The country became the 156th member of the WTO last month. The $1.9 trillion Russian economy, the world’s ninth largest, had for years been the biggest outside the trade rules club.
Putin, who hosts an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Russia’s east coast city of Vladivostok at the weekend, said the talks should take into account “new realities such as Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation”.
“Membership in the WTO gives us the ability to participate more broadly in setting the global trade rules – an issue that has been a focus of attention for APEC in the past,” he wrote in an article for The Wall Street Journal’s Asian edition.
“The very principle of free trade is undergoing a crisis. We regularly observe recurrences of protectionism and veiled trade wars instead of lifting barriers,” he said, adding that “it is imperative that we develop common approaches”.
Putin also said APEC states should work together to address “the crucial challenge” of supporting sustainable growth by promoting innovation and the exchange of ideas, according to a Kremlin transcript of the article for publication on Thursday.
“We suggest that the dialogue in Vladivostok focus on freeing up trade and investment flows to stimulate economic growth,” Putin said.
He offered no details about his plans for the WTO, but said a Customs Union and Common Economic Space linking the former Soviet republics of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would “play an active part in shaping the regional and international agenda”.
The European Union and United States have reacted coolly to those groupings, while Russia has similar reservations about a the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade initiative backed by Washington.
U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will miss the Sept. 8-9 summit of the 21-member APEC in Vladivostok, on the Sea of Japan near the North Korean and Chinese borders.
Russia has spent more than $20 billion on roads, bridges and renovations for the summit in the city 6,450 km (4,000 miles) east of Moscow, which is meant to underline Russia’s interest in wielding more Asian influence.
But it still faces a colossal challenge making its Asian reach more profitable, a Russian tycoon said.
Russia will miss out in the booming export markets of the Pacific Rim if it fails to build infrastructure and cut red tape urgently, shipping and commodities billionaire Zyavudin Magomedov said. DM
Photo by Reuters.
Are You A South AfriCAN or a South AfriCAN'T?
Maverick Insider is more than a reader revenue scheme. While not quite a "state of mind", it is a mindset: it's about believing that independent journalism makes a genuine difference to our country and it's about having the will to support that endeavour.
From the #GuptaLeaks into State Capture to the Scorpio exposés into SARS, Daily Maverick investigations have made an enormous impact on South Africa and it's political landscape. As we enter an election year, our mission to Defend Truth has never been more important. A free press is one of the essential lines of defence against election fraud; without it, national polls can turn very nasty, very quickly as we have seen recently in the Congo.
If you would like a practical, tangible way to make a difference in South Africa consider signing up to become a Maverick Insider. You choose how much to contribute and how often (monthly or annually) and in exchange, you will receive a host of awesome benefits. The greatest benefit of all (besides inner peace)? Making a real difference to a country that needs your support.
Green screens are green because the colour does not match any natural skin tone of an actor.