MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow invited its partners in the Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) forum, who will gather for a summit to open in Vladivostok in two days, to focus on integration in the light of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
“For almost a week, Vladivostok will be the epicentre of business and politics among the 21 nations in the Pacific Rim. APEC is a platform for leaders to discuss the most pressing global and regional problems,” President Vladimir Putin said in his article published by World Street Journal – Asia on Wednesday, September 5.
“APEC’s experience is a good example of how integration contributes to economic development, giving a positive signal to businesses. We suggest that the dialogue in Vladivostok focus on freeing up trade and investment flows to stimulate economic growth, taking into account new realities such as Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation,” he said, adding, “Membership in the WTO gives us the ability to participate more broadly in setting the global trade rules—an issue that has been a focus of attention for APEC in the past”
Putin is convinced that “Russia’s fresh outlook on the objective difficulties and internal contradictions of the WTO will be useful. The very principle of free trade is undergoing a crisis. We regularly observe recurrences of protectionism and veiled trade wars instead of lifting barriers.”
He believes it “imperative that we develop common approaches to clearing the accumulated imbalances. We have made food security a particular priority for discussion at the summit, a proposal that the other participants supported. Instability in global food markets can lead to serious economic and social risks. We must jointly offer answers to this challenge.”
“Today, the key challenge for Russia and all the APEC economies is supporting sustainable growth rates. The quality of growth matters, and that means putting emphasis on innovations and the development of human potential. I believe we must use all the advantages of partnership in these areas, remove barriers to the circulation of ideas, expertise and technologies, coordinate science policy, and jointly shape promising innovation markets,” Putin said.
He believes that the summit should also give special attention to education. “Russia proposes organising a network for university cooperation that would promote student and teacher exchanges and create environment for increased academic mobility. In our view, the time has already come to address the idea of forming a common educational space of the Asian-Pacific region,” he said.
“Russia has long been an intrinsic part of the Asian-Pacific region. We view this dynamic region as the most important factor for the successful future of the whole country, as well as development of Siberia and the Far East. We expect that the upcoming Vladivostok summit will once again demonstrate to the world that Russia is a nation of broad opportunities and ready to join forces with our neighbours to advance our common creative goals,” the president said.