ASEAN has been hosting virtual ministerial meetings with its important global trade partners, including with Russia. During the ASEAN-Russia sessions, ministers adopted the revised Asean-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap and the Asean-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Program for 2021-25.
These focus on trade and industry; micro-small, small and medium-sized enterprises; sci-tech, innovation and intellectual property; climate change, energy, transportation, agro-fisheries, tourism, culture, human resource development and health care, sustainable development, and the digital economy.
Russia was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Vladimir Ilyichev. The participants of the meeting also “recognized the importance of vaccination programs against coronavirus and called for accelerating the production and equitable distribution of safe, affordable, effective and high-quality vaccines, which should ultimately become the key to an early economic recovery.”
The parties recognized the changes in the global economy due to the coronavirus pandemic and approved a revised roadmap, with Ilyichev stating that “The key aspects are trade and investment, sustainable development, digital transformation, and cooperation in them will form the basis for a stable economic recovery.”
ASEAN includes Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Russia has Free Trade Agreements via the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with Singapore and Vietnam, both of which have been highly successful with the prospect of more to come. Vietnam has called for the entire ASEAN bloc to establish Free Trade with the EAEU which would allow ASEAN access to the EAEU’s 170 million population in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and the EAEU and Russia access to ASEAN’s population of 661 million.