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Creation of Asia-Pacific FTA to promote Russia's position on regional markets: Putin

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-09 09:44

MOSCOW - Russia favors the idea of establishing a free trade area (FTA) in the Asia Pacific region (APR), which is expected to help enhance Russia's presence in APR markets, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday.

"We support the idea of forming an Asia-Pacific free trade area. We believe this is in our practical interest and represents an opportunity to strengthen our positions in the rapidly growing APR markets," Putin said in his article "The 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang: Together Towards Prosperity and Harmonious Development" which is published on the Kremlin's website.

The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit will be held on Nov 10-11 in Vietnam's central Danang city.

Over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia's foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31 percent, and from 17 to 24 percent in exports, according to Putin.

"And we have no intention of stopping there," he said.

The president underlined that the project of creating the FTA should take example by the experiences gained from implementing key integration formats in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia, including the Eurasian Economic Union.

"I would like to mention our idea to create the Greater Eurasian Partnership. We suggested forming it on the basis of the Eurasian Economic Union and China's Belt and Road initiative. To reiterate, this is a flexible modern project open to other participants," he said.

In his article, Putin also highlighted that establishing effective cooperation to support innovation is "the most important task we face in this dynamic era."

According to the president, Russia has put forward a number of specific initiatives in this regard, including unifying digital economy and trade rules, harmonizing national technical standards, coordinating strategies for forming high-tech markets, and creating a uniform conceptual framework for the digital space.

"In addition, we suggest starting consultations within APEC on international information security and protection of computer software," he added.

All these topics are intended to be fully discussed during the upcoming summit, Putin said.

Leaders and representatives from 21 member economies are expected to participate in the APEC summit and discuss issues on sustainable growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

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