Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 102

Oleg Davydov, deputy prime minister for foreign economic relations, told a Moscow news conference September 25 that Russia’s strategic priority for the next decade will be to widen business cooperation with Asian-Pacific countries. Davydov will attend the second general session of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council in Beijing on September 27 to 29, where he is expected to lay out Moscow’s vision for developing trade and economic cooperation in the region, including investment activities. According to Davydov, "Moscow’s turn to the Asian Pacific region is dictated by its firm conviction that the center of world trade in the 21st century will move to this region," which already accounts for 40 percent of the global turnover. (4)

Russia hopes that massive capital investments to Siberia and the Russian Far East will follow upon closer business ties with China, Japan and South Korea. The Beijing meeting may raise the issue of eventually creating a free trade zone in that region. Moscow probably intends to join the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation organization in 1996 when the moratorium on admission of new members expires. Russia’s trade with Asian Pacific countries reportedly exceeds $20 billion, or more than a quarter of total foreign trade turnover.

Chechnya Negotiations.