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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 further expansion.
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.

"Diplomat" Magazin

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For all questions related to participation in the forum please address the Organizational Committee:
Russian Academy of Business
117105, 4a Novodanilovskaya Quay, Moscow, Russia
Tel./fax: (095) 411-8608, 411-5508
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