Cooperation between Russian and ASEAN businesses began in 1996 and has been rapidly growing since. Source: AFP / East News
The Russia-ASEAN summit that will be held in Sochi on May 19-20 is designed to expand cooperation among participating states on the entire range of issues, including regional security and the fight against terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.
The Russian president’s greetings to the summit participants were posted on the summit’s official website russia-asean20.ru on Wednesday.
"The summit’s agenda covers a wide range of issues related to improving the architecture of regional security, searching for new ways of countering the growing threats of international terrorism, violent extremism and trans-national crime," the Russian president noted.
Over the two decades of Russia’s interaction with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a vast experience of productive cooperation has been accumulated in the political, economic and humanitarian fields, Putin said.
"Our country is actively interacting with the ASEAN ten states in resolving topical international issues, including within the framework of multilateral associations, in which the association plays the central role - the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting with Dialog Partners," Putin said.
"The results achieved offer a good basis for bringing the Russia-ASEAN relations to a qualitatively new level of strategic partnership. This is precisely the main goal of the Russia-ASEAN jubilee summit that will be held on May 19-20 in Sochi," he said.
The summit of Russia and the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will become the biggest international event in Russia in 2016.
ASEAN comprises Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar with a total population of over 600 million people. The Association aims to develop cooperation in the economic, social, cultural and other spheres, and also strengthen peace and stability in Southeast Asia.
Russia has been a dialog partner of ASEAN since July 1996. In December 2005, the first Russia-ASEAN summit was held in Kuala Lumpur. The summit participants signed a declaration on cooperation and approved an action plan - in effect a roadmap of Russia-ASEAN interaction. Similar partnership summits are normally held on the territory of member-states and the choice of Sochi as venue for the Russia-ASEAN summit on the partnership’s 20th anniversary is symbolic.
The summit will be held under the slogan "Towards Strategic Partnership for the Sake of the Common Good."
The summit is expected to adopt a declaration that will lay the basis for an action plan of Russia-ASEAN cooperation in the political, economic and cultural spheres, as well as in the sphere of security.
The gross domestic product of ASEAN member-states stands at about $3.5 trillion today and is expected to reach $4 trillion by 2020. ASEAN is becoming an increasingly attractive area for foreign investments, which grew by 16% in 2014 to over $136 billion.
First published by TASS.
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