MOSCOW, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit will open up opportunities for Russia's development and regional integration in general, according to a Russian expert.
During a recent interview with Xinhua, Gleb Ivashentsov, deputy director of the Russian APEC Study Center, said Russia intended to demonstrate its huge growth potential in the Far East as well as its aspiration to integrate into the Asia-Pacific region by hosting the top-level gathering.
Ivashentsov said the resource-rich Transbaikal and Eastern Siberia regions in the Far East would lead Russia's cooperation with APEC economies.
Russia would not become a "raw materials appendage" of its Asian partners, but would focus on regional modernization by pouring funds gained from natural resources exports into railways, highways and other infrastructure construction in these areas, the expert said.
The Russian government had drawn a blueprint for boosting its industrial sector and exports of high-tech products in the Far East region, Ivashentsov said.
For example, an aircraft plant in the Far Eastern city of Komsomolsk-na-amure could produce "the most advanced military planes in the world" and these fighters were popular among Russia's APEC partners, he said.
The "East" cosmodrome under construction in the Amur region would bring Russia more chances of space cooperation with APEC economies.
"Currently, Russia has been engaged in active space cooperation with China, Japan and South Korea. It has also launched a number of spacecraft for APEC partners," he said.
Ivashentsov praised Russia-China cooperation under the APEC format, saying there were "broad prospects" for further development between the two sides.
China's support of Russia's initiatives in the forum was "very important," Ivashentsov said, adding the two countries had similar views on various issues, which contributed to their comprehensive strategic partnership.
In general, the APEC forum had been a facilitator of regional integration, pushing for free trade agreements among several member economies. However, Russia was a "spectator" in this process, he said.
To further interweave with APEC partners, Russia needed to enhance investment cooperation with regional members, the expert said.
While regional economic integration was the common goal for all APEC members, sub-regional integration was inevitable, Ivashentsov said.
Grouping 21 members, APEC was not a "real organization" but rather a forum for negotiations. Some members were closer neighbors which kept intensive economic contacts while others had few common interests, he said.
Therefore, forming sub-groups and solving problems via sub-regional mechanisms were necessary and not contrary to the APEC spirit, he said.
According to Ivashentsov, fostering partnerships with APEC economies is a main priority for Russia, though the country "has still a long way to go."