A. Simonenok (email@example.com),
Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 89, Pushkinskaya Str., Vladivostok, 690950, Russian Federation
The Far East holds key positions in the modern Oriental track of the Russian policy. This region is prioritized as a leading actor of Russian expansion and economic integration into the Asia Pacific Region. However, at present the Far East can’t cope with the assigned objective which requires reliable and efficient ties with all the major actors of the Asia Pacific involving ASEAN countries as well. There is still no meaningful progress in the trade and economic relations of the Pacific Russia and ASEAN, and some figures altogether show a steady decline. The analysis of goods’ turnover between the Russian Far East and ASEAN countries (2006-2016) shows a considerable decrease in the volume of trade over the last 5 years. The stake of the Far Eastern Federal District in the total Russian trade with the Southeast Asia states has been reduced accordingly. In 2013-2016 the Far East had the smallest share among all federal districts in the volume of trade with ASEAN participants – just 2–3%. The negative trend is registered amid rather benign figures of the Russian overall goods turnover with ASEAN. There has been some progress in the investment ties of the Pacific Russia and ASEAN countries. Although there are very few investment projects which the Southeast Asia investors have implemented on the Far Eastern territory by now, their interest in the Pacific Russia remains. The cooperation in the investment sphere can be improved provided that the barriers preventing trade and economic ties are eliminated. Such barriers comprise narrowness of the local markets, poorly developed infrastructure, uncompetitive workforce market, often incompetent and indifferent administration that is not interested in developing relations with ASEAN. The fact that the range of the effective interaction of the Pacific Russia and ASEAN is pretty narrow creates considerable challenges. The most prospective are fuel-related (mainly hydrocarbon production) and defense-related industries (aircraft and shipbuilding). In the meantime, there are good chances for extending cooperation with ASEAN countries through establishing new industries based on the traditional Far Eastern branches, namely deep processing of row hydrocarbons as well as modernization of the manufacturing facilities on this territory.
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