World / Europe

Putin proposes deepening of economic cooperation with ASEAN

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-05-21 04:37

SOCHI -- Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed on Friday deepening of economic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"I think there is a possibility of creating in the future a common free trade zone between the EEU (Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union) and ASEAN ... in contribution to the formation of the Asia-Pacific free trade zone," Putin said in an address to the ASEAN-Russia Summit held on Thursday and Friday.

Another prospective trend of the economic integration could be the pairing of the EEU and ASEAN, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Putin said.

The trade turnover between Russia and ASEAN members was 13.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 -- rather modest compared with ASEAN's trade performance with some other countries in the Asian-Pacific region, Putin said, adding that there is also the need to boost bilateral investment cooperation between Russia and ASEAN members.

Russia, he added, has prepared a roadmap which includes 57 projects aimed at forming modern technological and innovational alliances with ASEAN countries.

Russia will also enhance cooperation with ASEAN by covering its increasing demand in hydrocarbons and other energy products, and propose projects of new-generation atomic power stations.

Meanwhile, Putin mentioned the construction of modern railways in ASEAN countries, and modern networks of satellite navigation on the basis of the Russian Glonass global navigation system.

The president also invited ASEAN businesses to participate in the development programs of Russian regions, primarily the Far East, in modernizing the trans-Siberian railway and developing the Northern Sea Route, which could be the shortest trade corridor linking East Asia and Europe.

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