The recent geopolitical events in the Ukraine and Crimea resulting in the tit for tat sanctions from the United States and the European Union against Russia and the well-known Russian response have not only shifted the pieces on the board but may have started to turn in board itself, a turn to the East.

Russia Malaysia FlagsRussia’s Look East Policy or Act East Policy is not a new idea, perhaps now it is just more important as a way to replace lost markets in Western Europe. In the current light it raises interesting questions, like does Russia see its future in Asia, is Russia a Asian power more than a European power but what does this new shift mean for countries in Asia and in particular ASEAN.
Some countries in the region have had a long relationship with Russia and there are several that are communist countries, while others have taken the non-aligned movement stance to deal with the relationships between larger global powers.  Now as the chairman of ASEAN, Malaysia is looking to play a leading role in the region.

In the past Malaysia has worked closely with Russia, Malaysia has benefited directly from the Russian Space Program, in 2007, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor became the first Malaysian in space when he travelled on board the Soyuz TMA-11.  Malaysia’s Moderate Muslim population has many links with the Muslim majority Tatarstan region of Russia, the capital Kazan is an important industrial centre, this is an added advantage for business relations.

Путин-РазакThe question is can Malaysia act as a gateway to the ASEAN market of over 600 Million people, to do that it will need to be the most efficient investment and business destination in the region, something that Singapore has long positioned itself to be.  While Singapore may have taken an early lead as a financial destination the country offers very few actual business opportunities that investors can put their money in.  Russian investors and businesses looking to Malaysia for products and services want to see their investment actualize into physical projects and companies.

To allow Malaysian companies to take advantage of this change in focus the Malaysia Global Business Forum has accepted the invitation to send an exploratory delegation to the Eastern city of Vladivostok, for more information please fill in the below form



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