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SINGAPORE, May 16. /TASS/. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak plans to take part in the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi on May 19-20, Russia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Kuala Lumpur Valery Yermolov told TASS on Monday.
"Russian President Vladimir Putin sent invitations to the Sochi summit to all leaders of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries, including Malaysian prime minister. According to the information received from the Foreign Minister, the head of the cabinet of ministers plans to visit Russia," Yermolov said.
"Russian-Malaysian cooperation in the framework of Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership is carried out rather successfully in all spheres," he noted. "The results of the Malaysian coordination of the dialogue partnership in 2012-2015, as well as Kuala-Lumpur’s chairmanship in the Association last year, serve as evidence of this," he added.
"Political cooperation is also developing dynamically. The leaders of our countries and ministers regularly meet on the sidelines of ASEAN events, and special emphasis is made on trade and economic and investment cooperation," the diplomat continued.
"In the system of Russian foreign trade priorities, the development of trade and economic ties with the countries of the Asia Pacific Region and with Southeast Asian countries in particular, occupies one of the leading places. A great industrial, financial, investment, scientific and human potential is concentrated in the region which makes it attractive for trade partners," Yermolov said.
At the same time, "cooperation is expanded in such traditional spheres as fighting against terrorism and transnational crime, including cybercrime, preventing natural disasters and providing disaster relief," he noted. "Humanitarian contacts are expanding, as well as cooperation in the cultural sphere, taking into account the cross year of culture between Russia and ASEAN," he concluded.
According to the diplomat, Malaysia is one of the most promising trade partners for Russia among ASEAN member countries.
"Trade and economic relations have been developing successfully over the last years. In particular, in 2014 we reached record trade turnover of $3.2 billion. However, last year it decreased to $1.95 billion due to global economic crisis and plummeting oil prices," Yermolov said adding that "Malaysia remains one of the most promising trade partners in ASEAN."
Russia hopes "not only to compensate for the decrease but also boost trade" by joint efforts, the diplomat continued. "Favorable customs regime, as well as complementarity of the economies is very important for boosting trade turnover," he added noting that the most promising sphere of cooperation is high-tech. The sides can also successfully cooperate in energy, including in use of renewable and non-traditional sources of energy, in commercial space exploration, minerals prospecting and extraction, as well as in informatics and telecommunications, the diplomat said.
"An inter-governmental commission on economic, scientific-technological and cultural cooperation should become an effective mechanism of further developing bilateral economic relations and taking them to a qualitatively new level. The agreement on creating the commission was signed in November last year," Yermolov said adding that Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov chairs the commission from the Russian side.
The Russia-ASEAN summit will be held in Sochi on May 19-20 and will become the biggest international event in Russia in 2016. The summit will be held under the slogan "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good."
The summit is expected to adopt a declaration that will lay the basis for an action plan of Russia-ASEAN cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, as well as in the sphere of security.
Russia has been a dialog partner of ASEAN since July 1996. Similar partnership summits are normally held on the territory of member-states and the choice of Sochi as venue for the Russia-ASEAN summit on the partnership’s 20th anniversary is symbolic.