ASEAN Strengthen Relations With the US and Russia

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The 47th Meeting of ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, managed to strengthen trade relations between Southeast Asian countries and the United States and Russia, although politically the two countries are at odds.

    In a press release received from the Ministry of Trade on Wednesday, August 26, in addition to the United States and Russia, trade relationship with Canada is also improved, making those countries important partners for ASEAN.

    AEM meeting with the USA, Russia and Canada is part of the 47th AEM meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which took place on Tuesday. The meeting was led by Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamed.

    The meeting with Russia in the AEM-Russia Consultation forum, agreed on 57 new project proposed by Russia.

    ASEAN and Russia also agreed on Post 2015 ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Programme) as a continuation of the 2012-2015 work program.

    The United States Trade Representatives (USTR) discussed the development of cooperation of ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) and the Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Initiatives Work Plan for 2015.

    The meeting supports Indonesia's proposal to lower the UTSR ambition related to Shared Principles for International Investment proposal, the Trade Principles on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and the ASEAN-US Best Practices on Transparency and Good Regulatory Practices.

    The United States also expressed optimism for success Members of the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Nairobi in December 2015.

    America and Russia become important for the countries of ASEAN. ASEAN's total trade with the US in 2014 reached 212.4 billion US dollars, which puts ASEAN as the 4th biggest trading partner to US. Indonesia ranks 4th in ASEAN as the US biggest market.

    US investment reached 204 billion US dollars in 2013 which grew 9.1 percent compared to the year 2012.

    Meanwhile, with Russia, ASEAN's total trade increased by 13 percent from 19.9 billion dollars in 2013 to 22.5 billion dollars in 2014. Russia is the eighth largest trading partner of ASEAN.