On March 7, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council held a session in Bishkek on key activities directions, attended by the heads of Government of the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The greatest attention was paid to the digital agenda, support for machine building, mutual trade status, assessment of the real sector industries and services with high integration potential.
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, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, and Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan.
Opening the session, the President of the Intergovernmental Council, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sooronbay Zheenbekov encouraged national governments of all the Union countries to focus on creating the conditions for business development in Eurasia. “The main aspects of the Union's activity should be issues such as signing of the Pension Agreement for workers and members of their families in the EAEU, adoption of the Strategy for the formation of the digital space, realization of industrial cooperation projects and initiatives, liberalization of the EAEU services market, and others. Today, the heads of governments tasked the EEC together with the national governments, in the shortest possible time, to prepare an action plan to implement the initiatives of the Chairman of the High Council - the President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev,” said Sooronbay Zheenbekov.
The Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan noted that the joint work of the EEC and the governments of the EAEU states on creation of common markets, development of mutual trade and finding opportunities for cooperation in all spheres allowed overcoming global challenges and threats. “In 2017, the key priorities of the Commission will be further digitization of the common economic space, development of industries with high integration potential, reducing barriers to business and creation of the conditions for the export of products originating in the countries of the Union to the markets of third countries. All of these activities will improve the competitiveness of our business, its technological competences and improve the investment climate in our countries,” said Tigran Sargsyan to the heads of government.
A working group under the EEC will be established to elaborate the main directions of the digital agenda of the EAEU until 2025, headed by the EEC Board Chairman Tigran Sargsyan. It will include Ministers responsible for implementation of this direction in each of the Union countries.
In the nearest future, the Member States will provide their suggestions to the EEC on priority directions and projects that will be implemented within the framework of the Common digital agenda of the EAEU.
Integration potential of the EAEU
Members of the Intergovernmental Council reviewed the results of the joint work of the Commission and the Union countries on definition of the economy sectors with high integration potential. The work was carried out on the instructions of the heads of state for the purpose of implementation of the main directions of the economic development of the Union.
About 300 commodities and services that can become drivers of integration were identified on the basis of several criteria, including the capacity for import substitution, increase in mutual trade and exports to third countries, formation of value chains, multiplier effect for the economy.
Industries with high multiplier effect can be mechanical engineering, metallurgy, chemistry and oil chemistry, transport and communications. “Technologies of the future” were singled out into a separate category with more than 100 positions, development of which is of particular importance for the Union countries. Those are information technologies, development of new materials, nano-and biotechnologies, innovation in the field of medicine and public health, energy-saving technologies, including development of “smart” grids, and some others.
Mutual trade among the EAEU countries: positive forecast
The Intergovernmental Council has considered the report prepared by the Commission on the status of the mutual trade between the Member States. It notes the restoration of the economic activity. In particular, the year of 2016 is characterized by the growth of the physical volume of mutual trade, improved dynamics of values and the structure of mutual trade, its increased share in foreign trade, as well as reduction in the volume of imports of goods from third countries. Last year, exports of goods from Armenia to the EAEU countries grew by 1.5 times, from Belarus - by 2.2%, from Kyrgyzstan - by.4%.
Support for mechanical engineering in the EAEU
The Intergovernmental Council took decision on realization of joint measures by the Member States on stimulating exports of tractors, combine harvesters, hinged mechanisms and other agricultural machinery originating in the EAEU to third countries markets. It was suggested that the countries develop mechanisms of export risks insurance and re-insurance, export financing programs, and encourage development of common service maintenance networks.
The Program of import substitution and organization of production in the Union countries of components for agricultural machinery (electronic components, engines, transmissions, hydraulic elements, bridges and others) will allow developing new technologies and enhance business competitiveness of the EAEU countries. The suggested measures include various forms of support for enterprises to upgrade the existing manufacturing facilities, in particular, equipment lease on favorable terms.
“Such decisions as organization of production of components for the agriculture will become a good example of practical measures of enhancing the effectiveness of the Eurasian integration. The Prime Ministers took decision on coordinated actions to enhance export capacities in mutual trade and in trade with third countries,” said Sooronbay Zheenbekov.
The next meeting of the Intergovernmental Council will be held in Kazan in May this year.