Russia - APR: Realistic Prospects
On October 25-26, Moscow will host an Asian Economic Forum
organized by the Russian Academy of Business. One of its participants
will be Iwao Ohashi, the Chief Representative of the Japan
External Trade Organization (JETRO) to Russia and the CIS.
Mr. Ohashi, what possible new areas of cooperation between
Russia and the APR nations are there?
Historically, opportunities for large-scale cooperation have never
been really seized so far. The point is that for many years economic
development in the APR, or Asia-Pacific Region, countries has
been going on more dynamically than in other regions.
The "horizontal" division of labor has played a key
role in the development of the APR countries. It envisages not
only the export of natural resources in exchange for industrial
products or consumer goods. Instead, "a value-added chain"
has been formed operating across the entire region. "Industrial
cooperation" opportunities are open to Russia as well. There
are many areas in which Russia could cooperate with APR nations,
and they shouldn't be considered exclusively in the context of
trading in energy or natural resources.
What steps do the two sides need to take to boost their investment
and commercial interaction?
Today, Russian businessmen have set their sights mainly on the
Western market, that is, on Europe and the U.S. I think it would
be advisable to turn their attention to the Asia-Pacific countries
as well. While participating in the APR's economic and business
development, Russia could serve as a bridge between APR and Europe
and play a positive role in strengthening the ties between the
Asia-Pacific countries and the neighboring Central Asian nations.
The business people in the Asia-Pacific area know very little
about Russia's potentialities that could contribute to their region's
Accordingly, it is crucial that the Russian and Asian businessmen
have opportunities to meet, get to know each other and find reciprocal
interests at this stage. As regards concrete steps to expand business
ties, these measures should be viewed from the perspective of
a broad regional approach between Russia and the Asia-Pacific
Region as a whole rather than on a bilateral basis (for instance,
ties only between Japan and Russia).
I appreciate the role that the Russian Academy of Business intends
to play in expanding business ties between Russia and the APR.
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