEC has to kick off FTAAP process apart from the stage of development of current integration initiatives. At the same time it’s premature to set up the certain deadline for starting FTAAP negotiations. We are deeply convinced that at this stage we have to focus all our efforts on elaborating achievable and mutually agreed goals and guidelines for future cooperation.

I would like to express appreciation to constructive discussion among APEC members and common understanding of the key role of Eurasian integration for our economy. We sincerely hope that Russia’s experience in economic integration based on Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will be useful for the realization of the FTAAP.

Our FTA with Viet Nam came into force on 5th of October, 2016. Currently we are working on the comprehensive agreement with our partners from China, investigating possible ways for further development of trade and economic relations with the Republic of Korea, considering FTA requests from Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand. Such countries as Indonesia and Malaysia have also notified their willingness to launch FTA with Eurasian Economic Union. Together with our ASEAN partners we are considering the possibility to conduct a feasibility study of FTA between EAEU and ASEAN member-states.

Russia is very much supportive for the overall APEC discussion of Services Competitiveness Roadmap and considers this document one of the main deliverables for APEC this year. We would like to stress the importance of services for economic growth, social development and employment. Thus, we believe, that APEC efforts should be focused on the development and increasing competitiveness of services sectors in the economies, accompanied by respective measures in terms of economic liberalization.

Finally, I would like to stress that we expect fruitful and constructive discussions at the Trade Policy Dialogue that is going to be held on the sidelines of the first Senior Economic Officials meeting and related meetings in 2017 in Vietnam. We believe that this event will help us to create a clear picture of government procurement regulation in APEC economies and to identify possible specific areas for future cooperation in this sphere.

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