SPIEF-2024: EAEU-ASEAN Business Dialogue

06 june 2024

The Russia-ASEAN Business Council and the Eurasian Economic Commission organized the EAEU-ASEAN Business Dialogue, which was held for the sixth time within the framework of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 6, 2024.

The moderator of the business dialogue was Ivan Polyakov, Chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council, who in his opening remarks noted the challenges of the current transformation of the architecture of the world economy, which dictate the need to find fundamentally new approaches in trade and economic cooperation and, above all, in relations between such two dynamically developing integration associations as the EAEU and ASEAN.

Sergey Glazyev, a Member of the Board (Minister) for Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission, noted in his report that the established formats of interaction between the EAEU and ASEAN make it possible to effectively cope with current geo-economic challenges and make progress in developing mutually beneficial cooperation. At the same time, he stressed that the two associations need to create a new dimension of dialogue, which will allow to multiply the volume of trade turnover and eliminate existing barriers: problems in international settlements and information barriers for business representatives.

During his speech, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Satwinder Singh said that the EAEU is a strategic partner of ASEAN. In his opinion, more attention should be paid to diversifying trade between countries, deepening dialogue and sharing practical experience in the field of innovation, digital transformation and increasing market transparency. "We are considering issues of reducing emissions, environmental pollution, as well as the use of clean technologies, recycling. "We need technological and technical knowledge, expertise in these areas, and I believe that the EAEU member states can help us with obtaining advanced technologies and practices," Satwinder Singh said.

The Governor of Cebu Province of the Republic of the Philippines,Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia, who led an impressive Philippine delegation to participate in the SPIEF, said that work is underway to launch direct flights between St. Petersburg and Cebu, as well as between Moscow and Cebu. "The key to the development of interstate relations is strong ties at the municipal level. I believe that there is significant potential for cooperation between our countries in the fields of tourism, healthcare, and education," Gwendolyn Fiel Garcia said.

The Union Republic of Myanmar traditionally takes an active part in the largest business events taking place in Russia. In his speech, the Union Minister forInvestment and Foreign Economic Relations of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Dr. Kan Zaw, called for expanding cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN in the field of digital trade, which will contribute to diversification. In addition, he stressed that in developing cooperation, it is important to adhere to new approaches to climate change, biodiversity, and the transition to a circular economy.

In his speech, Member of the Malaysian House of Representatives Wan Ahmad Fayhsal stressed that Malaysia does not recognize unilateral sanctions and supports the expansion of cross-border trade with the EAEU, highlighting the areas of energy efficiency, food security, transport, logistics, finance and tourism.

Didit Ratam, Head of the Bilateral Committee for Cooperation with Russia of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that according to experts' forecasts, Indonesia's average annual economic growth rate will remain at 5-6%, and deepening economic cooperation between ASEAN and the EAEU will remain among the priorities of foreign economic cooperation. Among the promising areas of cooperation, he highlighted e-commerce, food and energy security.

Ivan Timofeev, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council, noted that as part of the preparation of an analytical report on Russia's cooperation with ASEAN and the EAEU with ASEAN, the Russian International Affairs Council notes the serious pressure of geopolitical factors on financial systems, which slows down commercial activity. "It is necessary to develop new payment systems, use existing mechanisms, in particular, the mechanisms that the Russian Federation is currently developing — SPFS: a system for transmitting financial messages. The EAEU member states also have their own experience, not only in terms of financial infrastructure, but also in terms of financial institutions. In my opinion, Kazakhstan's experience in the development of the Astana financial center deserves a lot of attention," Ivan Timofeev said.

Vera Gazerdava, Deputy General Director of the Insurance Joint Stock Company VSK, in her speech noted the significant prospects for mutual tourism and announced mechanisms to stimulate it by creating mutual reinsurance mechanisms that allow visa-free entry into the country and medical support for both Russian tourists abroad and citizens of ASEAN member countries who come to Russia. The need to support private business initiatives was noted.

Within the business dialogue, an active discussion of promising areas and initiatives to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN in the trade, economic, investment and scientific fields took place, the participants exchanged views on removing obstacles to trade, deepening direct dialogue between the business circles of the EAEU and ASEAN. The participants noted the importance of studying approaches to determining strategic directions of development in the EAEU and ASEAN and sharing best integration practices.