The first consultation between ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and Russia took place in the central city of Da Nang on August 24 as part of the 4 th ASEAN Economic Council (AEC) Meeting, the 42 nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.

The consultation was co-chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Russian Minister of Economic Development Elvira Nabiullina.

The ministers welcomed the first AEM-Russia Consultation, saying that it would create a momentum for expanding the economic and trade relations between ASEAN and Russia .

They exchanged views on current developments that affect regional and global trade and realised that two-way trade between ASEAN and Russia in 2009 saw a decrease over the previous year due to the global economic recession while both sides are emerging economies.

However, they affirmed that the 2009 two-way trade was still higher than the level before the crisis.

The ministers put forward many ideas to boost the ASEAN-Russia economic cooperation and agreed that economic cooperation will bring a host of benefits to both sides.

They also agreed that the ASEAN Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting (SEOM)- Russia Consultation will become a main mechanism that regulates economic cooperation programmes and activities between the two sides.

The ministers entrusted senior economic officials to study a proposal to set up a group of experts to be responsible for building a comprehensive economic cooperation roadmap to be submitted to the next AEM-Russia Consultation.

They said they are awaiting the second ASEAN-Russia Summit to be held in Vietnam this October.

The ministers agreed to hold the second AEM-Russia Consultation in 2011.

On the same day, a policy dialogue on the implementation of the ASEAN roadmap for logistics services integration, the AEM-AFTA Council and AEM-AIA Council Meetings were also held.

Two new publications designed to attract more foreign investment to the region and also to support ASEAN-based enterprises were launched in Da Nang on the day.

The ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Competition Policy illustrates country experiences and international best practices, while the Handbook on Competition Policy and Law in ASEAN for Business provides current approaches and practices relating to competition policy and law in ASEAN member states./.