Alexey Gruzdev: Memorandum on EAEU-ASEAN Cooperation Is at the Final Stage


September 11, 2017, in Manila, Alexey Gruzdev, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development, took part in the regular consultations of Russia-ASEAN Economic Ministers.

They addressed the progress of practical interaction within Russia-ASEAN Dialogue, EAEU-ASEAN cooperation including preparations for the study on the feasibility of creating EAEU-ASEAN Free Trade Area (FTA) and signing the memorandum on interaction between the two integration associations.

"Dynamically advancing integration projects of EAEU and the ASEAN Economic Community are creating new opportunities for cooperation both for Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership and for building EAEU-ASEAN practical cooperation", the Deputy Minister said.

Alexei Gruzdev put Russia’s ASEAN partners in the picture of the Eurasian Economic Union expansion and its trade policy. "EAEU is currently a common market that has a population of over 180 million people and accounts for US$2 trillion of combined GDP," he said.

The Deputy Minister explained that it is proactive in developing various format cooperation, from MOUs to FTAs, with integration associations, third country governments and international organizations.

When discussing Russia’s initiative on the possible launch of a joint study regarding the feasibility of creating EAEU-ASEAN FTA, it was agreed to arrange joint events involving our ASEAN partners to negotiate related issues.

Russia together with the Eurasian Economic Commission is engaged in preparing a seminar on EAEU regional economic integration. "This ARDPFF project will help us identify the format for relationships between the two integration association," said Alexey Gruzdev. -While the preparation of Memorandum on EAEU-ASEAN cooperation is at the final stage. "

The positive dynamics of the ARDPFF project activities was noted by the participants in the course of the meeting. "Fifteen projects have been implemented in areas such as space and satellite technologies, nanotechnology, food safety, energy, education and human resources development, SMB, culture and tourism over the last two years. Two initiatives are now in progress, while fourteen are waiting for approval, "- said Alexey Gruzdev.

Following the outcomes of the consultations, the updated Roadmap for Russia-ASEAN Trade & Economic and Investment Cooperation and the Draft Implementation Program were agreed by the Ministers. The Russian side orchestrated the insertion into the instrument of new areas for the development of Russian-ASEAN cooperation, inter alia, electronic commerce, best practice exchange for creating overseas AEO single-window systems, increasing  women’s role in the economy, support for regional integration processes within EAEU and the ASEAN Economic Community.

"Taking into consideration the changing global economic environment, as well as the outcomes of the Russia-ASEAN anniversary summit, we decided to review the Roadmap and the Draft Implementation Program," the Deputy Minister noted.

Our ASEAN partners were also invited to jointly discuss issues of economic development and integration of remote regions.