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Outcome of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council on February 2

Outcome of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council on February 2


The introduction of labelling systems within the Eurasian Economic Union and formation of mechanisms to implement coordinated digital policy of the Union became the main topics of the first meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council in 2018, which took place in Almaty (Republic of Kazakhstan) on February 2. The Heads of Governments of the EAEU Member States were introduced to the macroeconomic situation in the countries of the Union and the status of mutual trade, as well as forecasts for the development of the agroindustrial complex in the Member States.

The meeting of the Intergovernmental Council was attended by Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrey Kobyakov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sapar Isakov, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev and Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan.

Opening the meeting, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that the growing economies of the EAEU demonstrate the potential of the Union and its importance for the EAEU countries. "We have adopted a number of important documents associated with the current and further development of the Union”, emphasized Bakytzhan Sagintayev, “One proof of this is that the new Customs Code of the EAEU entered into force on January 1 this year. Therefore, we created conditions for the acceleration of customs procedures. I believe this will be an anchoring year for the implementation of topical issues and new initiatives related to the functioning of our integration association”.

Assessing the results of the year, the Head of the Government of Kazakhstan stated that despite global economic instability, the Republic managed to keep the momentum of increasing trade within the EAEU, which grew by 31% compared to the previous year.

Karen Karapetyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, focused on the need to concentrate on the activities, joint promotion of which will be in line with ensuring sustainable economic development. "It is important to keep the focus on the removal of existing barriers in the common market, to provide the necessary conditions for doing business in the context of single rules of healthy competition and efficient use of logistics, transport and communication facilities", expressed his confidence the Head of the Armenian Government.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrey Kobyakov emphasized that "there is a need for internal “fine tuning” of the EAEU, ensuring comprehensive and unconditional implementation of the Union rules and commitments by all Member States”. In addition, Andrey Kobyakov noted the importance of taking into account national interests, as well as the due balance between the interests of economic entities and the Member States when deciding to introduce labelling for specific goods.

Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sapar Isakov emphasized the enormous potential of the Union and economic growth potential of the countries comprising the Eurasian "five states". In his opinion, it is important to stimulate cooperative processes in industry, to promote the creation of joint ventures, to develop a healthy competitive environment and to improve business climate.

In turn, the Chairman of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council of the EAEU, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev focused on the perspective areas, which the Russian side will pay particular attention to in the year 2018 in the context of its Chairmanship in the governing bodies of the Union.
"It is important to work on the strategic challenges facing the Union. To achieve this, we shall eliminate barriers and constraints remaining in our market", said the Head of the Russian Government, “We must develop inner integration contour intentionally and consistently, forming single goods and services markets, pursuing a systematic policy in industry and agriculture, building a policy of import substitution, eventually achieving mutually beneficial joint projects and creating high-tech products”.

Dmitry Medvedev suggested that new initiatives be added to the work: "We need our own digital platforms and infrastructure, and at the same time we must work together, using common standards. It’s all about traceability, e-commerce development, transition to single standards, introduction of information technologies in transport, industry and customs. We need to consolidate our national proposals”.

During the discussion on the mechanisms of joint implementation of the EAEU Digital Agenda, the Heads of Governments continued the conversation which started at the plenary session of the "Digital Agenda in the Age of Globalization" forum and agreed that one of the most important conditions for success is the consistent policy of the Union countries. It is necessary to shape a uniform law in the digital sphere, to develop integration platforms and enhance their role in the EAEU economy, to create incentives for digital transformations, including through the improvement of technical regulations and standardization systems. A major step forward will be creating a single platform for accumulating knowledge on digital transformation processes taking place and analyzing them.

The Prime Ministers instructed the EEC, together with the governments of the Union countries, to work out the mechanisms submitted by the Commission and aimed at implementing systematic policy in digital transformation of the economies of the Member States.

This document focuses on the creation of a single system of labelling goods with means of identification, the data on which will be entered into a single registry. The register is created and maintained by the Commission.
Implementation of the agreement will allow for applying the principle of traceability to ensure equal competitive conditions, to improve product quality and to ensure the safety of consumers, to effectively combat the gray market and counterfeit goods. Its implementation will contribute to the transparency of commodity flows in the territory of the EAEU, as well as tax collectability. An important result of introducing the system and applying modern means of identification will be the digitization of trade flows and modernization of transport and logistics infrastructure in the countries of the Union.

A decree was adopted concerning the development of a draft procedure for interaction between the authorities of national government responsible for the assignment and payment of pensions to workers and the Commission. It is expected that such interaction will be implemented through the integrated information system of the Eurasian Economic Union. The Heads of Governments of the Union countries emphasized the importance of the Agreement on Pension Security for Workers of the EAEU Member States in the context of further developing integration processes and enhancing labor mobility. It is expected that draft agreement will be developed by the end of 2018.

It was pointed out that positive dynamics is observed in virtually all key economic indicators. Thus, it can be stated that the economies of the Union countries entered a recovery phase. However, the rate of this process varies because of the different scopes of support for domestic demand and capacities for implementing incentive fiscal policy measures.

As a result of the Union’s activities, the volume of mutual trade among the participating countries of the integration association in January-September 2017 increased compared to the same period in 2016 by 26.9% and reached $38.9 billion. A significant growth was registered in all countries of the Union. Further qualitative development of single markets for goods, services, capital and labor within the Eurasian integration association will contribute to an increase in volumes and a diversification of the commodity structure of mutual trade in the EAEU.

Members of the Intergovernmental Council approved the forecasts for the development of agroindustrial complex of the Union countries, as well as supply and demand balances for agricultural products, food, flax fiber, leather, raw cotton fiber and wool for the years 2017-2018.

It is expected that in 2018 the cropped land in the EAEU will increase up to 110.6 million hectares, which is 2.5% more than in 2015. At the same time, the acreage for grain and pulse crops will increase by 778.7 thousand hectares, and for vegetables – by 71.6 thousand hectares. Besides, livestock growth in cattle and poultry breeding is expected.

Quantitative and qualitative growth in the agroindustrial complex will make exports of agricultural products to third countries increase up to $24.2 billion. At the same time, import reduction is expected by 10%, to $26.0 billion.

This document defines the basic financing principles of Eurasian technological platforms and regulates the procedure for the implementation of international programs and projects. As of today, about 140 projects have been developed within the 12 existing Eurasian technological platforms. Some of them can be implemented in the nearest future.

A flexible financing mechanism is provided, that will allow for using various sources of borrowing and stimulate the involvement of extra-budgetary funds, including from private and institutional investors.

The following meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council will take place in April this year in the Russian Federation.