The head of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has called for greater integration of Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok today.
In her keynote speech, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Dr. Shamshad Akhtar highlighted how the extensive natural resources, including the renewable energy potential in Russia’s Far East, can serve the growing requirements of the Asia-Pacific region and offer attractive business and trade opportunities.
“The special economic zones in the Far East will attract foreign companies and investment from Asia, which in turn can benefit Russia’s proposal for a free trade agreement with ASEAN,” explained Dr. Akhtar.
ESCAP is currently working to support these processes by fostering seamless connectivity across Asian road, rail and maritime corridors, enhancing trade through the new Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross Border Paperless Trade, and developing soft infrastructure to enable domestic resources and financial markets to better link the Eurasian Corridor and the Far East with Asia-Pacific.
Dr. Akhtar noted that ESCAP is also taking a more holistic, integrated and sustainable approach to energy connectivity.
“A move away from segmented to more holistic and sustainable energy system has the potential to exploit competitively the energy endowments of the Russian Far East in order to meet Asia’s energy deficits,” stressed Dr. Akhtar.
The annual Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok is organized by the Russian Federation to promote the accelerated development of the economy of Eastern Russia and expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.