Alexey Gruzdev: To Maintain the Pivotal Role of WTO within the Global Economy and International Trade is for the common Good


Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Gruzdev took part in the regular East Asia Summit (EAS) Economic Ministers’ Meeting in Manila.

In the course of the meeting, the participants exchanged views on key issues of regional and global economic development.

"EAS member countries that account for more than US$43 trillion of combined GDP (i.e. 57% of global GDP) are undertaking the lead role in the global economy while being among Russia's major trade partners,"said Alexey Gruzdev.

The Ministers reaffirmed the great significance of countering the rise of protectionism trends and fostering WTO pivotal role in the global trade.

"WTO is undoubtedly not at all ideal in  its present form, but it has no alternatives," the Deputy Minister said. "To maintain WTO pivotal role within the global economy and international trade and to make sound decisions to improve its effectiveness is for the common good. In this regard, we are looking forward to promotion of new initiatives at the forthcoming WTO MC11," he said.

When discussing issues of regional integration, the heads of delegations brought to participants’ notice the expansion of the Eurasian Economic Union, Eurasia’s key integration association. Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development spoke about the decision to launch FTA talks with Singapore and India and the Eurasian economic partnership initiative.

"This large-scale initiative is conceived as an economic space that is open for mutually beneficial cooperation among all interested parties including EAEU, SCO and ASEAN member states," stressed Alexey Gruzdev. "Our agreements with China will serve as the foundation for the project launch," he said.

Studies by Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and issues of its interaction with regional research organizations were discussed in the ministerial meeting.

"Russian Academy of Foreign Trade, Russia’s largest international trade institute, is proactively building ties with ERIA," the Deputy Minister said. "The concept of the economic partnership study for Russia-ASEAN interconnection which embraces investments, expansion of global value chains (GVCs), and sustainable development have been referred to our partners".