The very first ‘Mongolia and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – 2017’ economic forum commenced on October 4, 2017 in Ulaanbaatar.
In frames of the Mongolia-Russian Cooperation-2017, the forum is being co-organized by the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI).
At the forum, sub-sessions were held under themes ‘Cooperation of investment, road and energy sectors between Mongolia and Eurasian Economic Union and its outlook’ and ‘Mongolia-EAEU: Cooperation on Technical Coordination, Health, Plants Quarantine and Veterinary Clinics and outlook’. Furthermore, the forum discussed cooperation in infrastructure, investment, technical coordination and health spheres.
Business people highlighted the need for facilitating non-tariff barriers more than tariff difficulties. In particular, the fact that customs organizations is not approving customs inspection results is causing more trade difficulties to business entities. Sides touched upon approving Mongolian customs inspection results to be allowed in Russia. Delegations agreed that if European Union (EU) and the EAEU approve other countries’ customs inspection, export difficulties will be removed.
Also, the Ministry of Mongolian Food, Agriculture and Light Industry products pay around 15-25 percent customs tax and 12-20 percent VAT. The officials informed that the forum is being held in order to reduce these taxes and exchange views on establishing free trade zone with EAEU. The EAEU started operation in January 2015 and now has Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia as its members.
It was informed at the forum that a research was conducted to study Mongolia’s interest in establishing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EAEU, and it will have a significant role in abolishing tariff and non-tariff barriers with the member countries of EAEU, expanding Mongolian traditional export products in the foreign market, increasing trade and service amount and attracting foreign investment.
On the side note, Russia was considered as Mongolia’s main trading partner that formed 80 per cent of foreign trade in 1980s.
In 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Mongolia and the EAEU for officially starting the cooperation.