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Putin voices support for FTAAP trade deal

The Associated Press

Valdimire Putin

By Yoshio Hanada / Yomiuri Shimbun CorrespondentMOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin supports the idea of forming the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), a scheme to liberalize trade and investment among all Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum members, saying, “We believe this is in our practical interest and represents an opportunity to strengthen our position in the rapidly growing APR [Asia-Pacific region] markets.”

Putin explained his view in an article titled “Together toward Prosperity and Harmonious Development,” which he contributed to The Yomiuri Shimbun and other major media from APEC countries prior to the APEC summit meeting starting Friday in Vietnam.

In the article, Putin also emphasizes the development of Russia’s Far East as “a national priority for the 21st century” and expresses willingness to strengthen ties between Russia’s Far East and three countries: Japan, China and South Korea. To achieve the goal, he proposes implementing bilateral and multilateral infrastructure projects in such fields as energy supply and transportation.Speech

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