16.09.2022 (Обновлено: 26.09.2022 09:41)

EAEU and ASEAN: exchange of experience for qualitative development of integration processes

Issues of deepening interaction between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Association of South-East Asian Nations were discussed at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Summit held on September 16 in Siem Reap (the Kingdom of Cambodia). The EEC was represented by Goar Barseghyan, Director of Integration Development Department.

"Interaction with the ASEAN is one of the key directions of the large-scale agenda of the EAEU's international activities. Today, the two regions are offered great opportunities for increasing trade and investment," the EEC representative stated, noting the progressive development of cooperation between the Commission and the ASEAN Secretariat.

For example, the dialogue infrastructure has been created on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding between the EEC and the ASEAN in the field of economic cooperation dated 2018 and the Cooperation Program valid until 2025.

"Developing the EAEU integration, we take heed of the best practices of other integration structures, but along with that we are ready to share our best practices. There is an objective request therefor, and the EEC is extremely transparent in this matter," Goar Barseghyan stressed.

The Director of the Integration Development Department proposed to organize a joint seminar on digital transformation, which would enable the two associations to exchange experience and present their best practices in this field. This initiative was positively received by the partners.

Other directions for deepening the dialogue include assistance in developing trade and economic relations between the EAEU and the ASEAN States using platforms of these integration structures, as well as joint participation in events held at the venues of international organizations to promote economic projects and initiatives.

Goar Barseghyan has noted that the development of bilateral cooperation is integral to strengthening ties between the EAEU and the ASEAN. "The EEC has efficiently formalized its dialogue with Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore. This work was good for trade between the EAEU and the countries we have established economic relations with," Goar Barseghyan said, stressing the EEC's readiness to further extend cooperation both with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Governments of other ASEAN members, including as part of new regional economic initiatives.

The final consultation document noted the importance of continuing the dialogue between integration structures in Eurasia as one of the constituent elements of forming the Greater Eurasian Partnership through business forums and other joint events to intensify and deepen cooperation in trade, investment, information support and other fields.

On the event's sidelines, Goar Barseghyan held working meetings with the officials of the ASEAN Secretariat, as well as the consultation attendees from the ASEAN participating countries (Cambodia, Thailand, and Philippines).

For reference

Trade and economic interaction between the EAEU and the ASEAN Member States is one of the priorities enshrined in the Main Directions of the Union's International Activities for 2022 (approved annually by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council). Its trends are very positive. For example, the trade turnover between the EAEU and the ASEAN States increased in 2021 to a record level for the entire period of the EAEU existence - 23.9 bln US dollars (by 35%). The Union's exports grew to 10.2 bln US dollars (by 54%), and imports increased to 13.7 bln US dollars (by 23%). Each of the EAEU States is engaged in trading with the ASEAN States, but the trade volumes are unevenly distributed: Russia accounts for about 90% of the trade turnover. However, the trade between other Union Member States and the ASEAN countries increase: the trade turnover of Armenia and Belarus increased by 19% during the period from 2015 to 2021, the trade turnover of Kazakhstan has doubled over the past 3 years, and the trade turnover of Kyrgyzstan has increased 1.5 times over the same period. If the EAEU trade statistics treated the ASEAN as a single trading partner, then the association would take the 11th place in terms of the trade turnover as of year-end 2021, which is about the same as the trade turnover between the Union and Japan or India.