Asean, Eurasian Economic Commission sign agreement to promote further collaboration

SINGAPORE – A new agreement signed between Asean and the Eurasian Economic Commission on Wednesday (Nov 14) is expected to contribute to trade, investment and economic expansion between South-east Asian states and member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

This comes as trade between both blocs stood at US$35.7 billion last year, rising 40 per cent from 2016.

The signing on Wednesday was witnessed by leaders after the Asean-Russia Summit in Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Russia is among five states of the EAEU, which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The memorandum of understanding signed reinforces Asean and the EAEU’s intent to cooperate in areas such as customs procedures and trade facilitation; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical regulations; e-commerce; trade in services and investment; as well as business development.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the widening relationship in his opening statement for the Asean-Russia summit, noting that Asean and Russia have worked together on a broad range of areas. These include the political-security, economic and socio-cultural fronts.

On Wednesday, leaders also adopted a statement on cooperation in the field of security, and in the use of information and communication technologies.

“These deliverables highlight the breadth and scope of the Asean-Russia relationship,” he said.

Mr Lee also said that Singapore supports the upgrading of Asean-Russia relationship to a strategic partnership, and that this will enhance cooperation in areas which are of interest to both sides.

In his opening address, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia attaches great importance to its ties with Asean, and told leaders he is glad these ties are growing.

“We believe it is important to foster a regular dialogue between Asean and the Eurasian Economic Union,” he added, noting that trade between Russia and Asean has increased in the past year by 35 per cent.

He also said that Russia is going to join Asean’s plans of establishing a network of smart cities, and invited Asean representatives to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia in 2019.

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