14 November 2017 | Manila, Philippines

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lauded ASEAN for opening up their borders in an age of increasing protectionism during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit where he gave a speech and answered questions related to the ASEAN Build, Build, Build panel. As Russia works towards recovering from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West, their gaze has turned towards its Eastern neighbors.

―Russia is looking for ways to adapt to the new economic reality,‖ Medvedev said in his keynote speech, ―Growth is recovering in Russia with GDP expected to increase 2 percent by the end of the year.‖

Medvedev shared that Foreign Direct Investment has also been pouring in to Russia, with a more than 100% increase reported in the first half of the year. However, Russia is now looking towards adapting to the digital economy and information age. In this end, Russia wishes to deepen its ties with the regional bloc.

―We see genuine interest within the business community of our countries to cooperate on energy, transport, agriculture, satellite navigation, high technology, financial services, and in almost all possible areas,‖ Medvedev said.

Connectivity seems to be a main priority of Russia with regards to ASEAN. ―We are developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and are building cross-border oil and gas pipelines. The main goal of all these efforts is to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe and create a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region,‖ Medvedev said.

Another initiative for connectivity which Russia is spearheading is the Eurasian Economic Union—a new integration body that aims to create a large market wrought from Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure. ―Russia belongs to the Asia-Pacific Region in terms of its geopolitics, history and economy. Promoting cooperation with all countries within the region and contributing proactively to resolving regional issues is a strategic priority for us,‖ Medvedev said in closing

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