MANILA, November 18. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has voiced confidence that preferential bilateral agreements must not replace the global trade system.
"Russia has consistently advocated the deepening regional integration. All preferential trade agreements reached within its framework are important, of course, but, nevertheless, they should not replace the multilateral trade system. Moreover, they should not destroy the existing economic ties, they should only enrich them," Medvedev said speaking at the APEC CEO summit.
He recalled, in particular, that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) had existed for almost a year now, adding that it comprised five full-fledged members. "We are committed to establishing mutually advantageous cooperation with all partners across the globe. This is our contribution to such integration," Medvedev said. "There are agreements with our Chinese partners on harmonizing the integration processes within the framework of the Eurasian Union with the Silk Road economic belt."
According to the Russian prime minister, a preferential agreement was signed in May between the EAEU and Vietnam. Work on similar agreements with other countries is in progress. The Eurasian commission has received about 40 applications from various countries on setting up free trade areas with the EAEU.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has said that the world trade rules must be universal and should be developed within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"The world trade rule should remain universal, it is very important indeed, and should be developed at a single venue, above all, within the framework of the WTO," he said speaking at the APEC CEO summit.
According to Medvedev, the development of such rules should involve all interested parties. "This is the only way to ensure the absolutely legitimacy of the new rules and their validity for all the participants," the Russian prime minister said.
"Therefore, I believe it is crucial for the Asia-Pacific forum to maintain a consistent common stance, as far as the achievement of the so-called "Bogor Goals [a 1994 document — TASS] is concerned," he said.