_ Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). Moscow, 22 November 2018.
We must focus on global integration projects that would create Eurasian brands and help promoting our goods at the third countries’ markets.
Over the years of its existence the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has proved its solidity and efficiency notwithstanding its young age. Next year, the EAEU countries will celebrate the fifth anniversary of signing the Treaty on the Union.
The EEC observes the increase in mutual trade, improvement of its structure, and strengthening of cooperation ties. This shows that implementing main principles enshrined in the Union’s treaty has positive results for the Union’s economic growth. The Commission assesses the potential of this effect as about 1% of Gross National Product’s annual growth.
A solid achievement of the EAEU is the third countries’ increasing interest in developing and deepening trade and economic cooperation with the Union. This proves that the EAEU has established itself as a genuine integration association.
Recently, the EEC has entered into a number of memoranda in Singapore: a memorandum of understanding with the ASEAN and a memorandum of cooperation with the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand. The Commission expects to sign a similar document with MERCOSUR. In May 2018, trade and economic agreements with China and Iran were concluded. The work is ongoing on international tracks approved by the Heads of the EAEU States in order to create free trade areas with Egypt, India, Israel, Singapore, and Serbia. Five rounds of negotiations with Singapore were held. Tigran Sargsyan expressed his hope that in 2019 it would be possible to enter the home stretch on the issue of creating an FTA with the Republic.
Concluding FTA agreements with these countries is a serious potential for inducing economic growth in our States, and ramping up exports to these countries’ markets. It also means the possibility of additional investment attraction.
We look at problems to be solved with a view to promote Eurasian integration. In my opinion, they are related to “under-integration” within the Union’s space. There are obstacles inhibiting the implementation of the “Four Freedoms” principle, and these must be removed. This is exactly the task the Heads of the Member States set for the EEC.
Obstacles result from uncoordinated actions. Therefore, the States must pursue agreed policies. Such trends in global economy as protectionism, protection of domestic manufacturers, trade wars are unacceptable in our Union.
These agreed policies are underlain by harmonization of national legislations, in particular, in financial sphere. Upon instruction of the Presidents, national and central banks of the participating countries are developing the Concept of the EAEU common financial market.
We have the necessity to form Eurasian brands similar to “Airbus” project in the European Union. We need to launch such large-scale cooperation projects with the participation of all the partners within the Union, which would enable us to hold ourselves out as a united entity in relation to third countries.
The Commission is actively working over creation of a Eurasian brand in jewelry branch, as the Union countries have relative advantages in this field. The work is under way on forming a Eurasian brand in lighting engineering. The EAEU Digital Agenda is being implemented, which encompasses all the areas of activity of the participating countries. About 30 initiatives – major digital projects – are now being examined by the EEC Digital Office, some of them to win funding in 2019.