This proposal was made by Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, at the Third High-Level Forum on International Cooperation held as part of the Belt and Road Initiative taking place in Beijing (PRC) on October 18.
“The heads of all the EAEU states supported the idea of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to bring together the Eurasian integration and the Belt and Road Initiative,” pointed out Mikhail Myasnikovich in his speech at the High-Level Forum on Interconnectedness. “This is a wise and important decision made by the leaders of our countries. It marks the transition to a new paradigm of international economic relations. Transparency, equality and complementarity of integration mechanisms in the Eurasian region are the basic principles underlying this idea.”
In this regard, the Chairman of the EEC Board mentioned Aleksandr Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, to propose holding a joint Summit of the EAEU, SCO and BRICS to discuss key considerations for economic cooperation addressing China and other countries included in these international structures.
While updating the Forum participants on the practical work done to bring together the Eurasian integration and the Belt and Road Initiative, Mikhail Myasnikovich emphasized that, in pursuance of the decision made by the EAEU and Chinese leaders, the sides signed an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation. In February 2023, a road map was approved for the most promising areas of interaction. Such decisions, along with other ones, aid in addressing the issues associated with digitalization of transport corridors and switching to the electronic document exchange during freight rail transportation, which cuts travel time significantly. A sustained dialogue on the climate agenda, cooperation in the industrial sector and e-commerce is ongoing.
“The efforts made by the EAEU and PRC governments, as well as the Eurasian Economic Commission, brought about fairly positive results,” Mikhail Myasnikovich emphasized. “In 2015-2022, during the EAEU functioning, the trade turnover between the Eurasian Economic Union and the People’s Republic of China increased 2.8-fold, reaching 220 billion US dollars by now, which is a record in the entire history of relations between our countries.”
The EEC-developed Eurasian Agroexpress Project, which aims at creating comfortable conditions for the accelerated regular transportation of agricultural products and food from the EAEU countries to China, was presented at the Forum to attest to the effective work done in the Chinese direction. In the first year of its implementation, 18.5 thousand containers loaded with agricultural cargo were sent from Belarus and Russia to the PRC, which is more than 7.5% of all similar goods transported to China.
The Eurasian Economic Union has resources to keep deepening cooperation with the key trade and economic partner. In particular, the Commission proposes triggering joint projects in the field of transport and infrastructure development between the EAEU and China. The Union has created relevant facilities for this task. In August 2022, the heads of the EAEU governments approved seven priority projects in the field of transport, and the scope of work was determined. Mikhail Myasnikovich encouraged the Chinese partners to be more active, saying that Belarus and China have already implemented a number of large transportation projects as part of this initiative.
“We believe our joint efforts to result in a seamless transport connection in Eurasia. To this end, the Eurasian Economic Commission developed and presented the concept of a transportation and logistics mega project as part of interaction between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” said the Chairman of the EEC Board.
In his opinion, the holders of technologies and advanced knowledge in the Union countries and China should be more active at solving common problems. Mikhail Myasnikovich believes this topic to become key to implementing the Belt and Road Initiative.
For referenceThe Third High-Level Forum on International Cooperation held as part of the Belt and Road Initiative taking place in Beijing was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, President Indonesia Joko Widodo, Vietnam President Vo Van Thuong, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Thailand Settha Thaweesin, Prime Minister of Egypt Mustafa Madbouly, Acting Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwar ul-Haq Kakar, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as heads of states, governments, line ministries from more than 120 countries, and heads of international organizations.