Moscow (VNA) – Nearly 30 scholars from prestigious research institutes of Russia, Vietnam and the Philippines attended a virtual conference on June 3 examining new prospects for post-COVID-19 cooperation between Russia and the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN’s recovery priorities.
The event was held by the Russian Strategic Centre in Asia under the Institute of Economy of Russian Academy of Russia (RAS).

In her remarks at the conference, Chargé d'affaires of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia Nguyen Quynh Mai said that the theme of the seminar has capture attendees’ attention as it holds importance to ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the relationship between Russia and ASEAN and the 25th anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected both ASEAN member countries and Russia, she said, stressing Russia's significance to ASEAN and regional cooperation.

Mai said she hoped that Russia would continue to actively take part in cooperation mechanisms with the ASEAN, strengthen relations between ASEAN economies and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). She underlined the need for ASEAN and Russia to cooperate in providing COVID-19 vaccine for people of ASEAN countries.

Various aspects related to the promotion of cooperation and economic relations between Russia and ASEAN were also discussed at the conference.

The participants said ASEAN is among regions that have been able to maintains high economic growth in the world. However, the bilateral trade turnover between Russia and ASEAN remains low, so it is necessary to solve the issue, they said, adding that the Russian Federation has many advantages in relations with ASEAN, especially with Vietnam.

Pavel Kalmychek, Deputy Director of the Department of Multilateral Cooperation and Special Projects of Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, said the priorities of Russia's cooperation with ASEAN include expanding the supply of industrial, agricultural and pharmaceutical products; increasing the export of medical, educational, technical, transport and logistics services.

Joint investment projects in agriculture, infrastructure, digital economy and energy; access to the exploration and exploitation of natural resources and mineral resources; and multilateral cooperation with ASEAN within the framework of the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership are also prioritised.

In her presentation, Elena Burova, a researcher at the Centre for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies at the Far East Institute (RAS), said that as long as the people of ASEAN countries have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, the socio-economic development still faces many difficulties and it is difficult to develop bilateral relations with Russia. Therefore, Russia's COVID-19 vaccine could be of great significance to ASEAN member states.

Addressing the event, Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc, Director of the Institute of Regional Studies under the Institute of Strategic Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, affirmed that Russia and ASEAN have great potential for cooperation specifically in the fields of health, food and agriculture, energy, trade, digital transformation and transport./.