4 Dec 2019 15:49

Trade turnover between Russia, Mongolia could approach $2 bln in 2019 - Gordeyev

MOSCOW. Dec 4 (Interfax) - The trade turnover between Russia and Mongolia this year will approach $2 billion, Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev said at a Russian-Mongolian business forum in Moscow being held as part of Mongolian Prime Minister Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh's official visit to Russia.

Gordeyev chairs the sides' intergovernmental commission.

"In recent years, Russian-Mongolian trade has been developing at an accelerated pace. In 2018, trade turnover grew 21%, to $1.65 billion. The first eight months of this year saw 15% growth, to over $1.1 billion. This year we're expecting about $2 billion," he said.

There is still great potential for trade, economic, and investment cooperation to grow, Gordeyev said. "I have in mind joint participation in multilateral integration processes that are gaining momentum in the Eurasian space. Our idea of a Greater Eurasian Partnership (GEP) implies the creation of a broad spectrum of economic cooperation free of trade barriers, relying on WTO norms, and taking into account the variety of models of socioeconomic development," he said.

This project's essence is the "integration of integrations," the tying-together of bilateral and multilateral integration processes in Eurasia on the basis of principles and values such as respect for sovereignty, independence and freedom of choice with respect to development models, the primacy of law, free access to advanced scientific achievements, and the protection of cultural and religious distinctions, Gordeyev said.

"Concretely, this is about creating a system of multilateral and bilateral agreements on free trade and economic cooperation, the implementation of a set of transborder infrastructural, production, and digital projects in the Eurasian space, coordinated development of international transport routes and economic corridors. We see our close partner Mongolia as one of the participants in the work getting underway to create the GEP. All the more given that we already have decent experience built up through the development of trilateral cooperation involving Russia, Mongolia, and China," he said.

Another important element of this project is the "coupling of the construction of the EAEU with other complex integration initiatives, including China's Belt and Road and Mongolia's Steppe Road," Gordeyev said.

"We consider establishing contacts between the Eurasian Economic Union and states of Southeast Asia to be an important regional area. We support the establishment of a dialogue-based partnership between the Eurasian Five and Mongolia. This format allows our countries to study the possibilities and potential benefits connected with transitioning to expanded and deepened cooperation in the trade and economic sphere and facilitates the dynamic development of our trade relations," he said.