Analysis of EAEU – China Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation

_ Maria Shilina, analyst, Eurasian Studies; PhD candidate, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”. Moscow, 26 January 2019.

The specific feature of the modern international legal system is that trade agreements that have been concluded earlier mainly between individual states give way to agreements between larger subjects of international law. The Agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and China is one of such agreements. The agreement sets a high regulation standard in various spheres of international economic relations and makes it possible to improve the access of domestic goods for the Chinese market by simplifying trade procedures and increasing the transparency level. The document could become an effective basis for the Greater Eurasia concept practical construction.

Introduction:

The structure of international relations becomes more complex due to the increasing regionalization and globalization processes. Under these circumstances, the role of the international legal acts as instruments regulating trade and economic international relations is increasing. Trade and economic agreements is becoming the important regulation tool. The specific feature of modern international legal system is that this type of agreements that have been concluded earlier mainly between individual states give way to agreements between larger subjects of international law.

The formation of legal links between the states and other international entities such as international organizations is seen as an important basis for the efficient cooperation between them. Thereby the existence of modern international agreements and legal documents containing joint economic development agenda increases the level of economic integration.

The trend is applied to the current situation taking place in Eurasia. The process of concluding trade agreements between the integration association – the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) – on the one hand, and its partner countries on the other is rapidly proceeding. Building the relations between the EAEU and its external partners is seen as a significant stage in the economic integration formation in Eurasia and in the regulation of international economic relations between the states of the continent. Currently, the Union has three institutional formats for establishing relations with them. The main format is agreements on the free trade areas (FTAs); the second format is non-preferential trade agreements; the third – the cooperation memoranda. The modern geopolitical strategy of the Union member states reflects the necessity to create a non-Western geopolitical partnership (Hejfec, 2016). In this regard, the eastern vector of building the network of such links is developing. Vietnam became the first EAEU partner; an agreement was signed in May 2015. Later, in May 2018, an interim agreement was signed between the EAEU and Iran. Today the EAEU is negotiating with Israel, India and Singapore.

The establishment of the economic ties and the modernization of the legal regulation of international economic relations between the EAEU and China are crucial for the Eurasian continent economic development (Kaczmarski, 2015). Today the strategic partnership between them is strengthening. The finalization and signing in May 2018 of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and China[1] creates an international basis that unifies and consolidates their economic interaction legal foundations for the first time. The EAEU and China have been negotiating on the agreement within the last two years. Negotiations were conducted on the basis of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council decision of May 8, 2015[2]. The representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the Union states national governments, as well as experts and Chinese official representatives took part in the negotiations[3].

The general character of the agreement has its own peculiarities due to the international legal essence of the Parties, but nonetheless it corresponds to the features of the international acts of this kind. The agreement has a non-preferential nature (Bhagwati, ‎ Panagariya, 1996; Jayasuriya, MacLaren, 2009) and does not provide the automatic reduction of non-tariff barriers. Nevertheless, this international document opens new opportunities for the Union states economic entities[4], as it provides interaction mechanisms in various regulation areas. This allows maximum consideration of the Union interests as a whole and the interests of each state separately, as well as business interests. The agreement focuses on the regulation transparency and predictability at the national and supranational levels.

Agreement Provision Analysis

International economic relations in Eurasia are regulated by international law at the regional and the global level. The global international trade regulation issues have been studied to a great extent in the international law science (Boguslavskij, 1986; Chernichenko, 2014; Kapustin, 2010; Karro., Zhyujar, 2002; Vel’yaminov, 2015). In contrast to this, the recent works on the regional integration legal problems and the controlling legal instruments issues show that the phenomena is currently is the subject of discussions (Shumilov, 2011). Thus, the legal basis for regional economic ties between states and other international entities, despite the fact that these ties are playing an increasingly important role in the modern economic relations development, due to their rapid formation, requires timely analysis.

The Agreement on trade and economic cooperation between the EAEU and China, which was signed at the Astana Economic Forum, is a regional bilateral international trade agreement covering specific areas of economic interaction. The agreement structure reflects the main international economic relations regulation issues. It is consolidating those areas through which it is possible to promote the entry into the Chinese market without tariff reduction. The analysis of this international document is deemed actual and necessary for determining the effects of its signing and options for further continental economic cooperation development. In particular, the study of the document is significant for determining prospects of the EAEU and the Chinese initiative “One Belt – One Road” conjunction. The document provisions are examined in the article on the basis of analytical method, a comparative legal method, legal modeling and forecasting methods.

The agreement provisions show the key interaction line between the EAEU and China for the long term[5]. The Parties determine the objective of the Agreement: establishing a basis for further development of economic relations between them by ensuring cooperation in the fields covered by this Agreement and facilitating communications. This purpose is established in Chapter 1 “General Provisions” which contains general definitions, geographical applicability issues, types of applied treatments and regimes, consultations issues, and exceptions.

The entry into force of the EAEU-China agreement as well as any other international act is accompanied by questions of its correlation with existing international regulation instruments. The issues of relation to other agreements are resolved separately in the Article 1.4 of the studied document. According to the Article, the Parties confirm their rights and obligations with respect to each other under the World Trade Organization Agreement (WTO)[6], as well as bilateral agreements to which an EAEU member state and China are parties. It is stipulated that in the event of a divergence between a provision of this Agreement and a provision of the WTO Agreement, the provision of the WTO Agreement shall prevail to the extent of the divergence, and the Parties shall immediately hold consultations with a view to reach a mutually acceptable solution. It should be noted that, WTO rules are also applicable for the Republic of Belarus, which is not the WTO member. The attention should paid to the fact that that there are about 60 WTO agreements and decisions totalling 550 pages. Through these agreements, WTO members operate a non-discriminatory trading system that spells out their rights and their obligations. Each state receives guarantees that its exports will be treated fairly and consistently in other states’ markets and the same is stated for imports (Appleton, Plummer, 2007; Stoll, Schorkopf, 2006).

The relation of the Agreement to other bilateral international acts of the Parties is also given in the Article 1.4. Thus, in case a bilateral agreement, to which an EAEU member state and China are parties, provides for treatment more favorable than the one provided for in this Agreement, the provision of such more favorable treatment shall prevail. Therefore, the incorporation of this Article into the Agreement partly solves the problem of international economic law fragmentation (Hafner, 2000; Koskenniemi, 2007; Broude, Yuval, 2011), setting the priority of global regulation over the regional one. In recent years the problems of fragmentation has intensified with the emergence of a large number of legal regimes in the Eurasian space and the inclusion of this provision greatly simplifies the practical application of the Agreement.

In addition to this Article, the Agreement has a significant number of references to the WTO rules. The Article 1.6 defining the most-favored-nation treatment, states that the Article I of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994[7] and its interpretative notes, as well as any exception, exemption and waiver to the obligation to grant treatment set out in Article I of GATT 1994 applicable under the WTO Agreement are incorporated into this Agreement. Provisions of the same kind are stated in the Article 1.7 «National Treatment» and the Article 1.8 «Fees and Formalities Connected with Importation and Exportation».

A high value in the Agreement is made on the development of openness and transparency in decision-making, which affect the trade of the Parties. A separate chapter of the Agreement (Chapter 2) deals with transparency issues. General idea of the transparency is what it is a principle stipulating that a country’s policies and regulations affecting foreign trade should be clearly communicated to its trading partners. The Article 2.1 defines the purpose this Chapter – to establish effective mechanisms and disciplines related to publication and administration of measures of general application pertaining to the matters covered by this Agreement. According to the Article, each Party shall ensure, in accordance with its relevant laws and regulations, timely publication or other public availability for free access, including in the electronic form, of its measures of general application, including information on amendments and international agreements entering into force after the date of entry into force of this Agreement, on all matters covered by this Agreement.

In Chapter 2 also marked the need for aspiration to notify the other Party about information on a measure that, in the opinion of the first Party, can significantly affect the Agreement application. It is also noted that information in the electronic form, where feasible, shall be made available on official publicly accessible websites of responsible bodies, with reference to a body responsible for application and enforcement of such measure. Interested persons shall be provided with non-discriminatory access to information on such measures. The established information exchange, openness and transparency of the procedures are seen as significant positive features of the studied international act. In our opinion, from the practical point of view, it would be optimal to create the web-page (in Russian, English and Chinese) for the convenience of informing the EAEU member states and China entrepreneurs about the opportunities provided by the Agreement.

Trade protection measures are discussed in Chapter 3. The Article 3.1 defines the types of trade remedies: dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures. These remedies are clearly described in the Chapter, and are applied in accordance with the provisions of the Article VI and Article XIX of GATT I 1994, the Anti-Dumping Agreement, the SCM Agreement (Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures) and the Agreement on Safeguards, respectively.

The technical regulation issues are set in Chapter 4 «Technical barriers to trade». Here the Parties have noted the importance of the TBT Agreement[8] incorporation, which shall apply between the Parties and is a part of this Agreement. The TBT Agreement aims to ensure that the technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. At the same time, it recognizes WTO members’ right to implement measures to achieve legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human health and safety, or the protection of the environment. The TBT Agreement strongly encourages members to base their measures on international standards as means to facilitate trade and aims to create a predictable trading environment through its transparency provisions.

On the basis of the provisions contained in this Chapter, the Parties strive to achieve a wide range of objectives (Article 4.1): facilitate trade in goods by preventing and eliminating unnecessary barriers to trade, which may arise as a result of the preparation, adoption and application of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; strengthen cooperation, including information exchange in relation to the preparation, adoption and application of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; promote mutual understanding of each Party’s standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; strengthen cooperation in the work of international bodies related to standardization, accreditation and conformity assessment; effectively solve the problems arising from trade between the Parties.

These goals are expected to be achieved through the information exchange and cooperation (on standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures). The list of cooperation types is open (not limited). Such cooperation should be based on mutually agreed terms and may include the following activities: joint seminars for enhancing mutual understanding of standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; exchange of officials for training purposes; exchange of information on market surveillance activities related to products of mutual interest; cooperation in scientific and technical areas with an aim to improve the quality of technical regulations; comparison studies on each other’s technical regulations and standards; enhancement of cooperation in areas of mutual interest in the work of relevant international bodies related to the development and application of standards and conformity assessment procedures; strengthening of communication and cooperation in order to enhance coordination in the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade of the WTO; encouragement of the bodies responsible for standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.

The attention should be paid to the desire of the Parties to implement international regulations and standards. Thus, the Parties assume a gradual approximation of their standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures. The mechanisms through which it is intended to achieve this aspiration are highlighted in the Article 4.6. These include, among others, the use of adopted international instruments in these areas, including those developed within the framework of the WTO TBT Committee, and strengthening the national standards harmonization with relevant international standards, unless it is unreasonable or ineffective.

Technical consultations and information exchange are also expected in addition to the cooperation types. It is determined that the Party responds to the other Party request within a reasonable period of time, which, as a rule, should not exceed 60 days. The coordination on the use of the Chapter is supposed to be carried out by creating contact points.

Chapter 5 deals with sanitary and phytosanitary measures that may directly or indirectly affect the trade in goods between the Parties. The sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) measures can take many forms such as requiring products to come from a disease-free area, inspection of products, specific treatment or processing of products, setting of allowable maximum levels of pesticide residues. These measures may result in restrictions on trade.

The sanitary and phytosanitary measures regulatory issues are well and clearly resolved at the global level. Thus, the incorporation of the SPS Agreement[9] (Agreement on the application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures in Annex 1A to the WTO Agreement) is seen reasonable. The SPS Agreement concerns the application of food safety and animal and plant health regulations. It allows countries to set their own standards but also says regulations must be based on science. The measures should be applied only to the extent necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health and they should not arbitrarily or unjustifiably discriminate between countries where identical or similar conditions prevail. In this area, according to the Chapter, it is also planned to exchange information, cooperate (the list of types is also open); conduct technical consultations, and create contact points.

Chapter 6 “Customs cooperation and trade facilitation” applies to customs operations and other customs regulation issues relating to trade in goods with objectives: customs operations simplification; the trade procedures facilitation; enhance transparency and predictability of customs operations and promote customs cooperation. It should be noted that customs cooperation, in particular, includes the information and communication technologies use (Article 6.14), and declarants are given the opportunity to declare goods in electronic form.

The idea of trade facilitation between the Parties is embodied in the EAEU-China Agreement in the “single-window” system format. The most commonly accepted definition of the phenomena was provided in the UNECE Recommendation No. 33[10]. It describes the system as “a facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardized information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements”. The implementation of such system enables international traders to submit regulatory documents – customs declarations, applications for import/export permits, and other supporting documents such as certificates of origin and trading invoices – at a single entity. The single window system helps to facilitate the exchange of trade relevant information between traders and government agencies, and amongst government agencies.

Article 6.15 of the Agreement contains provisions on the application of the “single window” mechanism in accordance with international standards and best practices for the facilitation of trade procedures and the customs technologies modernization. The information interaction between the national “single window” mechanisms should be based on the use of technical infrastructure of the Integrated Information System of the EAEU and the infrastructure of the platform of Central Electronic Port of China. The setting provisions on the “single window” system, customs brokerage institutions and authorized economic operators in the Agreement is deemed significant for strengthening modern economic cooperation between the EAEU and China.

Currently, the ideas and knowledge are becoming the increasingly important parts of trade. Many products that used to be traded as low-technology goods may contain a higher proportion of invention and design in their value. Chapter 7 of the Agreement is resolving the intellectual property protection problems. The Chapter contains general provisions on the treatments provided, means of protection and others. Here again the reference to the WTO law is given (Article 7.3). Thus, the Parties that are parties to the TRIPS Agreement (the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights in Annex 1C to the WTO Agreement) confirm their obligations under the TRIPS Agreement. It is also noted that the Parties that are not parties to the TRIPS Agreement follow the principles of the TRIPS Agreement. The TRIPS Agreement respects states’ own legal systems, and each Party can decide how to protect intellectual property and implement the agreement’s provisions so long as they meet the TRIPS Agreement’s minimum standards. The Article states that the Parties confirm their obligations established in existing international agreements to which they are parties. The list of existing international treaties in the field of intellectual property is also given.

Competition law is considered as a tool to stimulate economic growth in developing countries, including the EAEU states and China. Taking into account the importance of fair competition in trade relations, the Parties of the Agreement recognize that proscribing anti-competitive practices, implementing competition policies and cooperating will contribute to economic efficiency, proper functioning of markets and sustainable economic development. The Parties undertook to take the necessary measures in accordance with their laws and other regulatory legal acts in order to prevent and proscribe anticompetitive practices that affect trade and investment cooperation. This statement and others are specified in Chapter 8, which contains general provisions on competition. The Chapter, in particular, sets the provision on interdependence of competition law enforcement, according to which this Chapter should not intervene with the independence of each Party in enforcing its respective competition.

According to the Article 8.4 the Parties agreed on the list of the anticompetitive practices. The list includes anticompetitive agreements and concerned practices between enterprises which have the prevention, restriction or elimination of competition; abuse of a dominant position; or unfair competition as their object or effect.

It is need to be mentioned that, in order to foster understanding on competition issues, the Parties have included a provision on consultations in this area. The Party may request consultations, and submit request to the other Party’s contact point (Article 8.6). Such consultations shall be without prejudice to the rights of each Party to enforce its respective laws and regulations.

The Parties of the Agreement also recognize the importance of public procurement for their respective economies and, in order to increase transparency, agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of the exchange of information on relevant laws and regulations, on electronic procurement and experience exchange. Measures in this direction are specified in Chapter 9 “Government Procurement”. The Parties shall publish on the Internet (the web-sites of each EAEU state and China are given in the Article 9.2) their respective laws and regulations, administrative rulings of general application and information on government procurement tenders in accordance with their respective laws and regulations (notices of procurement bid, results of tenders etc.).

E-commerce was not left out of the Agreement (Chapter 11 “Electronic Commerce”). The Parties consider it necessary to promote its development, taking into account the importance of cooperation and avoiding unnecessary barriers. The Parties recognize the dynamic and innovative nature of electronic commerce, which positively influences the growth of mutual trade and provides benefits to all participants in trade. Recognizing the global nature of e-commerce, the Parties agreed to endeavor to exchange information and experience on laws and regulations, enforcement, and also array cooperation between competent authorizes (including: personal information protection; consumer protection; unsolicited commercial electronic messages; and electronic authentication); encourage the development and use of technologies that facilitate e-commerce; encourage the private sector to adopt self-regulation; interact to develop approaches on collection of statistical information on e-commerce and its use in scientific research; and organize seminars and expert-dialogue between public authorities and private sector representatives. It is significant, that the Parties shall consider the possibility to establish the Sub-Committee on e-commerce. Thus, in the digital economy era, good conditions will be created for the future trade between China and the members of the EAEU.

A Chapter on investment is absent in the investigated act. Nevertheless, the Agreement introduces Chapter 10 – sectoral cooperation. Article 10.1 states that the objectives here are to increase the investment attractiveness and competitiveness of the economies, and to promote innovation sustainable development and cooperation in trade and investment. It should be noted that the Parties develop sectoral cooperation taking into account their strategies and development programs of various sectors of economy without prejudice to existing or planned bilateral cooperation initiatives of the EAEU member states and China.

The spheres of sectoral cooperation are provided in the Article 10.2. It includes the spheres of agriculture, energy, transport, industrial cooperation, information and communication infrastructure, technology and innovation, finance and the environment. The list of cooperation areas of the Parties is also given and includes:

  • attraction of investments into the development and modernization of industrial, transport-logistic, agricultural and other infrastructure facilities in order to develop joint production of high-tech, innovative, export-oriented products;
  • promotion of creation and development of effective mechanisms for interaction in the field of research and development, as well as in the field of innovation related to industrial and innovative infrastructure;
  • transfer of advanced technologies and innovations;
  • development and use of information and communication infrastructure;
  • development of transport corridors;
  • support of cooperation between financial regulators; and
  • promotion of cooperation in the field of environmental protection.

Cooperation in these areas is based on the principles of equality and accountability of national interests, mutual benefit, fair competition, non-discrimination and transparency. As for the last area –

cooperation in the field of environmental protection – note that the act does not contain specific norms on environmental standards. In our opinion, cooperation in the field of environmental safety is seen as a promising cooperation area, and this issue may need to be resolved in the formation of new amendments to the Agreement with China.

In general, with regard to these areas, the attention should be paid to the fact that the mechanism for selecting priority cooperation areas existing within the framework of the EAEU does not allow to take into account the multidirectional interests of each of the Union countries. This situation increases the likelihood of the trade and economic relations transition to a bilateral format.

The EAEU-China Agreement also distinguishes the cooperation forms through: information exchange and consultation, as well as information support of the business; joint forums for the discussion of issues related to sectoral cooperation, joint exhibitions and trade fairs, international seminars and scientific conferences; exchange of experience on issues related to the implementation of economic reforms and structural adjustments of the economy, incentives for innovation and industrial development; development of joint proposals to counteract to the consequences of global economic crises; interaction related to the attraction of resources of international and national financial institutions for issues of mutual interest; promotion dialogue and communication between business; and exchange of experience in training of experts and specialists. Summarizing, these cooperation forms are aimed at developing administrative cooperation between the bodies of the Parties and stimulating information exchange.

The Agreement has weak and strong features. The weakness of the Agreements is that the document does not imply significant measures to create attractive conditions for increasing mutual investment in the framework of the EAEU and the Silk Road Economic Belt Project (SREB) conjunction. The processes of this conjunction practical implementation and the Greater Eurasia concept formation is being actively discussed in expert and governmental circles (Lukin, 2014). Instead, the Chapters on “Competition”, “Government Procurement” and “Sectoral Cooperation” of the Agreement discussed above assume only the exchange of information and consultations within the framework of the working groups. The Article 10.4 states that the Parties may consider, within the framework of the Joint Commission, the establishment of such sub-committees or ad hoc working groups. It is expected that these joint international bodies can elaborate and adopt plans and initiatives for cooperation in relevant sectors or propose those for the consideration of the Joint Commission.

In our opinion, , the adoption of a common interstate “roadmap” for the EAEU and SREB joint development is seen relevant for the effective Agreement operation. The proposed document is also significant for the further practical construction of the interaction based on the Greater Eurasia concept (Karaganov, 2015; Diesen, 2017; Yefremenko, 2017). This “roadmap” could presume policy coordination and could best be developed within the framework of one of the working groups created on the basis of the Agreement provisions. Thus, systematic coherent activities could be pursued to develop cooperation in selected areas.

The advantage of the Agreement is the consolidation of clear institutional provisions that can effectively promote its practical implementation. Chapter 12 is specifically resolving this issue. The establishment of a Joint Commission under the chairmanship of two representatives: one from the EAEU and the EAEU Member States, represented by a member of the Board of the EEC, the other from the Government of China, presented at the Ministerial level or its authorized representatives is presupposes in the Article 12.1. The parties will be represented by senior officials nominated for this purpose. The functions of this Commission will include: consideration of any matter covered by the Agreement; consideration of any other issue related to the Agreement, as the Parties may mutually agree; control and supervision over the work of sub-committees; consideration of any proposal submitted by sub-committees to amend the Agreement with a view to making recommendations to the Parties; study opportunities and explore possibilities for further development and expansion of trade; and the establishment of a procedure allowing for consultations and amicable solutions. Also, the Commission will be able to seek the experts’ opinion in cases where it can facilitate the performance of its functions; seek to resolve any issues related to the Agreement implementation and operation, which were referred to it; and take other actions to fulfill its functions with the consent of the Parties.

The Joint Commission shall adopt recommendations on any matter within its functions and decisions on matters covered by the rules of procedure. Decisions, recommendations and other actions of the Joint Commission are taken by consensus. It should be noted that consensus as the international legal principle of cooperation between states has specific positive qualities. For example, such positive quality as the decision-making on the basis of a reasonable combination of interests of all participants is determined in international law science. The practice of applying the consensus is also valid and it testifies that the legal force of the decisions taking by this method is equal to the legal force of the decisions that have been taken by voting (Blishchenko, Abashidze, 2013).The rules of procedure of the Joint Commission are set out in the Annex to the Agreement. According to the Annex, the Joint Commission holds meetings at least on an annual basis in one of the EAEU member states and China alternately. Other sessions may be conveyed at the request of one of either Party by mutual consent.

The agreement introduces the concept of contact points which are responsible for communication with the other Party and the Joint Commission. The appointment of such contact points is also intended to facilitate implementation of the Agreement. According to the paragraph 13 of the Annex, the notification from the Government of China of the designation of its contact points shall be conveyed to the EEC, and the notification from the EAEU and the EAEU Member States on the designation of their contact points shall be conveyed to the Government of China by the EEC.

The analysis of the Agreement between the EAEU and China shows that it is quite a framework agreement. The cooperation results of the Agreement on trade facilitation and deepening economic cooperation depends on the practices of the established institutes and bodies. The effectiveness will depend on the consistent work and terms of reference of the advisory committees and working groups and on the will of the leaders of China and the EAEU states.

In accordance to the Article 13.3 (Chapter 13 “Final Provisions“), the document shall enter into force on the 60th day following the date of receipt of the last written notification certifying that the EAEU, the EAEU Member States and China have completed their respective legal procedures necessary for entry into force of the Agreement. The exchange of such notifications will take place between the EEC and China. It is expected that the Agreement will enter into force in 2019.

Conclusion

On the basis of the Agreement provisions analysis, its main characteristics and features could be distinguished. The Agreement is aimed at the formation of a legal basis between the EAEU and China on the matters within the competence of the Union. It defines trade rules based on the WTO law. The Act sets the legal framework for developing cooperation in such areas as trade protection measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers on trade, electronic commerce, intellectual property, public procurement, competition, sectoral cooperation. It is important that, thus, the Agreement determine ways of the interaction in the main sectors which give stability to the economic interaction model.

The Agreement is non-preferential and does not imply an automatic reduction of tariff barriers between the Parties and does not create a free trade area. Nevertheless, based on the trade facilitation rules existing in it, it will to some extent improve the conditions for the access of goods to the Chinese market.

The Agreement is aimed at eliminating non-tariff barriers in trade, but does not establish strict obligations. It only determines the mechanism of cooperation through the establishment of various advisory committees and working groups. From the institutional view, the Agreement presupposes the creation of a joint body at the ministerial level, determines the interaction order between the common bodies of the Parties, expands the basis for the using electronic documents. Special emphasis in the document is done on the transparency mechanism.

The signing of the Agreement between China and the EAEU is a significant step in the processes of regional economic integration in Eurasia, in the EAEU and the Chinese initiative “One Belt-One Road” conjunction. The Act defines the long-term prospects for the EAEU and China interaction, and will contribute to an increase of economic interconnection between them. The document embodies the common EAEU and China intention to jointly build trade and economic partnership relations, characterized by openness, mutual trust, and cooperation to achieve common benefits. Thus, a solid foundation for continental cooperation and further practical shaping of the concept of Greater Eurasia is laid.

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Notes:

[1] Agreement on Economic and Trade Cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and the People’s Republic of China ​, 2018 // URL:   http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/act/trade/dotp/Pages.aspx

[2] Zasedaniya Vysshego Evrazijskogo ehkonomicheskogo soveta. Dos’e // URL:  http://tass.ru/info/5197087

[3] EAEHS i Kitaj podpisali soglashenie o torgovo-ehkonomicheskom sotrudnichestve // URL:  http://tass.ru/ekonomika/5208022 (in Russian)

[4] Podpisano Soglashenie o torgovo-ehkonomicheskom sotrudnichestve mezhdu EAEHS i KNR // URL:  http://www.eurasiancommission.org/ru/nae/news/Pages/17-05-2018-5.aspx (in Russian)

[5] Evrazijskaya Panorama. №2, May 2018. – M.: NRU HSE. 16 // URL: http://eurasian-studies.org/archives/8285 (in Russian)

[6] Marrakech Agreement on the Establishment of the World Trade Organization (Marrakech, April 15, 1994) (with amendments and additions). // URL: http://base.garant.ru/2541158/

[7] General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), 1994.

[8] Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade of the 1994 GATT-WTO// URL: http://www.hse.ru/org/ hse/wto_ reference/ doc_02_sogl

[9] Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) 1994. GATT-WTO

[10] UNECE Recommendation and Guidelines Establishing A Single Window No. 33, 2004.

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