Russia will actively promote collaboration between its economic union with Kazakhstan and Belarus and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Dozens of APEC countries have already applied for trade agreements with the Common Economic Space group, Putin said at a press conference the APEC summit in Vladivostok.
“Russia is representing the consolidated position of the Common Economic Space here,” Putin added.
Russia and New Zealand have already begun negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement, and Vietnam is about to follow suit, Putin said.
The Common Economic Space, which is based on a customs union of the three countries, can provide a connection between the Far East and Europe, Putin said.
The group, which formally came into existence in 2012, is offering its infrastructure to its prospective economic partners of the Pacific Rim, he added.
A CEO summit kicked off in Vladivostok on Friday as part of the APEC Leaders Week. The two-day event will overlap with a summit of heads of states of the 21 economies that make up the bloc, which formally starts on Saturday.