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Relations with Asia "subsided": foreign trade indicators fell by 15%

As part of the traditional Abalka readings, the Free Economic Society hosted a round table on the topic "Is Russia a Pacific Power?"

Leading scientists and experts, representatives of federal legislative and executive authorities of the Russian Federation, relevant ministries, administrations of subjects of Russia, business community discussed the problems and prospects for the development of the Pacific direction.

According to EastRussia, the conclusions of the round table participants, based on the numerical indicators of trade turnover, were not comforting. Thus, 85% of Russia's foreign trade falls to the European Union and only 15% to the Asia-Pacific countries, of which 12% to China. And this despite the fact that China's trade with us is only 2% of their trade turnover.

Compared with the indicators of the first quarter of 2014, the trade with Asia in the first months of 2015 fell by 15%. "So, relations with Asia are also" subsiding " - experts explain.

Experts identified the infrastructure as the main problem of the Far East. To develop the territory, you need water, electricity, roads, but under a loan 15-20% no development project will not work. "As long as there is no real infrastructure, Russia will not turn to the Pacific region," such are the conclusions of the experts from the round table of the Abalkin Readings.

Two important decisions were made recently in the highest power circles. The first is the signing of an agreement on the creation of a BRICS development bank. However, the participants had doubts, but will it be possible to agree on cooperation within the bank? The second is the nomination by China of the strategy of the economic belt of trade - the silk route. However, according to experts of the round table, Russia is not present there. It turns out that Russia is "pushed out" of some integration processes in the Pacific region.

At the end of the roundtable, Vasily Mikheev, Doctor of Economics, head of the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, summed up some results. Firstly, in the Asia-Pacific region, Russia's active policy is not particularly expected. Further, with China, we have many problems: we remain competitors in the economy, we have different views in politics. So, China is not on our side with regard to Ukraine, in the conflict between China and Japan, Russia is distancing itself. Consequently, Russia needs a radical, independent reform of the economy.

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