The Vladivostok summit focuses on economic cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, however, Lavrov and Clinton also talked politics.
Moscow and Washington still do not agree on Syria and Iran. Both diplomats want to see Syria as a democratic and prosperous country with the popular-elected government. Russia and the US also back non-proliferation speaking about Iran’s nuclear program, but Moscow thinks that Washington’s method of pressure, threats and sanctions will hardly be efficient. Moreover, the US-imposed sanctions affect Russia, Lavrov said.
"We disagree with such methods. Conflicts should be solved by involving not isolating –so sanctions faced by Iran and Syria are now affecting other countries, for example they affect Russian businesses and banks. Washington that Moscow finds this approach unacceptable but hasn’t voiced its response yet."
The EU is constantly toughening its ties with Syria and Iran. Recently, it adopted another package of sanctions without even letting Russia know. Now, when the global community has split over the problem, Europe attempted to shift blame to Russia and China, which is unacceptable, said Lavrov.
"We have no special business interests in Syria compared to large –scale military-technical cooperation and trade led by the EU in the region. The same thing with Libya. We have various assessments of the Libyan conflict backed by statistics – what happened there and whose interests these were."
In late September, New York is to host the UN General Assembly with a special session on Syria. Russia plans to address the Security Council once again asking to approve the Geneva Communiqué adopted on June 30 by the Arab League and the UN.
Hillary Clinton and her Russian counterpart also discussed the improving spheres of bilateral cooperation, like facilitation of visa travel between the countries. Now, visas will be cheaper and formalities will be reduced.
Clinton called this agreement a historic one.
Hillary Clinton intends to further talk Moscow-Washington relations with President Vladimir Putin at the upcoming official reception for the APEC leaders.
US State Secretary Hillary Clinton speech at APEC summit in Vladivostok
"Thank you very much, Andrei Kostin, for that introduction and stealing some of my lines about the importance of including women across the APEC region and the economic growth and prosperity. And also I thank you for everything you have done to organize this important gathering which has already heard from some of the leaders in the region about commitment to enhancing inner? Activities and opportunities for business trade and investment. And I think all who are here participating as well I bring greetings from President Obama and a strong reaffirmation of America`s commitment to APEC. The U.S. is a pacific power, not just a diplomatic and military power but an economic power. And our growing economic interdependence is part of why I often say that much of the history of the 21st century will be written in Asia. But before I say more about America`s economic engagement in the Asia-Pacific and how it relates to our broader strategy in the region I`d like to say a few words about our hosts. In the economic run?? I want to congratulate Russia on joining the WTO. We believe this is good for Russia, it`s good for the U.S, it`s good for the global economy. Three successive US administrations worked steadily to advance Russia`s WTO aspirations. We strongly support the basic bargain at the heart of the WTO. Nations that uphold internationally recognized norms not just on terror? But subsidies, procurement preferences, intellectual property rights and so on- these nations get to enjoy the benefits of open markets and free trade. The World Bank for example estimates that by effectively implementing its WTO commitments Russia could increase its GDP by about 3% in the medium term and as much as 11% over the long run. So it pays to join the world`s based global trading system. And Russia`s trading partners stay to benefit as well. We believe American exports to Russia could double or even triple. And that brings me to the larger point I`d like to make today. Last year in speeches at APEC events in Washington and then again in Hong Kong I outlined America`s commitment to an economic system based on agreed upon rules of the road that apply to our nations- developed and developing alike. A system that is open, free, transparent and fair. This commitment is a central thrust of US strategy in the region. After an extended period in which the US had to focus a great deal of attention and resources on regions and conflicts elsewhere? we are now making substantially increased investments in the Asia-Pacific. We sit to work with others to build a stable and just regional order that would benefit everyone. President Obama took office in the midst of the global financial crisis and worldwide recession. There was then and still is an urgent need to rebalance our economy and reduce instability. So we set out at the start to accomplish a number of goals to advance economic progress. And there are few I`d like to speak about briefly today. They are first to advocate forcefully for American companies so they can compete on an equal level play field. Second- to pursue new trade agreements with partners across the Asia-Pacific. Third, to expand engagement with regional and global institutions that can mobilize effective common action on shared economic challenges.
And fourth - to push for reforms that allow more people in more places to participate in the formal economy. We have made concrete measurable progress in each of these areas. We so have more to do in cooperation with our partners in the region including all of you.
Let me begin with our advocacy for American businesses. President Obama set an ambitious goal of doubling US exports worldwide by the end of 2014 and we have made great gains a way back. Between just 2009 and 2011, US exports to other APEC economies increased by nearly 45% and they are up another 7.5% in the first half of 2012. But we can go still farther. American companies are eager to invest more in Asia. And when they confront unfair regulations or they just want advice on local customs they come to us to the State Department and we go to beg for them.
In July in Cambodia we convened the largest ever US-ACEAN business event and brought together more than 150 US business leaders, several dozens business leaders from across the region and three heads of states and more than a dozen of governmental ministers all with the shared goal to build stronger ties between and among our business communities.
The business leaders hammered out opportunities for new partnerships and they also spoke constructively about the obstacles that still stand in the way for greater trade and investment. The people from the various governments listened and left the better sense of what we all have to do to improve the business environment in the Asian-Pacific.
Now I understand that holding conferences, even such a ground-breaking one and especially one as well attended as this, will only get us so far. To unleash this region’s full potential we all need to take concrete steps especially regarding protectionists policies that distort markets and discriminate against some companies but not others.
We know there remain significant discriminatory procurement rules and local content requirements that force unfair terms on foreign companies just to enter and expand in the market, force technology transfers and government abetted piracy of intellectual property, preferential treatment for state-owned or state-supported enterprises.
Those are some of the distortions that we continue to see and have to stand against. These protectionist policies might provide short term benefits for domestic firms but they disrupt supply chains, they scare investments and ultimately they set back economies and weaken rules that are designed to benefit everyone.
No country including my own has a perfect record on this, but we are committed to building a kind of a global economy that 21st century demands. And we are confident that given a fair chance and a level playing field American companies can compete and succeed everywhere. To make sure our companies get to compete here in Russia we are working closely with the United States Congress to terminate the application of Jackson-Vanik to Russia and grant Russian permanent normalized trade relations. We hope that the Congress will act on this important piece of legislation this month.
Turning to the second line of action, the United States has made a major push to trade agreements with partners across the Asian-Pacific that open market and remove barriers. Our landmark deal with South Korea increases exports of American goods by more than 10 billion dollars and grows South Korea’s economy by 6%. In addition to lowering tariffs the agreement also includes improvements on intellectual property protection and enforcement, fair labor practices, environmental protection, regulatory process.
That is also true of the Transpacific partnership - a new far reaching regional trade agreement that will bring together at least 11 economies developed and developing alike into a single Pacific trading community. It will lower trade barriers by raising standards, creating more and better growth. And this agreement will set a new precedent by covering emerging trade issues such as a competitive impact on state owned enterprises the collectivity of regional supply chain and opportunities for small and medium sized businesses. They are truly the engine for economic growth and employment everywhere.
On the third front - regional and global institutions – the US has made a concerted effort to work more closely with and within them. Because fostering a balanced and stable economy is a challenge too sweeping and complex for countries to approach in isolation. It calls for all of us to cooperate in addressing head on sources of financial stress that can and are spilling over borders. That means developed nations like the United States need to build more at home and sell more abroad. It means developing economies here in Asia need to grow larger middle classes that can fuel demand for both domestic and imported goods and services. The purchasing power will come from better jobs with higher wages and safer working conditions including for women, migrant workers and others who are too often excluded from the formal economy. If we do this right, globalization can become a raise to the top with rising standards of living and more broadly shared prosperity.
The US has made this goal a center piece about our bilateral diplomacy including within our strategic and economic dialogue with China. And in terms of our outreach to institutions we worked to elevate the G20 as the focus for international cooperation on economic policy. We signed the treaty of amity and cooperation with ACEAN and joined the East-Asian summit and as the host of APEC summit last year in Honolulu we draw an agenda focused on strengthening economic integration promoting green, sustainable growth, advancing regulatory cooperation and convergence and, yes - expanding economic opportunities for women.
Here is just one example of what we’ve done. In Hawaii President Obama brought his fellow APEC leaders together around the set of principles for effective, market-driven, non-discriminatory innovation policy. We are all looking to ensure that innovation as a key growth or source for the years ahead. It time for each of us to implement the innovation principles we agree to with detailed guidelines that commit each economy to actively support global standards, enforce intellectual property rights and technology transfer mandates and improve procurement policies. That should be a major priority for APEC going forward and I am very pleased that here in Vladivostok APEC ahs agreed to cut tariffs on more than 50 environmental goods which will help encourage the development of clean technologies and greener growth across the region. Among other steps that will be considered and agreed to by the leaders we are also pledged to avoid export restrictions that contribute to spikes in food prices during draughts and shortages and to counter illegal wild life trafficking in endangered and protected species.
And the fourth and final lien of action – the US has pushed for reforms that allow more people in more places to participate in the formal economy, especially women. There is a growing body of evidence that bringing more women into work places including into senior management spurs innovation and productivity. Research also shows that companies that hired women executives and board members thrive and often outperform those that do not. One recent study, however, found that more than 70 % of companies in emerging Asian economies have no women on the governing boards. By some estimates, by the World Band and others, restrictions on women’s economic participation are costing the APEC region more than 40 billion dollars in lost GDP every year.
As the host of APEC last year the US focused on tapping vast economic potential of women across the Asian-Pacific. In San-Francisco in preparation for the meeting in Honolulu the member economies targeted four critical areas: access to capital, access to markets, skills and capacity building and leadership. And than in St. Petersburg, again in the run-up to the APEC meeting here in Vladivostok, we agreed among ourselves and announced more than 70 new programs and policies to implement the goals in those four areas. The US has launched a new initiative to train central and commercial banks in inclusive lending practices and to help governments use their purchasing power to support women entrepreneurs and small business. We will stay focused on these challenges because no economic system can be truly open, free, transparent and fair, if half of the population is excluded and exploited.
I mean leave you with this final thought. The US is making a major investment in the Asian-Pacific and we are doing everything we can to promote open, free, transparent and fair economic system but the success of these efforts depend on all of us here: governments and businesses, citizens alike. The private sector needs to stand up for the system that will allow you to thrive over the long run. That means pushing governments to support high standard trade agreements like the Transpacific partnership, to drop harmful protectionist policies, it means playing by the rules respecting workers and opening doors to qualified women. And most of all it means doing what you do best – build, hire and grow.
APEC has long made it a priority to include the private sector as a partner. The CAO summit and APEC business advisory council are both opportunities to keep this dialogue going. And we have also launched three new APEC policy partnerships on food security, on women in the economy and now on innovation, science and technology. And in each of those the private sector has a seat at the table.
I encourage you to join and contribute your energy and expertise to the important work we must do together. The difference between a region on the path to sustainable growth and one whose gains to be short lived comes down to norms to those so-called rules of the road. Setting and enforcing them should be a top priory for governments and businesses alike. Leaders across the Asian-Pacific have an opportunity to set the path forward now.
The US stands ready to be a constructive partner in these efforts. We belief in the Asian-Pacific but we know that the economic community that APEC foresaw all those year ago when it started has made great progress but the challenge now is not to grow weary, not to turn inward but to keep moving forward together. And we do, the promise of the Asian-Pacific will be realized. So, on behalf of the US we look forward to working with you for the years ahead to realize greater, more inclusive, sustainable prosperity across the Asian-Pacific.
Thank you all."