_ Xinhua. Moscow, 4 June 2018.
China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) have put systems in place to expand ties, the head of the bloc’s regulatory body Tigran Sargsyan said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Sargsyan, chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, hailed the signing of an agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the two sides, saying that it is a very important step in strengthening trade and economic links between them.
“It creates a serious legal framework for the interaction of businesses and makes the environment in which they will operate predictable,” he said.
On May 17, China and the EAEU signed the agreement, the first major agreement ever reached between the two sides, which is expected to take effect as early as the beginning of 2019.
Established in 2015, the EAEU groups Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
“The agreement takes into account the basic principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is also important that the document contains mechanisms for expanding our interaction, and many of them are more advanced than those applied in the WTO,” Sargsyan said.
With increasing bilateral trade and complementary resources, the two sides are expected to further expand cooperation in the future, Sargsyan said.
To name a few, the EAEU boasts plenty of oil and gas production, while China enjoys fast economic growth and impressive scientific and technological progress.
In 2017, the trade turnover between the EAEU and China increased by 30 percent and amounted to more than 100 billion U.S. dollars, Sargsyan said.
“There are very good conditions for this dynamic to continue in the coming years … all five countries of the EAEU are interested in deepening and expanding trade and economic cooperation with China,” Sargsyan said.
The proper alignment of transport infrastructure and logistics holds serious potential, he said, adding that 40 specific projects in the sectors of rail transport, road transport and other types of transport are currently under discussion.
According to Sargsyan, a real financial mechanism is necessary to attract business to participate in these projects since everybody expects to generate “significant economic benefits.”
Sargsyan said he appreciates the “open heart and clear mind” of the Chinese leadership.
“China is distinguished by its self-confidence and a clear understanding of its strengths and weaknesses. Only full awareness of one’s own problems and the search for acceptable solutions creates a basis for open cooperation with other countries,” Sargsyan said.
China’s development is rooted in its cooperation with foreign partners on the basis of equality and mutual respect, he said.
“It is difficult to overestimate the role of China in the international arena … It proposes a positive international agenda in the interests of the world community,” Sargsyan said.