Libmonster ID: VN-1313

The article discusses possible priority areas of economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries in the first decades of the XXI century. The article substantiates the need to strengthen the Asian vector in Russian foreign economic policy. The role of investment cooperation is particularly emphasized, as investments, along with traditional factors (natural resources and certain sectors of scientific and technological potential), are now becoming the most important lever for improving the competitiveness of the Russian economy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his visit to Vietnam in November 2006 that "Russia can invest several billion dollars in Vietnam's economy" [RBC daily, 20.11.2006]. Although this suggestion was made for Viet Nam, it can be applied to other ASEAN countries. Such changes in the Russian foreign economic policy are related to:

* with the successful development of the Russian economy in recent years;

* Russia's desire to diversify its foreign economic relations in geopolitical terms, primarily at the expense of the Asian vector;

* with the formation and development of Russian TNCs that are actively engaged in foreign expansion;

* increasing the attractiveness of the Russian economy for foreign investment. Let's take a closer look at each of these prerequisites in the context of the development of economic cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

GROWTH OF THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY

In recent years, Russia has made significant progress in economic development. The trend towards economic decline has been reversed and the economic recovery has been observed for 8 years (Table 1). Due to the favorable external economic environment, the current account balance has been constantly growing positively.

Since 2000, export revenues have totaled about $ 600 billion. This made it possible to create almost from scratch large gold and foreign exchange reserves of more than $ 400 billion (third place in the world after China and Japan) and a stabilization fund, the volume of which in mid-2007 was more than $ 100 billion. The external debt was repaid at an accelerated pace, which fell from $ 159 billion in 1999 to less than $ 50 billion in early 2007. Russia took the first place in the world in gas production and may well become a leader in oil in 2007.

In general, over the past two years (2005-2006), there has clearly been a tendency to move from a stabilization policy to a development policy. Moreover, in 2007, a policy of diversification of the structure and modernization of the economy was proclaimed. One of the main ones-

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Table 1

Some indicators of the Russian economy development in 1997-2006, at the end of the year

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Exports, billion dollars

89.0

74.9

75.7

105.6

103.1

107.2

135.9

183.2

243.6

302.3

Foreign trade balance, billion dollars

9.9

21.0

32.1

56.5

44.1

46.2

61.5

85.8

118.3

139.6

Gold and foreign exchange reserves, USD billion

16.8

12.2

12.5

28.0

36.6

47.8

76.9

124.5

182.2

303.0

GDP, % compared to the previous year

1.4

-5.3

6.3

11.0

5.1

4.7

7.3

7.2

6.7

6.5

Industrial production,

2.0

-5.2

11.0

11.9

4.9

3.7

7.0

8.3

4.0

3.9

% of the previous year

Investments in fixed assets

-5.0

-12.0

5.3

17.4

10.0

2.6

12.5

10.9

12.0

13.5

Budget surplus (deficit - with a minus sign), % of GDP

-7.4

-5.8

-1.7

1.9

2.9

2.2

3.3

4.4

7.4

7.3

Source: www.gks.ru; www.eeg.ru; www.cbr.ru

The main objectives of this policy are to turn to an innovative path of development, as a result of which Russia can take a leading position in the world in terms of 4 to 6 positions in high - tech sectors (nuclear energy, nanotechnology, software, aviation and rocket and space technology, production of new types of military and civilian vessels) by 2020.

Success in economic growth has helped boost Russia's participation in world politics. In 2006, Russia was Chair of the Group of Eight and initiated a number of important initiatives, primarily on long-term improvement of the global energy security system. This program affects the interests of many ASEAN countries. It provides for a set of measures to improve the reliability of energy infrastructure, diversify production and supply of resources, develop energy-saving technologies and alternative energy sources, achieve greater transparency and predictability of energy markets, which are based on taking into account the interests of all participants in the "global energy chain", promote energy-vulnerable countries, etc. Significant elements of global energy security are also environmental protection and climate change mitigation.

Russia has decided to increase assistance to poor countries, which, unlike in previous years, will be carried out not only by writing off their debt to the Russian Federation, but also by providing new loans. The main part of the aid will be directed to the fight against poverty, the development of education and health care.

STRENGTHENING THE ASIAN VECTOR

Despite the obvious successes and new grandiose plans, Russia will never again be such a superpower as the USSR was. The very term "superpower", according to the President of the Russian Federation V. Putin. It is probably outdated, and it belongs more to the times of the "cold war". And Russia strongly opposes a unipolar world and the associated global economic order.

At the same time, there is no doubt that Russia is an influential regional player in Eurasia, which largely determines its role in world politics and the economy. In our opinion, interaction with European and Asian countries, as well as individual regional integration groupings in the Eurasian space, will be the main component of Russian policy in the XXI century, including the foreign economic sphere.

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Currently, almost 55% of Russia's foreign trade is accounted for by the 27 countries of the European Union. More than 90% of Russia's oil exports, almost all of its gas exports, and a significant part of our main export products, primarily the fuel and raw materials group, go to Western Europe. Economic disputes with transit countries (in early 2006 with Ukraine and in early 2007 with Belarus) and the harsh reaction of Western European partners to the short-term suspension of supplies showed the high vulnerability of our oil and gas exports. All this has increased attention to the need for rapid geographical diversification of Russian export flows, primarily their reorientation to the Asian direction.

Such changes are all the more urgent as Russia is beginning to pay more and more attention to the development of its eastern regions. Investments in geological exploration are increasing, especially in the territory beyond the Urals, and significant financial resources are being provided for the development of the Far East and Siberia. The Federal Target Program for the Development of the Far East and Transbaikalia until 2013, adopted in 2007, stipulates that these regions will receive 566 billion rubles from the budget. These funds will be used for the construction of roads, pipelines, power lines and other infrastructure facilities that will allow the development of many new mineral deposits and revitalize economic life in this part of Russia. Of these funds, 100 billion rubles are allocated specifically for Vladivostok, where the APEC summit will be held in 2012. As practice shows, such financing will allow to attract 5-6 times more private investment. The goal is to ensure that the quality of life of residents of this region is not inferior to the quality of life of metropolitan cities.

Technology parks will be built in Novosibirsk, Tyumen and the Kemerovo Region, and a national university will open in Krasnoyarsk. The giant Angara-Lena gas field with proven reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic meters was recently discovered in the Irkutsk region.Development of one of the world's largest Kovytkinsky field (also in the Irkutsk Region) with proven reserves of more than 2 trillion cubic meters of gas will begin. It is planned to create special tourist zones (including in the Irkutsk region, Buryatia) and special gambling zones (in the Altai, Primorye). It is planned to give a powerful impetus to the development of port complexes in the Far East, similar to the giant ports of the "Asian tigers". All this will increase the need for foreign investment, significantly increase the export potential of this region, i.e., ultimately, it will provide material prerequisites for strengthening the Asian direction in Russian foreign economic relations.

Of course, a significant part of the new trade flows will fall on Russia's near East Asian neighbors-China, South Korea and Japan. However, the share of ASEAN countries that still occupy a place in Russia's foreign economic relations that does not correspond to their economic potential will also increase - about 0.7% in exports and 2% in imports (Table 2).

This conclusion confirms the rapid growth of trade turnover between Russia and ASEAN as a whole (almost 3.2 times in 2000-2006). Russia's main trading partners are Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The ASEAN countries are a fast-growing region of the global economy: in recent years, their average GDP growth has been 5-5.5%. This is a promising domestic market with a population of more than 580 million people. An important factor is the rapidly developing process of intraregional integration, as well as the cooperation of the ASEAN countries with China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand within the framework of the East Asian Partnership. As you know, the leaders of the ASEAN countries at the 13th summit in Singapore on November 20, 2007 adopted the charter of their association (the local equivalent of the European constitution) and the economic development plan of the region for the period up to 2015, when the "Common Economic and Social Space" will be created in Southeast Asia.-

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Table 2

Russia's trade with ASEAN countries, USD million

1992

1995

2000

2006

export

import

export

import

export

import

export

import

Old ASEAN members,

including:

Indonesia

16.6

20.6

80.9

81.4

37.2

70.9

186.9

420.3

Malaysia

24.5

16.5

572.5

17.3

300.8

87.5

239.1

893.8

Singapore

160.1

549.7

499.3

287.7

497.5

46.0

790.0

436.0

Thailand

271.4

253.1

368.5

54.2

80.1

90.1

347.0

559.0

Philippines

32.7

10.5

122.4

8.2

50.1

8.3

79.3

87.6

New ASEAN members,

including:

Brunei

137.3

Vietnam

16.4

13.8

322.2

38.0

168.0

36.8

303.0

350.0

Cambodia

0.9

3.3

2.4

3.6

1.1

0.6

3.0

7.8

Laos

4.3

3.9

14.8

1.5

0.0

3.6

0.6

Myanmar

14.5

0.0

3.7

0.1

6.5

3.0

ASEAN as a whole

612.4

995.3

2006.6

485.2

1140.0

340.3

1958.4

2758.1

World as a whole (USD billion)

54.2

42.6

79.9

46.7

102.8

33.8

302.0

137.6

Source: Russian customs statistics.

but-a cultural space." A week later, the 10th ASEAN+3 Summit (China, Japan and Korea) was held, where the participants adopted the Second Joint Statement on cooperation in East Asia and the main plan for cooperation between these countries for the next ten years. All this will provide additional incentives for developing cooperation with Russia on a multilateral basis.

INCREASING THE ROLE OF BUSINESS

It should be borne in mind that over the years of reforms, the institutional structure of the Russian economy has fundamentally changed, primarily due to the creation and development of large companies that are literally becoming multinational before our eyes.

The value of the largest Russian companies increased by more than 90% in 2006. In 2006, for the first time on such a large scale (by $ 18 billion against $ 6 billion in 2005), large Russian companies made an initial public offering of their shares on international and Russian platforms: the bill goes for tens of billions of dollars. The capitalization of the Russian stock market has approached the level of one trillion dollars, and by this indicator, Russia has entered the top ten largest economies in the world.

The growth of economic power allows businesses not only to increase investment within Russia, but also to step up foreign expansion. According to the Bank of Russia, in 2001-2006, the volume of accumulated foreign investments of our companies increased almost 10-fold, to $ 200 billion. According to UNCTAD experts, Russia ranked second among developing and transition economies (after Hong Kong)in 2006 in terms of the total amount of outward FDI.

According to UNCTAD, the first place among emerging Russian TNCs was firmly occupied by LUKOIL, which is engaged in oil production and refining, and sales of petroleum products. The company was first listed by UNCTAD as one of the largest TNCs in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) in 1999.

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Table 3

Major Russian TNCs, 2004

Assets, USD million

Sales, USD billion

Employment, thousand people

itn, %

But

B

But

B

But

B

LUKOIL

7792

29761

26408

33845

13929

150000

37.8

Norilsk Nickel

1413

13632

5968

7033

1772

100786

32.3

Novoship

1296

1413

350

419

55

4032

58.9

RusAl

743

6544

4412

5436

5490

63458

62.9

Primorskoe Shipping Company 1

382

442

104

134

1305

2611

71.3

Mechel

120

3679

2203

3636

10689

82324

25.6

Far Eastern Shipping Company 1

52

160

57

180

166

4000

22.8

ALROSA 1

46

4630

886

1955

8

46998

15.4

Gazprom

104982

24536

36422

388714

OMZ

347

901

271

524

8484

22030

42.9

Severstal

174

6584

3954

6664

7098

54597

25.0

Notes: A - indicators of foreign branches; B - general indicators; ITN - index of transnationality, calculated as the average value of three ratios: foreign assets to total, foreign sales to total, the number of employees in foreign branches to the total number of employees.

1 Data for 2003

Источник: World Investment Report, 2005, p. 272; World Investment Report, 2006, p. 286.

Lukoil's foreign assets were estimated at $ 5.4 billion, in 2003 - $ 7.2 billion, in 2004 - $ 7.8 billion, which put it on the first place among non-financial TNCs from CEE and CIS countries and on the 10th place among TNCs from developing countries. In 2005-2006, LUKOIL actively increased its foreign assets. In addition to Lukoil, a number of other companies are among the largest in the ratings of TNCs from CEE and CIS countries published by UNCTAD (Table 3).

As can be seen from Table 3, the largest Russian TNCs, with the exception of steamship companies, are dominated by companies associated with the fuel and raw materials and metallurgical industries. It is these companies that have managed to make good money in recent years due to the favorable global market conditions. This fact determines many features of the foreign expansion of Russian businesses, primarily their strong positions in the implementation of projects in the extractive and heavy industry and weakness in the development of industries with a high share of added value.

By pursuing a more flexible but at the same time aggressive policy, emerging Russian TNCs are interested in new markets, primarily in developing countries. Many of them expressed their interest in implementing major projects in the ASEAN countries.

IMPROVING THE INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN RUSSIA

The volume of accumulated FDI in 1994-2005 was relatively small by world standards - $ 50 billion, but it has a steady upward trend. The distribution of all foreign investments1 by industry can be judged from the data in Table 4.

In addition to traditional industries related to the extraction of fuel and raw materials, foreigners are increasingly interested in such areas as automotive, communications, trade, commercial real estate, food processing, and agriculture.

1 Includes FDI, portfolio investment, and other investments.

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Table 4

Foreign investment in Russia by type of economic activity, %

1995

1998

2001

2004

2006

Total

100

100

100

100

100

Industry

34.4

33.3

38.7

43.6

44.7

including:

Electric power industry

5.2

6.1

3.6

0.1

0.6

Fuel station

14.4

12.1

19.2

20.1

14.1

Metallurgy industry

3.9

3.6

5.1

15.4

6.8

Chemical and petrochemical industry

1.6

1.6

1.8

2.2

10.0

Metalworking

3.1

3.2

2.9

3.9

1.0

Forestry, woodworking industry

and pulp and paper industry

1.3

1.0

1.1

2.4

Food industry

2.7

4.1

3.2

2.4

1.9

Agricultural industry

3.5

3.0

3.9

0.2

2.5

Transport

13.2

14.1

20.7

1.6

0.6

Connection

1.4

3.5

2.9

3.4

1.1

Trade and public catering

2.0

2.5

3.0

32.1

8.5

Housing and communal services

29.5

24.7

16.5

0.1

23.8

Source: Goskomstat data.

Favorable institutional conditions for foreign investment are gradually being created. To increase their inflow, a new law on special economic zones (SEZs) was adopted in 2005. It provides for the introduction of a special regime of entrepreneurial activity on part of the territory of Russia. It is assumed that SEZ residents will have to make capital investments in the development of this zone. In exchange, they will be able to enjoy customs and tax benefits. So, residents of special tourist zones (there will be 7 of them) will receive a profit tax benefit (20% instead of 24%), they will be able to avoid paying property and land tax for five years, and the unified social tax will be paid at a rate of 14% instead of 26% (with annual salaries of less than 280 thousand rubles)..

On the recommendation of the Ministry of Economic Development, the Government approved a list of four technical and innovative and two industrial and industrial special economic zones selected based on the results of an open tender, which received about 30 applications. According to the law, technical implementation zones will be created in Dubna and Zelenograd near Moscow, as well as in St. Petersburg and Tomsk. Industrial and production zones will appear in Yelabuga (Tatarstan) and Lipetsk. Each zone will have its own specialization. For example, Dubna will develop nuclear physics technologies, Zelenograd will develop microelectronics, and Tomsk will develop new materials. St. Petersburg is expected to become a center for information technology and analytical instrumentation. As for production, Yelabuga will produce automotive components, including with the participation of the Korean company Hyundai and the American corporation General Motors, and the Lipetsk region will develop the production of consumer electronics and, possibly, furniture. Special tourist zones are also being created.

At the same time, there are certain restrictions on foreign investment. According to the law on SEZs, mining and processing of minerals, metallurgical production, processing of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap, as well as the production and processing of excisable goods, with the exception of passenger cars and motorcycles, are prohibited on their territory. The same policy will be applied later-

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This is also reflected in the new law" On the procedure for Making foreign Investments in Commercial Organizations of Strategic Importance for the National Security of the Russian Federation", which is planned to be adopted in 2008 and which will restrict (but not prohibit at all) foreign investment in strategic sectors and industries (oil and gas, uranium, and some other minerals). defense industry, transport, etc. - in total, in about 40 types of activities). However, the main goal of such state protectionism is to reorient the flow of foreign investment in the development of those industries that contribute to the diversification of the structure of the Russian economy. The ASEAN countries have extensive experience and success in developing such industries, so they could become interested investors in the Russian economy.

OTHER PREREQUISITES FOR DEEPENING ECONOMIC COOPERATION

In addition to those listed above, there are other prerequisites for deepening economic cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries. This is the development of their political interaction on a bilateral and multilateral basis, including within the APEC framework, which so far significantly exceeds the level of economic cooperation. Important institutional prerequisites have been created over the past two years to overcome this gap. The comprehensive action Program for the development of cooperation between Russia and ASEAN for 2005-2015 was adopted, which provides for regular consultations on trade and investment cooperation. Russia and ASEAN intend to exchange information in this area, in particular, with regard to tariff policy, as well as non-tariff regulatory measures. For this purpose, the Parties have established contacts between the relevant state bodies, exchange information on adopted and developed technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures.

The regulation on the Joint Cooperation Committee and the Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund, which started functioning in 2007, was approved. The Fund is supposed to finance cooperation projects. Cooperation in the banking sector is expanding. A joint Russian-Vietnamese bank with the participation of Vneshtorgbank has been established to handle settlements in mutual trade.

Russia and ASEAN seek to revitalize the Russia-ASEAN Business Council and hold regular multilateral and bilateral business forums. This will make it possible to involve an increasing number of entrepreneurs in mutual cooperation, who can reach mutually beneficial agreements faster and more efficiently than government agencies. In 2005, the Russia-Malaysia Business Council was established.

At the same time, among the ASEAN countries, only Vietnam and Laos have bilateral agreements on mutual protection and promotion of investments, and only Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines have bilateral agreements (conventions) on the avoidance of double taxation of income and property. And the existence of such agreements is the most important prerequisite for the development of economic cooperation. So there is still a lot of work to be done in this direction.

It is also necessary to identify priority areas that could have a synergistic effect for the entire economic interaction. To meet this challenge, Russia must use all of its resource potential and experience in such cooperation, and critically rethink it. To this end, successful cooperation projects in the ASEAN region, primarily in Vietnam and Laos, can be expanded.

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PRIORITY AREAS OF COOPERATION

Among the priority areas of economic cooperation between Russia and ASEAN are the following::

1. Traditional areas for Russia are the classical electric power industry, oil and gas production and transportation, petrochemicals, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, and heavy engineering.

For many ASEAN countries, the problem of energy security is very relevant, especially in connection with the growth of world oil prices. Russia has a successful experience of cooperation in the oil and gas industry and the electric power industry with Vietnam. Currently, 47 investment projects are being implemented in Vietnam with the participation of Russian capital (the accumulated investment volume is $ 271 million). US$). Vietgazprom JV, for example, has discovered a natural gas field in the Golden Panther block (Baowang) on the Vietnamese shelf. By investing about $ 50 million in the project, Gazprom will be able to receive at least 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year from this section and sell it in Vietnam and China.

Investment cooperation with Vietnam in accordance with the agreements reached in December 2006 will be developed qualitatively. New players may appear in this field - private oil companies. For example, LUKOIL said that it would like to participate in the construction of an oil refinery in Vietnam.

During Vladimir Putin's visit to Indonesia in September 2007, LUKOIL and the Indonesian state oil company Petramina signed an agreement on joint exploration of a number of promising blocks of deposits in the republic. The agreement defines joint activities of the parties for the next two years and provides for the establishment of a steering committee and a joint technical group to study several promising sites in a number of regions of Indonesia. The purpose of this work is to evaluate and interpret data for subsequent exploration and development of oil and gas fields. The partners intend to invest about $ 1.5 billion in the joint project, but the investment may increase to $ 2 billion if the partners find oil and start developing fields.

There are other new projects. In late 2006, the Russian metallurgical company Evraz Group, together with the Gidroruda Institute, won a tender for the development of a feasibility study for the construction of a mining and processing plant at the Thatkhe iron ore deposit. Thach Khe is the largest iron ore deposit in Vietnam, discovered by Soviet and Vietnamese geologists in the 1960s. According to experts, its iron ore reserves are about 500-600 million tons with an iron content of 61-62%, at least 300 million tons of which are suitable for development.

Within the framework of this project, a metallurgical plant for the production of hot-rolled rolled steel with a capacity of about 4.5 million tons of steel per year is to be built. The total investment is estimated at $ 3 billion.

If it gets the opportunity to develop the Thathkhe deposit together with the Vietnamese side, Evraz Group will gain access to the huge Chinese market, which, according to analysts, will import 480 million tons of ore by 2010, which is 110 million tons more than in 2005. At the same time, it is predicted that iron ore prices will continue to grow, fueled by demand from China. Thus, by gaining access to Vietnam's iron ore reserves, Evraz Group will be able to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.

Major investments in ASEAN countries with large bauxite reserves, cheap labor and relatively inexpensive electricity are planned by the United Company "Russian Aluminum" UC RusAl 2. UC RusAl intends to

2 Established in 2007 by merging the assets of RUSAL, SUAL and the Swiss company Glenrore.

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Sign an agreement with Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Group on joint development of bauxite in Vietnam, which ranks 4th in the world in terms of their reserves. The agreement provides for the construction of railways and roads and the expansion of local ports for the joint development of bauxite deposits in the central regions of Vietnam. In the future, it is possible to create a full cycle-from the extraction of bauxite to the production of primary aluminum and alloys.

In September 2007, UC RusAl signed a memorandum with the Indonesian mining company Aneka Tambang on the construction of a bauxite-alumina complex with a capacity of 3.6 million tons of bauxite and 1.2 million tons of alumina per year in West Kalimantan. The cost of this project may amount to 1.5-2 billion dollars. Construction of the complex is expected to start in 2009, and the first alumina will be produced in 2011. Two deposits are selected for the project - Munggu Passir (reserves, according to preliminary estimates, are 40 million tons of bauxite) and Pantas (about 60 million tons). A joint venture is being created for the project, in which UC RusAl will receive 51% of the total amount of alumina produced.% , and Aneka Tambang - 49% [Vedomosti, 7.09.2007].

Russia is interested in importing Vietnamese coal to fully supply Primorye and Kamchatka. Additional Russian investments in Vietnam's coal industry can solve this problem.

The Russian company "Siberian Coal Energy Company" (SUEK), which provides more than 30% of the supply of thermal coal in the Russian market, is going to start buying coal in Indonesia, which has become the No. 1 exporter of thermal coal in the world, and sell it in Asian countries (China, South Korea, Japan, India).

A new joint project in this region will be cooperation between Russian and Singaporean capitals in the development of oil fields on the Myanmar shelf. Two Singapore-registered companies linked, according to analysts, to Russia have signed an agreement to develop offshore oil and gas fields in Myanmar. Silver Wave Energy Pte. Ltd. and Silver Wave Sputnik Petroleum Pte signed agreements on such cooperation with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE). Ltd. Although the EU and the US have imposed economic sanctions on Myanmar, which is ruled by the military, Russian, Indian, Australian, American, French and South Korean companies are already operating in the country [Associated Press, 17.03.2007].

2. Russia's main task is to diversify relations, primarily through high-tech products, engineering products, communications services, space activities, etc. These areas of cooperation can also be supported by ASEAN. As stated at the International Economic Forum "Russia-Asia-Pacific: towards strategic economic partnership and Dialogue of Civilizations", held in October 2006 in Moscow, ASEAN Secretary General Ong Keng Yong, "it is in the interests of both sides to change the parameters of trade turnover and focus on energy, mechanical engineering, scientific cooperation, and tourism" [Rosbalt News, 9.10.2006]. The markets of the ASEAN countries, in our opinion, are more promising for Russian exports of manufacturing products than the markets of developed capitalist countries. There are old consumers of Russian mechanical engineering in this region, and the level of economic development of a number of ASEAN countries is such that they are ready to receive less complex but cheaper machine-building products from Russia instead of Western machines and equipment. This also opens the way for the creation of assembly plants in the countries of the region based on the supply of components from Russia. For example, the Pavlovsk Automobile Plant, which is part of the GAZ Group, plans to create a joint venture in Vietnam to produce buses with a production capacity of 500 to 1 thousand cars per year.

A new priority area of economic cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries should be the implementation of high-tech projects based on-

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Russia's technical potential and efficient, cheap labor in the region. This meets new challenges for the development of the Russian economy. At the same time, it should be noted that the greatest opportunities for implementing high-tech projects in Russia are available in a few industries.

Nuclear energy can become one of the most promising areas. The implementation of nuclear power plant construction projects in the region can significantly increase the volume of cooperation in the medium term. In addition, cooperation on the construction of nuclear power plants will be complemented by long-term technological ties: cooperation on their operation, on the supply of nuclear fuel and the subsequent disposal of spent uranium rods. Under the new nuclear power development program, Russia plans to build 40 to 60 nuclear power units abroad by 2030. Vietnam has adopted its own nuclear power plant construction program until 2020, and construction of the first nuclear power plant may begin as early as 2006. This opens up new opportunities for cooperation and increased Russian investment. Russia is starting early preparations to participate in a tender for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Indonesia, which plans to develop nuclear power and put the first nuclear power plant into operation in 2015-2016.

The construction of floating nuclear power plants can become an innovative direction in this area. The first such station will be built in Russia by 2010. It will be a 140-meter-long ship with 76 MW reactors (less than 10% of the capacity of a standard ground-based nuclear power plant). More than 20 countries around the world have already shown interest in this development of Russian scientists, who would like to buy such floating nuclear power plants. Among them is Indonesia, whose northern province of Gorontalo suffers almost daily power outages.

At the Second ASEAN-Russia Business Forum in December 2005, Russia presented unique technologies and projects that could also be the subject of cooperation. In particular, in the field of information technology, aviation and mechanical engineering. Russia's new proposals relate to the use of the capabilities of its information satellites, information security technologies, as well as technologies related to the prevention and control of the consequences of natural disasters and epidemics. At the forum, an ekranoplane vehicle, which has no analogues in the world, was presented, capable of moving on any surface - on land, water and swamp - and adapted to the natural conditions of Southeast Asia. A model of the Be-200 amphibious aircraft, which can be used to extinguish large fires, including forest fires, was presented. Among other projects, the forum presented the technology of launching a rocket from a heavy aircraft of the Ruslan type to launch an artificial satellite into orbit. These and other similar technologies can, if implemented, multiply the trade turnover between Russia and ASEAN.

The ASEAN experience in nanotechnology development and the exchange of knowledge in such high-tech industries as computer science and biotechnology are extremely important for Russia. Cooperation in the pharmaceutical industry and export of Russian medicines may become a new direction. Until recently, the volume of deliveries from Russia of these products amounted to no more than $ 200 million per year. But soon everything may change, primarily due to innovative medicines-vaccines and immunomodulators. In 2005 alone, sales of the influenza vaccine Grippol increased 12-fold, and the immunomodulator Anaferon-18-fold. The combination of high scientific potential of domestic virology and immunology with low prices is an indisputable argument for consumers in the ASEAN countries, where certification rules are much looser than in the West.

3. The military-industrial complex has large reserves for developing cooperation. The top 100 largest defense corporations in the world include 7 Russian companies. Military-technical cooperation with Russia of the ASEAN countries is ongoing

page 107
it's expanding. For example, the volume of military-technical cooperation with Malaysia alone has reached $ 1.7 billion since 1994. excluding the contract for the supply of 18 Su-30 MKM multirole fighters worth about $ 900 million. Major deals on the supply of Russian military equipment are planned with Vietnam and Thailand.

In August 2007, a $ 350 million contract with Indonesia was initialed. for the supply of three Su-30 and three Su-27 fighters. Russia also decided in 2007 to provide Indonesia with a loan of $ 1 billion for 15 years for the supply of these fighters, as well as 20 naval BMP-3.15 Mi-17 helicopters and 2 Kilo-class submarines [Vedomosti, 6.09.2007; www.k2kapital.com/news/fin/264934.html].

At the same time, the so - called offset transactions-the organization of production abroad on the basis of Russian licenses and with the supply of individual components from Russia, as is practiced in cooperation with India and China-have not yet become widespread in this region.

4. A new area of cooperation may be shipbuilding, in the development of which the state intends to invest more than $ 1 billion in 2007-2009 alone. budget funds. It is planned to create three shipbuilding centers. Thus, the Northern Center will specialize in creating tools for developing the continental shelf. At the same time, the center will retain its role in the construction and repair of nuclear submarines for the Navy. The Western center will focus on transport vessels, including ice-class ones. The third, Far Eastern Center will deal with civilian vessels and offshore development facilities, while retaining the ability to build and repair vessels of the Pacific Fleet. First of all, this center could actively engage in cooperation with the ASEAN countries.

Interestingly, back in the early 1990s, the share of machinery and equipment in the Far Eastern region's exports was 34% (currently only 3%) [Vedomosti, 2.08.2007].

The ASEAN countries could participate in the development and modernization of the Far Eastern port complexes.

5. Cooperation in the field of telecommunications and communications is promising, especially with the use of Russian space potential. Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise Kosmicheskaya Svyaz and Indonesian operator RT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk signed an agreement to work out the construction of a communications and broadcasting satellite and a ground control complex. The transaction amount, according to expert estimates, was about $ 120 million. This project is designed to provide state-of-the-art multimedia services (digital television, Internet access, etc.) in Russia, Indonesia, and the Asia-Pacific region. Indonesia also intends to use this cooperation in the implementation of programs for early warning of natural disasters. A major project will be Russia's participation in the construction of a rocket launch site on the island of Biak, which is part of the Indonesian province of Papua. The choice of this location is due to its proximity to the equator, which allows you to use the centrifugal force of the earth's rotation and thus save fuel.

Leading Russian telecommunications companies are interested in investing in mobile communications in the ASEAN countries. Thus, Altimo announced its interest in participating in the privatization of cellular companies in Vietnam, where it opened its representative office. An Altimo representative office was also opened in Indonesia, where the Russian company can invest up to $ 2 billion. And in August 2007, Altimo bought a 90% stake in mobile operator Sotelco in Cambodia, where mobile penetration is still only 10%.

6. The new sphere of interaction should be the sphere of intellectual services. In 2005, Russia accounted for only 2.5% of the global intellectual services market ($1 billion), while India accounted for 50%. However, the growth rate of Russian export-

page 108
the prices of these types of services are among the highest in the world. The services of Russian programmers are characterized by high quality at a relatively low price and can be demanded by the ASEAN countries. But this can be achieved with appropriate marketing, and here it is possible to combine efforts and create joint firms.

7. Insurance is becoming a new area of investment for both Russian and ASEAN countries. In December 2005, as part of the strategic program for expanding international operations, the management of the Russian Insurance Center (RSC) made a number of business trips to further develop cooperation with representatives of the insurance and reinsurance community in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.

The RCC considers the markets of Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region to be the most promising in terms of insurance support for Russian military-technical cooperation programs. The RCC will participate in the insurance support of the latest contract for the purchase of fighter jets by Malaysia. This contract will become the foundation for expanding cooperation in insurance support and in the implementation of joint space programs, in particular, on the launch of small spacecraft and the Malaysian cosmonaut, as well as on the implementation of the National Malaysian Space Program. To implement these projects, the RCC cooperates with leading insurance and reinsurance companies in Malaysia-MAA Assurance and Asure Re.

Attracting financial flows from Southeast Asia to the Russian insurance market through reinsurance mechanisms to increase its capitalization may be a promising area of cooperation.

8. Cooperation in the field of tourism is very promising. At the same time, the traditional mass destination for Russian tourists in Thailand can be supplemented with new routes, primarily in Vietnam.

9. Russia is already a major importer of labor resources. In the long run, given the current unfavorable demographic situation, the influx of labor resources from ASEAN countries may significantly increase. In turn, some Russian qualified specialists may be in demand in the ASEAN countries. Russian sports coaches work in Vietnam and some other countries in the region. Russia can also provide educational services to the population of the ASEAN countries both in the Russian territory and in the region, including distance education using space communication services.

10.Research, innovation and the introduction of emerging and advanced technologies in the mining industry provide a huge field for increasing cooperation between Russia and ASEAN.

11. Another area of cooperation between Russia and other countries may be the exchange of experience. Some ASEAN countries have made significant progress in developing knowledge-based industries, improving their international competitiveness, fighting corruption, reducing poverty, developing tourism and services, etc. Studying and selectively using this experience will have a positive impact on the development of the Russian economy.

INVESTING IN RUSSIA

A new priority area of cooperation may be the implementation of investment projects in Russia by the ASEAN countries. Countries in the region, such as Singapore and Malaysia, have a high level of exportation of investment (Table 5).

Investments from ASEAN countries in the Russian economy are still insignificant. Singapore is a pleasant exception. His state investment company-

page 109
Table 5

Accumulated attracted and exported FDI in selected ASEAN countries and Russia, USD million

Attracted FDI

Exported FDI

1990

2000

2006

1990

2000

2006

Old ASEAN members,

including:

Indonesia

8855

24780

19056

86

6940

17350

Malaysia

10318

52747

53575

2671

22874

27830

Singapore

30468

112633

210089

7808

56766

117580

Thailand

8242

29915

68058

418

2203

5608

Philippines

3268

12810

17120

155

1597

2104

New ASEAN members,

including:

Brunei

33

3868

9861

447

632

Vietnam

1650

20596

33451

Cambodia

38

1580

2954

193

271

Laos

13

556

856

28

20

Myanmar

281

3865

5005

ASEAN as a whole

63155

263349

420025

11138

91048

171395

Russia

32204

197682

20141

156824

The world as a whole 1

1789.3

5803.0

11998.8

1791.0

6471.4

12474.3

$ 1 billion. Source: World Investment Report, 2007, p. 255-258.

In 2004, Temasek Holdings acquired a 45% stake in the Arbat-Prestige retail chain and a 40% stake in the authorized capital of Format LLC, which is engaged in the production of foam packaging. In March 2005, Temasek Holdings bought a 2.6% stake in the Russian mobile operator MTS. Analysts had estimated the deal at $ 300 million. In 2006, the Singapore-based company acquired a 9% stake in the Russian-controlled tire holding company Amtel-Vredestein N. V. At the end of 2005, Temasek Holdings, together with the Russian Troika Dialog, created a special investment fund in Russia in the amount of $ 150 million, which will be used to purchase blocking and controlling stakes in Russian retail, consumer goods, logistics, business services, manufacturing, telecommunications and certain market segments Mass media. The amount of investment in each project will be 4 - 5 million rubles. [Vedomosti, 16.11.2005]. Thus, Temasek Holdings, which has achieved an average annual return on its investments of 18% over the 30 years of its existence (since 1974), confirmed the attractiveness of capital investments in Russia.

Temasek Holdings ' new investment application area in Russia will be the banking sector. In April 2007, the company announced the creation of its own retail bank Temasek in Russia, and from scratch, as the purchase of a ready-made bank did not suit Singaporeans. At the end of April 2007, the Singapore-based Capitalland Fund acquired a 10% stake in Eurasia Logistics, which builds a network of logistics complexes in Russia, including Lipetsk, and the CIS countries.

There are other examples of increased investment from ASEAN countries in Russia. Rosneft is going to create an alliance for oil production and refining together with the Malaysian company Petronas. During Rosneft's IPO in 2006, Petronas bought $ 1.1 billion worth of Rosneft shares. The latter has extensive experience in associated gas liquefaction and deep-water drilling, which will be in demand by a Russian company that has a number of licenses for offshore exploration. Thailand is interested in

page 110
construction of a sugar production plant in Primorye. New investments can be expected from Singapore, Malaysia and some other countries.

It has already been mentioned above that Russia will make significant public investments in the development of the Far East. It seems that companies from ASEAN countries can also take part in their development. For example, to host the APEC summit in Vladivostok, you will need to create at least 8 thousand seats in five-star hotels, build new roads, service facilities, a water park, Expocenter, berths for superliners, and train service personnel. The potential of the ASEAN countries can be fully used here.

Currently, 11 investment projects are being implemented in Russia with the participation of Vietnamese enterprises operating in the field of foreign trade, processing, and production of building materials. The Vietnamese company Viet Xo Investment Joint Stock (Vsijsc) is involved in the construction of a Vietnamese shopping center in Moscow. It will house a hotel, restaurant, retail space, offices and entertainment area on a 1.8-hectare plot.

For investment in Russia, countries such as Vietnam have an additional advantage - a good knowledge of local conditions and the experience gained over the past 17 years. We can talk about legalizing existing Vietnamese enterprises, as well as creating new ones, primarily in the service sector, light and food industry, agriculture, and construction.3 Competition in the global market in these industries is increasing, and the creation of a joint venture provides stable markets for the long term.

Russia may become a kind of springboard for some ASEAN countries to expand ties with the European Union. Separate export facilities may be set up in the European part of Russia for export to Europe. The well-known Japanese company Toyota is currently building an automobile plant in St. Petersburg, which will work not only for the Russian domestic market, but also for export.

COOPERATION WITH THIRD COUNTRIES

To implement some joint projects, it may be necessary to combine the technological and financial resources of companies from Russia, ASEAN countries and third countries. Such cooperation can be carried out both on the territory of Russia or the ASEAN countries, and on the territory of third countries themselves. For example, Indian or Chinese technologies and investments can be used to implement projects in ASEAN countries. Russia can also be involved as a co-investor in projects implemented in the ASEAN countries with the participation of third countries.

A consortium consisting of Gazprom (30%), Malaysian firm Petronas (30%), and French company Total (40%) has committed to ensure gas production at Iran's South Pars field, whose proven reserves are estimated by experts at 8.1 trillion cubic meters. The deposits will amount to about $ 600 million.

As part of the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in late 2006 between Gazprom and Vietnam's Petrovietnam Oil and Gas Corporation, Vietsovpetro plans to participate in new projects for oil and gas exploration and production and other industrial and economic activities in Vietnam, Russia and third countries.

3 According to the newspaper Moskovskaya Pravda (16.03.2002), in 2001, out of 240,000 Vietnamese living in Moscow, about 200 people wished to pay a visit to the tax inspectorate. It is noteworthy that in terms of the volume of official money transfers from the Russian Federation to individuals through the banking system of money transfers or the Russian Post, Vietnam in 2006 did not even appear in the list of 21 countries that received such transfers.

page 111
* * *

Thus, despite the insignificant volume of mutual trade, there are favorable prerequisites for expanding and deepening ties between Russia and ASEAN. First of all, this is Russia's desire to step up its role in this region, and in the longer term to join ASEAN or the East Asian Community.

Economic prerequisites are gradually maturing for the implementation of this task. Russia's industrial potential is being steadily restored and expanded, and it is striving to become a global energy player and transform the structure of its economy at the expense of high-tech industries. The financial capabilities of the largest Russian business structures, which are increasingly positioning themselves as global companies, have significantly increased.

One of the most important tasks in the development of relations between Russia and ASEAN is also the development of priority areas of cooperation. Among them, today those areas that contribute to qualitative changes in the structure of mutual relations in favor of advanced technological products and services come to the fore. At the same time, the traditional areas of our cooperation also have great potential.

Along with the development of trade relations, investment cooperation, cooperation in research and development, in various service markets, information exchange, etc. will be of great importance for expanding cooperation between Russia and ASEAN. The forms of such cooperation can be very diverse: organization of consortia, creation of joint ventures, direct acquisition of assets, participation in privatization competitions, agreements about product sharing, cooperation, outsourcing, etc.

To expand cooperation between Russia and ASEAN, it is necessary that their state bodies create conditions that are competitive with those for national companies and companies from third countries. This will encourage businesses to expand their mutual ties. When implementing large projects, it is advisable to combine the efforts of individual companies from Russia and ASEAN countries, as well as from third countries.

An important task for Russia and the ASEAN countries is to develop coordinated approaches to the development of mutual cooperation, as well as political and diplomatic support for their foreign economic policies. All this should ensure a real strengthening of economic cooperation between Russia and the ASEAN countries.

list of literature

Associated Press. 17.03.2007.

Rosbalt News. 9.10.2006.

World Investment Report. 2005.

World Investment Report. 2006.

World Investment Report. 2007.

Vedomosti. 16.11.2005; 2.08.2007; 6.09.2007; 7.09.2007.

Moskovskaya pravda. 16.03.2002.

RBC Daily. 20.11.2006.

www.cbr.ru

www.eeg.ru www.gks.ru www.k2kapital.co m/news/fin/264934.html


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