06.07.2022 (Обновлено: 22.07.2022 11:10)

EAEU countries develop mechanisms to promote industrial cooperation

The issue of developing mechanisms to promote industrial cooperation was the key topic at the meeting of the Industrial Policy Council of the Eurasian Economic Union held on the sidelines of the International Exhibition "Innoprom-2022" in Yekaterinburg.
According to Artak Kamalyan, Minister in charge of Industry and Agriculture of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the lack of preferential financing mechanisms is one of the major challenges in implementing the Union’s integration projects. Representatives of the Union’s business community, including the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, raised this concern as well.

In this regard, the EEC has proposed possible mechanisms for reducing the cost of financing cooperative projects through more active involvement of the EDB in this process, as well as complex attraction of financial resources from other banks and funds. The Industrial Development Fund, VEB, as well as other financial institutions can be counterparties.

Besides, it would make sense to improve the procedures for interaction between the Commission and the EDB. The transparency of the EDB's work and the project selection criteria should be corrected. Nowadays, the criteria have generalized character; they have no clear evaluation (including financial parameters) component, and therefore cannot guarantee long-term benefits of cooperative projects and the attractiveness of borrowing conditions.

Furthermore, the possibilities of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) are not actively used now, the practice of which has shown that sometimes the Fund exploits investment lending opportunities to finance industrial cooperation projects.

"Realizing the increased importance of developing industrial cooperation in the current economic environment, we call upon for making active use of subsidizing instruments, and attracting funds from various financial institutions. Besides, the work of such specialized institutions as the EDB and the EFSD should be improved", Artak Kamalyan noted.

The Commission's financing initiatives will be discussed at the EEC Council’s meeting on July 15 in Vitebsk. In August, they will be considered by the Prime Ministers of the Member States.

When it comes to the budget financing of the Union's programs, the Minister noted that the Union’s space program had already been approved in accordance with the Regulation on establishing and financing interstate programs adopted by the EIC in February 2018. Programs on distributed power generation and supercomputers are in the works.
"It must be admitted that at present none of the programs has full resource support", Artak Kamalyan noted. "And we have to tackle this issue as well".
  At the same time, Artak Kamalyan stressed the importance of forming a list of specific integration projects meeting the real needs of the EAEU countries’ citizens.
"The idea of end-to-end cooperation in mechanical engineering proposed by the Republic of Belarus can provide a blueprint, and creating the Union’s e-transport is one of the first examples of such projects. Innovative modern transportation which our citizens will use every day will be the best proof of the Union’s stable and successful development in the new environment", the Minister is convinced"

Furthermore, Artak Kamalyan informed on non-financial measures to promote industrial cooperation development. In particular, it is proposed to discuss the possibility at the Union’s level of formalizing a provision that would encourage the use of goods manufactured in the EAEU States and prioritize the Eurasian goods over imported ones.

"Such an approach will enable saturating the market with the Eurasian goods, as well as promoting the access of goods manufacturers from some Member States to the production chains of others, which is relevant to all Union countries", Artak Kamalyan stressed.

After discussing at the EEC’s venue, this issue will be submitted to the Commission on cooperation and import substitution in priority and high-tech Industries within the EAEU for consideration.

Another subject in the Minister's speech was the Eurasian interests in the field of state support for manufacturing industry.

In particular, it is proposed to elaborate a supranational document that will specify common growth spurts in national industrial policies. The Eurasian interests primarily include encouraging the involvement of industrial enterprises in forming the Eurasian value chains, assistance in promoting goods to foreign markets, promoting innovative activities of enterprises, increasing the investment attractiveness of the manufacturing industry, developing small and medium businesses, developing green technologies, as well as promoting digital transformation in the manufacturing industry.

The document will enable ensuring a single strategy vector and uniformity in implementing common industrial interests of the Union countries, as well as providing additional information to the sides about the system of state support for the manufacturing industry in the Member States. The initiative will be discussed at the EEC’s venue as well.

Signing of an Agreement on creating the Eurasian Technological Platform "Civil Aviation" has become one of the significant results of the ministerial meeting. The document was signed by ANO "Competence Center for Industrial Development" (the Ulyanovsk Region, the Russian Federation), Aircraft Repair Plant No. 558 ( Baranovichi, the Republic of Belarus) and Kazakhstan Aviation Industry, LLP ( Nur-Sultan, the Republic of Kazakhstan).

"The Eurasian Technological Platform will join efforts of the sector-specific universities and research institutes, industrial enterprises, associations, competent public authorities and development institutions coordinated by the Eurasian Economic Commission", Artak Kamalyan stated. “In February of this year, the Prime Ministers of our countries approved a roadmap for extending industrial cooperation in the EAEU Member States’ civil aviation for 2022-2023. Signing the Agreement on creating the ETP was another step towards its implementation".

For reference

The Industrial Policy Council is a subsidiary body of the Eurasian Economic Union established by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council’s decision on May 29, 2019 to ensure efficient interaction between the EAEU Member States on implementing a coordinated industrial policy, working out strategies and directions for developing the Union’s industrial complex, as well as deepening the Eurasian economic integration.

The Council’s meetings are attended by the Union countries’ Ministers of Industry and Artak Kamalyan, EEC Minister in charge of Industry and Agriculture. The Kyrgyz Republic is going to chair the Industrial Policy Council in 2022.

In 2021, the EAEU manufacturing industry demonstrated heady growth rates of industrial production, recovering from the recession caused by the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Industrial production as a whole increased by 5% compared to the previous year. The industrial production growth was registered in all Union countries. Along with that, most of machine-building industries are far ahead in ramping up production. The largest positive gain in production was demonstrated by: manufacture of machinery and equipment (14% growth), automobile manufacturing (14% growth), furniture industry (11% growth) and pharmaceuticals (11% growth).