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Philippine secretary of science and technology arrives in Sochi for Russia-ASEAN summit

May 18, 2016, 20:05 UTC+3 SOCHI
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SOCHI, May 18 /TASS/. Philippine Secretary of Science and Technology MARIO G. MONTEJO has arrived in the Russian Black Sea resort town of Sochi for the Russia-ASEAN summit.

According to Philippine Ambassador to Russia Carlos D. Sorreta, the ASEAN countries see and highly appreciate Russia’s efforts to preserve stability in the Asia-Pacific region. He also welcomed Russia’s initiatives to develop cooperation with ASEAN at various levels. The diplomat said that the Philippines, just like all the other ASEAN countries, was satisfied with the Russia-ASEAN partnership.

Presidential elections took place in the Philippines on May 9. A 71-year-old politician, Rodrigo Duterte, defeated his chief rival Manuel Rojas, who is the former leader of the ruling Liberal Party and a close associate of incumbent President Benigno Aquino, whose six-year tenure is expiring on June 30.

The summit of Russia and the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be held in Sochi on May 19-20 and will become the biggest international event in Russia in 2016.

ASEAN comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar with a total population of over 600 million people. The Association aims to develop cooperation in the economic, social, cultural and other spheres, and also strengthen peace and stability in Southeast Asia.

Russia has been a dialog partner of ASEAN since July 1996. In December 2005, the first Russia-ASEAN summit was held in Kuala Lumpur. The summit participants signed a declaration on cooperation and approved an action plan - in effect a roadmap of Russia-ASEAN interaction. 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.

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.

The gross domestic product of ASEAN member-states stands at about $3.5 trillion today and is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020. ASEAN is becoming an increasingly attractive area for foreign investments, which grew by 16% in 2014 to over $136 billion.

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