MANILA— The Russian Federation on Monday expressed readiness to provide member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) infrastructure capabilities to “unite countries into a single connected community”.
“The development of infrastructure is at utmost importance to Russia, we are ready to provide infrastructure capability to all ASEAN countries not only airports but also sea terminals, and railroads, highways, power lines, and what is very important now, high speed communication channels,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
This was disclosed during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 at the Solaire Hotel when he was asked what Moscow can contribute to the region in promoting and fasttracking the ASEAN Connectivity Plan.
Medvedev acknowledged ASEAN for opening up their borders during what he described as age of increasing protectionism.
As Russia works towards recovering from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West, he said, the state is now looking forward to engage with its neighbors.
“Russia is looking for ways to adapt to the new economic reality,” he stressed as he point out that Russia’s GDP is now expected to increase by two percent by end of 2017.
He said Foreign Direct Investment has also been pouring in to Russia with more than a hundred percent increase reported in the first half of the year.
Since Moscow is still at the stage of adapting to the digital economy and information age, he said there is the desire to deepen 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,” he said.
He said Moscow is developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and is building cross-border oil and gas pipelines to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe.
This is aimed at creating a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region, he said.
Apart from infrastructure capability, Russia is spearheading the Eurasian Economic Union, a new integration body to contribute on Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure.
“Russia belongs to the Asia-PAcific Region in termof 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.