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Russian diplomat: Liberalizing trade in Asia-Pacific should not harm global trade system

May 12, 2016, 12:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Projects of liberalizing trade in the Asia-Pacific include the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the trilateral China-South Korea-Japan free trade zone

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© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, May 12. /TASS/. Secretly rewriting the rules of international trade may lead to imbalance and fragmentation of global economic space, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told Russian Business Guide in an interview published on the website of TPP Inform new agency on Thursday.

"Russia is a strong supporter of deepening regional economic integration. We consistently support constructing such an architecture of multilateral cooperation and security in the region which would ensure stability and sustainable development here," Morgulov said.

"As it is known, several projects of liberalizing trade in the Asia-Pacific are being developed now - the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), trilateral free trade zone between China, Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, as well as… the Asia-Pacific free trade zone as a preferential agreement on the basis of already existing initiatives," the diplomat noted.

It is important that these processes do not substitute the global trade system but instead contribute to developing it, basing on the principles of transparency and respecting the interests of different parties, he added. "It is yet hard to say how the implementation of TTP will change the landscape of global and regional trade. In any case, we proceed from the fact that secretly rewriting the rules of international trade may lead to imbalance and fragmentation of global economic space," Morgulov went on.

Moscow "firmly plans to expand cooperation with Asia Pacific countries, plans to continue working closely with all sides that are interested in developing inclusive cooperation in the region," the deputy foreign minister concluded.

In an article "The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade" published in The Washington Post on May 2, US President Barack Obama said that "other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around." "That’s why my administration is working closely with leaders in Congress to secure bipartisan approval for our trade agreement, mindful that the longer we wait, the harder it will be to pass the TPP," Obama said.

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