APEC 2017: Russia backs FTAAP establishment hinh anh 1President Vladimir Putin (Source: VNA)

Moscow (VNA) – Russia supports the formation of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), President Vladimir Putin affirmed in an article posted on the Kremlin’s website on November 8 on the threshold of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Vietnam’s Da Nang city.

Russia believes that the FTAAP’s establishment represents an opportunity for the country to strengthen its position in rapidly growing markets in Asia-Pacific, Putin wrote.

He noted that over the past five years, the share of APEC economies in Russia’s foreign trade has increased from 23 to 31 percent, and from 17 to 24 percent in exports.

According to him, the project to create the FTAAP should be “carried out with due account of the experience gained from implementing key integration formats in the Asia-Pacific region and Eurasia, including the Eurasian Economic Union, in which Russia cooperates with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan”.

This union has been developing dynamically, he affirmed, adding that it is eager to build relations with all countries and associations.

Vietnam, the host of this year’s forum, was the first state to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union.

With the title “The 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang: Together Towards Prosperity and Harmonious Development”, the Russian leader’s article also stressed the importance of effective cooperation to support innovation.

Putin suggested starting consultations within APEC on international information security and protection of computer software.

Established in 1989, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum comprises 21 economies, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

The APEC 2017 Economic Leaders’ Meeting, which runs in Da Nang city from November 10-11, is the most important external event of Vietnam this year, with the participation of leaders from the 21 member economies.-VNA