This conclusion was made by the participants of the round table called Strengthening ASEAN-EAEU Ties: the Role of Business Communities, dedicated to analyzing the opportunities of trade and economic cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in the new economic reality. The event took place on November 20 within the framework of the ASEAN-EAEU Days at the ASEAN Secretariat.
The round table was opened by Sergei Glazyev, Minister in charge of Integration and Macroeconomics of the Eurasian Economic Commission.
“The main goals of cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN are the elimination of trade barriers and the creation of new opportunities for business communities,” the EEC Minister emphasized.
He noted the stable expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN countries, demonstrating a long-term trend. By the end of this year, the growth of mutual trade turnover is expected to exceed 11%. Trade is developing most dynamically with those ASEAN countries that the Union and the Commission have institutionalized interaction with, either as a free trade agreement (Vietnam) or a memorandum on cooperation (Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia). The current agenda includes the Union’s dialogue on free trade with Indonesia, as well as the institutionalized interaction between the EEC and the Laotian government.
A significant reserve for increasing trade and economic cooperation is clearing bottlenecks, including payment issues, transport and logistics problems, as well as creation of information platforms that provide entrepreneurs with information about goods and potential partners.
Sergei Glazyev suggested that ASEAN countries could use the capabilities of the payment system and insurance instruments introduced in the EAEU. Another important element of trade growth could be an increased use of national currencies, blockchain and other digital tools for international trade. This would make transactions easier and cheaper and improve the availability of cargo transportation services.
He also drew the attention of business community representatives to the work being carried out on the track of interaction with ASEAN, in particular the analysis of the digitalization status of small and medium-sized businesses in Russia and ASEAN, recommendations of a seminar on digital transformation in the EAEU and ASEAN (the second stage is planned for early 2024), as well as the near completion of a joint declaration by Russia and ASEAN on mutual understanding in terms of abandoning hydrocarbons.
Dmitry Volvach, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, noted that further expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN was indicated by the positive economic growth trend in the EAEU countries.
Latifahaida Abdul Latif, a representative of the ASEAN Secretariat, noted the similarity of approaches to issues of interaction with business communities pertaining to the strategic development processes in integration associations.
In particular, he spoke about the priorities of the Framework for Circular Economy for the ASEAN Economic Community, which includes five Strategic Priorities: Standard Harmonization and Mutual Recognition of Circular Products and Services; Trade Openness and Trade Facilitation in Circular Goods and Services; Enhanced Role of Innovation, Digitalisation, and Emerging/Green Technologies; Competitive Sustainable Finance and Innovative ESG Investments; Efficient Use of Energy and Other Resources.
The round table was also attended by Ivan Polyakov, Chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council; Nuki Agya Utama, Executive Director of the ASEAN Center for Energy; Amor Maclang, a representative of Digital Pilipinas; Hanzela Kusumamengala, Head of the Board of Directors, Astana Manna Indonesia, and other experts, many of whom noted the advisability of diversifying direct interaction between the business circles of the EAEU and ASEAN countries in the field of tourism, energy, transport and consulting. For these purposes, it is necessary to establish business missions more actively.
The link to the event broadcast is available on the EEC Youtube channel.