Paragraph 3: Exchange of Views on Regional Matters.
3.l. As regards regional issues, I would like to touch upon the 1976 Bali Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation in South-East Asia. We consider it an important document serving the interests of peace and stability in the region.
We reiterate our readiness to join it, inter alia, through the special Protocol prepared for this purpose. Upon receipt of an official notification, we will be prepared to initiate the appropriate procedure.
3.2. Treaty on a Nuclear-Free Zone in South-East Asia. Russia has always supported the concept and the goals of this Treaty. In our opinion, in the light of recent actions by India and Pakistan, undermining the NPT and CTBT regimes, its importance is growing. We deem it necessary to make certain amendments to the corresponding Protocol to the Treaty which has not been signed yet by any nuclear state. The essence of our position has been stated on several occasions, including the recent Moscow Senior Officials Meeting. We hope that consultations on this matter will produce successful results. This would enable Russia to sign the above Protocol.
3.3. We closely follow the development of the ASEAN free-trade area (AFTA). We would be ready to intensify interaction with the Association on these issues, and to expand the potential for the export of Russian products to the AFTA participating states.
Paragraph 4: Dialogue-based relations between Russia and ASEAN
4.1. Trade and Investments. We constantly pay attention to the development of our trade and economic relations with the Association and its member-countries, considering them as the main element of interaction within the framework of our dialogue. We proceed from the fact that in the long run our economic ties will be based on mutual complementarity of our economies and the established division of labour.
We seek new ways of ensuring broad economic cooperation with ASEAN by actively involving the Russian business community into this process, inter alia, through the ASEAN-Russia Cooperation Fund. We proceed from the assumption that the Fund and the Business Council, presently under formation, will specifically address the issues of further increasing the volume of economic cooperation between Russia and the Association. We also seek to establish direct ties between Russian enterprises and those of the “nine” to develop on their base joint production of manufactured goods, to improve the climate for entrepreneurial activities.
We are interested in attracting investments from the ASEAN member-countries, especially to the regions of Eastern Siberia and the Far East, to develop business infrastructure and ports. Thus, in the Primorsky Krai our ASEAN partners could get involved in the reconstruction and development of the port of Zarubino, the construction of a refrigerator terminal in the port of Vanino as well as the construction of a specialized timber export terminal in the port of Vladivostok.
The Russian Center for Foreign Investments Promotion (RCFIP) under the Ministry of Economy of Russia is developing its activities in the subregion. In particular, it carries out work along the following main lines:
informing the business community of the ASEAN countries about the investment possibilities existing in Russia;
marketing regions and investment projects in the capital markets of South-East Asia.
We note with satisfaction the growing number of joint ventures and mutual investments. We think, nevertheless, that considerable potential and opportunities remain untapped in this area. This concerns, first of all, science-intensive branches and the energy sector in the ASEAN countries.
In our opinion, we could think already about establishing a joint computerized data bank of the Russian and the ASEAN companies interested in conducting business with each other. Such an initiative appears to be timely and useful for the development of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN in the area of trade and investments.
4.2. Scientific and technological cooperation. In the context of our dialogue-based relations, we attach special importance to the development of scientific and technological cooperation between Russia and the Association. It is this area that, as far as we can judge, interests our partners most of all. Basing ourselves on the joint structures already established, such as the Working Group on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, we consider it desirable to proceed to practical interaction – initially in the form of feasible small-scale projects to be followed by larger-scale projects using Russian technologies.
We have in mind, first of all, the possibilities of aerospace remote sensing of the Earth, monitoring of seismic and volcanic activity, environmental control, the use of Russian technologies in extinguishing forest fires that unfortunately have already turned into a region-wide environmental problem, the early warning of typhoons and other emergency situations.
In order to organize the appropriate work in a more efficient way, an International Agency for High Technology Protection against Disasters could be established by a number of Russian agencies, the ASEAN-Russia Cooperation Fund, and the respective structures of the Association and its Member States.
We are open for technological cooperation in such fields as biotechnology, informatics, microelectronics, oceanography, alternative sources of energy, contractual research, and sale of licenses and patents.
Today, the priority tasks , in our view, include:
intensification of the exchange of economic, legal, scientific and technological information;
establishment of a joint communications network, possibly, in Internet;
establishment of a system of contacts and relations between scientific institutions of Russia and ASEAN;
making use of the ASEAN’s practical experience by Russian representatives in the field of commercialization of technologies, including instruction of experts in the principles of these activities.
4.3. ASEAN’s cooperation in the development of the Mekong river basin. We welcome and support the activities related to the development of the Mekong river basin. The cooperation in this field is aimed at achieving the goals set in the decisions of global fora held under the UN auspices and at fulfilling the specific regional tasks.
Russia is exploring the possibility of joining the implementation of the Greater Mekong project. We could participate on a commercial basis in the construction of bridges, hydroelectric power stations and irrigation infrastructure facilities, as well as introduce a targeted program of project personnel support (training and professional upgrading of experts in construction and operation of bridges, hydroelectric power stations and irrigation facilities, with financing to be provided, inter alia, by ASEAN). We have a broad practical experience in this field, gained, in particular, in the SEA region.
Also, we propose to think over new ways of utilizing resources and involving the business coirumumty in the program activities, including establishment of special trust funds and business councils in support of Mekong.
Item 5. Miscellaneous.
5.1. I have attentively listened to the statements made by the representatives of the ASEAN member countries. A number of interesting ideas concerning regional affairs and development of our partnership relations have been put forward. Specific proposals have been made. We will examine them and take them into account in our future work for the development of our dialogue- based relations.
In our view, today’s Russia+ASEAN meeting has been useful and has been held in a business-like and constructive atmosphere.
Allow me to express my gratitude to the Philippine side, host of today’s meeting, as well as to the Vietnamese coordinators of our dialogue with ASEAN for the preparation and holding of this conference.