Asia's Vector of the Russian policy (Ambassador Yakovenko, for Russia Today)

The Asia-Pacific region is one of the strategic priorities in the Russian foreign policy. As President Vladimir Putin stated at the APEC summit in Beijing, Russia is planning to expand its cooperation with the Asian countries in many spheres.
The trend of shifting the economic power towards the Asia-Pacific region is obvious. Asian countries, such as China, India, the ASEAN members, have a huge share of global GDP growth. Many Asia-Pacific states offer successful examples of roads to follow in developing their competitive abilities. They have taken the lead in innovation sectors and have considerable financial and investment resources at their disposal. Even faced with the negative global trends of recent years they have kept up a good pace and had only a slight slowdown in growth.
The Asia-Pacific region countries represent more than a quarter of Russia’s total turnover of commodities. We expect to increase this amount to 40% and are taking concrete steps to expand the geography of our exports and enlarge the share of non-raw materials, particularly high-tech goods. The overall constructive spirit that characterizes our relations with the majority of countries in that region is very important and we will do everything possible to develop bilateral and multilateral ties in a wide range of areas, including through increased trade and investment incentives.
Direct foreign investment from Asia-Pacific countries into the Russian economy has doubled since 2009 to nearly $10 bln. We are going to try to increase this sum by establishing a network of fast-growth zones in the Far East offering tax impetus and simplified administrative procedures. The plan is that the companies located there will focus on narrow exports of non-raw materials first of all to the Asia-Pacific region.
However, it doesn’t mean that we want to develop our relationship with the Asia-Pacific with prejudice to the cooperation with the Western countries even against the sanctions background. For us it is clear, that increasing of trade and investment capacity with our Eastern neighbors is very natural for a country the major part of which is situated in the Asia Pacific Region.