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Tigran Sargsyan: "EAEU is a unique chance for all our five countries to fulfill their internal, including technical, potential"

Tigran Sargsyan: "EAEU is a unique chance for all our five countries to fulfill their internal, including technical, potential"


"We are interested in comparability of digital standards of the European Union, the People's Republic of China and those we are developing in the Eurasian Economic Union. We have already started such a technical dialogue with our colleagues from the European Union and the PRC, we signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation with in May last year, which recorded our digital agenda and the need for dialogue for the first time ever, in order to ensure, among other things, the interoperability of our standards", - stated Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), speaking on October 22 in Moscow at the plenary session of the Moscow International Forum for Innovative Development "Open Innovations 2019"".


The panel session was devoted to the problems of intellectual economy. Dmitry Medvedev, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Sergei Rumas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the EEC Board, and heads of major international companies and research institutes discussed some dilemmas for a digital nation: privacy and security vs openness and development prospects, robotics vs unemployment, flexible state regulation based on the principle priority involving industry collaborations in regulation and aimed at promptest introduction of advanced technologies vs traditional regulatory system enabling to avoid many technological risks, but restraining the development and not allowing to become a leader in technological areas.


The Eurasian Economic Union is a unique chance for all our five countries to fulfill their internal, including technical, potential, as it is very difficult to make use of one's sovereignty within a single State having no cooperative ties, – emphasized Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the EEC Board, speaking at the session. – Yet, the form of cooperation that is at the very foundation of our Union allows better fulfilling one's potential and making use of one's sovereignty foremost within the framework of scientific and technical cooperation, as the science does not tolerate any borders. And joining efforts in this direction gives fantastic results". 


Tigran Sargsyan has divided international standards into four categories. The first category is standards that are used in view of the fact that the relevant technologies are being already applied. International standards have been developed thanks to these technologies. The second category is when a country is the developer of some new technology being then introduced and spread. Along with that, many adhere to these standards. Security is the third direction. Each country or economic association tries to ensure economic security, develops a great number of regulatory documents, standards that become mandatory for authorities and enterprises in this territory. This means they develop their own standards. And regional standards, representing a new global worldwide trend, are the fourth direction. Nowadays, there are about 50 regional economic associations. 


"And it is obvious that as the integration deepens within these associations, a need arises for closer contact and interoperability, so they develop their own standards - the Head of the EEC Board stressed. - Four years ago, the Heads of State approved the digital agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union. As part of developing digital projects, a need arises to form our own ecosystem. This will inevitably lead to our own standards".


Tigran Sargsyan told about some projects that are currently being implemented in the Eurasian Economic Union. Traceability of goods both circulating within the Union and coming to the EAEU from third countries is the first such fundamental project launched by the EAEU countries' leaders. According to him, the development of such a system of traceable goods requires an agreed position of five countries, i.e. their own standards should be implemented. 


Electronic supporting documents in the Union's territory are the second project. “This is essentially a unique standard, when all countries recognize significant documents exactly due to the fact that they are digitized; electronic signatures are recognized as well", - Tigran Sargsyan told.


Ecosystem of the Eurasian network of industrial cooperation, subcontracting and technology transfer to ensure interaction between economic entities is the third project, which was approved by the Heads of Governments of the EAEU countries. It creates the possibility to introduce good working practices at the EAEU enterprises thanks to the digital platform. 


Digital transport corridors are the next project. The Eurasian Economic Union has a huge transport potential. "It cannot be fully realized, as there is a huge number of obstacles, restrictions, which are associated with the fact that the country regulation differs and it is required to bring everyone to a general standard. Our project will let us dramatically reduce the time we spend on transportation of goods, which will affect the cost of shipping charges. This project is essential for us", – Tigran Sargsyan told.


The electronic labor exchange project for the Eurasian Economic Union has been developed as well. It assumes that common standards should be implemented in different spheres of activity in order to ensure interoperability and provide comfortable conditions for the Union citizens who look for employment throughout the Eurasian space. 


The use of regulatory "sandboxes" is the sixth project. "Modern digital projects cannot be effectively implemented without removing administrative bottlenecks. Therefore, the regulatory "sandboxes" are a vital tool for digital projects that will let us make a breakthrough in implementing the digital agenda", – the Chairman of the EEC Board concluded.


Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, spoke about the prospects for innovative development of Russia. According to his words, the national program "Digital Economy of the Russian Federation" will soon be supplemented by another project on developing artificial intelligence. In general, 1.6 trillion rubles for "digital technologies" will be provided by the country's budget in the next few years. Furthermore, the state is working hardly at the possibility for people to enter the Russian universities and vote in elections via internet.


Dmitry Medvedev went into detail on three challenges that countries are facing: digital security, labor market transformation and legal regulation of innovative development. He has stressed that openness brings significant risks, so the concept of digital security includes ensuring the country’s national interests, defence against terrorist threats and personal data protection. 


"A balance between security and privacy safeguards should be stroke. Along with that, digital security, control and responsibility of the state are directly related to personal preferences – what trace a person is ready to leave behind. The Internet makes everything so transparent that almost everyone becomes a public personality forever due to social networks", – said the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.


Sergey Rumas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, spoke about the High-Tech Park operating in the country. Thanks to special treatment, including tax benefits, nowadays Belarus takes a leading position in the Eastern Europe and the CIS in software exports per capita. 


Sergey Rumas also raised the idea of creating the EAEU special venture fund to support innovative startups. "Why can't we jointly invest in each other's advanced developments in the EAEU?  I would ask my most esteemed colleagues to think about it. Other States that are not Union members, but which have close and friendly relations with us, could join this project as well", – the Prime Minister of Belarus said.


Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, noted some key challenges for developing the digital agenda in his country. These are development of digital infrastructure, digital skills and competencies of the people, creation of an effective digitalization system and development of the digital industry. 


According to him, ensuring wide availability of digital infrastructure is the main condition for sustainable development of the digital economy. "There are serious prerequisites for accelerated development of digital skills in Uzbekistan. In particular, more than 60% of the nation are young people, and the average age of the nation does not exceed 29 years, and this does a serious groundwork for forming a digital intellectual society. In this regard, in the last three years, the country paid much attention to improving the education system in the sphere of information technology. < ... > I am convinced that creating further opportunities for young people in the country will contribute to sustainable development of the digital transformation in our society’s life", – the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan stated.


A platform for receiving electronic appeals of citizens is successfully operated in the Republic. Nowadays, the state is faced with the task of ensuring integration between disparate information systems and resources. 

"Addressing these and other challenges and priorities of the digital agenda requires, of course, close interaction and cooperation, including enhanced dialogue on forming common standards and approaches based on the best world practices", – expressed his confidence Abdulla Aripov. And events such as the "Open Innovations" forum  are a good expert platform for exchanging views and adjusting programs of the digital development.


The moderator of the plenary session, Russian scientist Ivan Oseledets noted that the fourth industrial revolution was defined by such areas as artificial intelligence, robotics, wireless communications and the internet of things. The competitiveness of the company and the country depends on their ability to use and develop these technologies. 


"Any progress has two sides. These are not only prospects, but also big risks: the risk of becoming unemployed and losing personal space and the risk for sustainable survival of mankind. The digital transformation requires a choice within several dilemmas", – Ivan Oseledets stressed.


In turn, Werner Baumann, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bayer AG, told that knowledge changed rapidly, so no country or company could proceed all alone, they should build partnership relations to give and receive. 


Nick Bostrom, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, is confident that the ability of artificial intelligence has not yet reached the potential of human mind. However, he believes that if work is fully automated, then the humanity will face two serious questions: the importance of work for each person and the problem of life purpose. In his opinion, work is not only a way of earning money, but also a sense of one's value to society. This means that the automation of labor-intensive processes leads to a global cultural change and people should be able to find themselves outside the framework of professional activity. Furthermore, Nick Bostrom emphasizes that the modern education system is focused on people who prepare for employment, so automation will affect not only professional sphere, but also the institute of education. In this case, educational activities will have to focus on developing art and literature, i.e. on what is now our hobby. 


Purnima Kochikar, Director of Google Play, Apps&Games, Google, noted that many local companies in Russia operate on the Google platform and earn more than a million dollars a month. Thus, Russia ranks first among all European, African and Middle East countries by number of such companies. 


In her opinion, the application economy is flourishing nowadays. She noted "Gosuslugi", "Sberbank" and etc. among the most successful applications in Russia. Purnima Kochikar is confident that such applications make vital contribution to the economy, help providing employment opportunities and increase the country’s GDP.