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Digital transformation of the economy, introduction of innovations and removal of barriers have become key topics of the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council

Digital transformation of the economy, introduction of innovations and removal of barriers have become key topics of the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council

5/26/2017

The session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council was held on May 26 in Kazan (the Russian Federation). The Prime Ministers of the five countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) discussed certain issues that are important for deepening the integration processes, including removal of barriers and restrictions to free movement of goods, services and labour, the Union's digital agenda and the opportunities for introducing innovation through supporting scientific research and development work in key industries. 

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) received new powers to develop regulations and rules for fair competition, while providing support for the most important enterprises and industries.

The meeting was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Karen Karapetyan, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Andrey Kobyakov, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev, the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, and the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan. 

The Chairman of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov noted that "elimination of internal obstacles is a catalyst for the growth of the economies of the EAEU countries and deepening of joint integration."

In the opinion of the Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan, it is possible to state the beginning of a new stage in the EAEU development. This is connected, among other things, with the launch of systematic work on two new important areas - removal of obstacles, barriers and restrictions within the economic space and the digitalization of the economy.

"Business requires us to resolve these issues as soon as possible," the Chairman of the EEC Board said. In addition, Tigran Sargsyan stressed that "while forming common markets we should strive to deepen cooperation, including so that the Union could be positioned in the global economy as an integration association with a strong export potential."

The road map for removing barriers for 2017-2018 will be developed by the next session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. Its implementation stimulates entrepreneurial activity and ensures the implementation of the principle of four "freedoms".

Special emphasis will be put on working to prevent discrimination while admitting to public procurement and combating discriminatory forms of taxation in the EAEU countries. The Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Internal Markets, Information Support, Information&Communication Technologies of the EEC, Karine Minasyan, said that it was necessary to move away from the practice, when local enterprises can be exempted from paying some fees, while entrepreneurs from other Union Member States were unreasonably liable to duties when importing food products or manufactured goods.

The EAEU will develop a digital transformation program. This will accelerate the formation of the post-industrial economy of the Union.

By the end of the year, the Main Directions for the implementation of the digital agenda up to 2025 will be prepared. Four key development vectors have been identified, which make it possible to accelerate the processes of digitizing the economy. For more information, see https://goo.gl/WwJxu8. In order to implement this program, it is proposed to use the mechanism of public-private partnership.


One of the first pilot projects in this area can be a system of marking a number of goods and products that provides transparency and traceability throughout the Union.

The Prime Ministers endorsed the EEC report on monitoring the implementation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the draft decisions of the Commission, which can influence the business environment.
 
The members of the Intergovernmental Council were provided with the information on the effectiveness of interaction between the EEC and the business and expert community in 2016. It was noted that last year, in respect of 34 draft decisions of the Commission that passed a public discussion, business representatives and experts expressed 268 comments and suggestions.

210 of them (78.4% of the total number) were taken into account in further work. 

In addition, within the monitoring the draft decisions of the Commission were assessed to identify items or provisions that impose excessive restrictions or prohibitions on entrepreneurs that lead to unreasonable costs and increased administrative costs of business, and create barriers to free movement of goods, services, capital and labour on the territory of the Union.

The Commission informed the Prime Ministers about the work to create an effective Single Window mechanism in the countries of the Union,which would reduce the administrative costs of business and simplify foreign trade activities.


In all the EAEU Member States, individual elements of the Single Window system have been implemented, such as e-declaring or e-licensing, interdepartmental information systems are in operation. They facilitate the interaction of entrepreneurs with the authorities. However, this is only a part of the work. 

Following the discussion of this issue, the members of the Intergovernmental Council recommended to more actively engage business to the work for formation of the Single Window system, to speed up the transition to the use of e-documents, to ensure harmonization and mutual recognition of the documents required for foreign economic activity.

An agreement has been signed to voluntarily agree on specific subsidies for industrial goods. To implement the document, the EEC receives new powers.


In accordance with the agreement, the EAEU member state, which wants to grant subsidies to certain enterprises or sectors of its economy, may request the EEC to approve such a decision.

If the Commission considers that granting of such a subsidy meets the specified acceptable criteria, the other countries of the Union will not be able to demand the introduction of compensatory measures.

In addition, the EAEU countries are provided with the opportunity to apply to the Commission for an investigation if subsidies are provided in one of the states of the Union that cause economic damage to them. The EEC decisions will be binding.

The introduction of such procedures into the practice of the Commission increases the transparency and validity of decision-making on the support of certain enterprises and industries, promotes the formation of regulations and rules for fair competition.

The procedure for arranging joint research and development work in agroindustrial complex was approved by the members of the Intergovernmental Council. Joint development means participation in research and development of at least two Member States of the Union.


The document will expand cooperation ties between scientific institutions and enterprises of the Union countries, increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the agroindustrial complex, ensure the transfer of technology and innovation, contribute to the formation of a strategy of scientific and technological development within the entire Eurasian Economic Union.

The list of joint projects will be formed on the basis of proposals of the EAEU countries.  Currently, the Commission discusses the first proposals that correspond to the priority directions of the development of the agroindustrial complex. A list of R&Ds for the period up to 2020 has been defined for 14 priority topics, including various areas of crop production and livestock, aquaculture, veterinary, etc.

A disposition has been adopted to ensure the preparation and conduct of national population censuses in the EAEU countries. This will make it possible to bring together the census methodologies used, to ensure correct comparison of data, and to reveal trends in the development of the society and the state of the economies of the countries of the Union.

The next session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council will be held on August 14 in Astana (the Republic of Kazakhstan).