_ Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of Armenia. Moscow, 25 January 2019.
Over the past years, the Eurasian Economic Union has proved its worth: positive dynamics was recorded in the main economic indicators, and major decisions were made in many areas of Eurasian integration. And in this regard, we can hardly overestimate the work done by the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, your work, the daily efforts of each of you, aimed at moving the member states towards the goals declared in the constituent documents and official declarations of the Union.
First of all, I would like to thank you for the work done and tell you that I have decided to read and sign the “Appeal to the Heads of Eurasian Economic Union Member States” right away in your presence, where we could discuss the main postulates noted in the address, the ways of achieving them and the organization of work on the implementation of priorities in the bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2019.
This is the Appeal to the Heads of Eurasian Economic Union Member States: “On January 1, 2019, the Republic of Armenia assumed the chairmanship of the bodies of the Eurasian Economic Union: the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission.
The Armenian Presidency falls on the 5th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. Over the past 5 years, the Eurasian Economic Union was constituted as a successful integration association and, despite the difficulties of the first years, is showing impressive growth rates of mutual trade and diversification of the structure of trade and economic relations.
The Eurasian integration is a priority direction for EAEU-member states, which allows them to improve business conditions, increase cooperation with traditional partners and create new partnerships in order to realize the economic potential of the integration association. At the same time, all member states should make every effort to continue and enhance EAEU’s institutional development. In turn, Armenia will make every effort to preserve the positive dynamics of integration, to solve problems that can give additional impetus to the economic growth of our countries.
I would like to draw your attention to the need to address a number of important and urgent tasks for the EAEU. One of the key integration directions of the Eurasian Economic Union is the energy industry, as the basis for creating equal and non-discriminatory conditions of competition in the EEU economic sectors. In this context, it is necessary to work actively on the implementation of programs in order to shape common markets for oil, oil products and gas, as well as to build up a single electricity market.
It is necessary to intensify efforts aimed at the implementation of a coordinated energy policy and the earliest possible resolution of the sensitive issue of pricing on a non-discriminatory basis for energy resources and their transit through the territories of the Member States of the Union taking into account the transit components.
We need to make efforts to develop and diversify the Eurasian transport infrastructure, which will be a stimulus for the growth of trade turnover within the Union and the export of goods to foreign markets, as well as for the development of transit transport corridors.
An important area of cooperation is the consolidation of the efforts of the IT communities of Member States to develop high-tech economic sectors and fully implement the Union’s digital agenda. The Digital Agenda should be a basic tool for increasing the Union’s efficiency and attractiveness, eliminating administrative, customs and trade barriers.
As part of the Digital Agenda, it is necessary to promote initiatives aimed at deepening integration processes and obtaining direct benefits for economies and citizens of member states, such as the introduction of electronic accompanying documents in the member states, the establishment of an electronic labor exchange and other similar platforms.
We consider it important to strengthen the level of trust within the Union. The introduction of modern traceability systems for goods and freight will create a technical basis for such empowerment.
We need to ensure that these systems are up-to-date and economical; we need to remove barriers, rather than create them. For Armenia, which has no common border with the integration association, digital traceability can be a guarantee for implementing all four freedoms without creating additional obstacles.
We consider it expedient to take more active steps to harmonize the regulations and procedures applicable in the EAEU member states in the field of economy and trade, since the experience of recent years shows that a significant part of the obstacles faced by business are due to the lack of uniform and well-coordinated rules and regulations.
As much important is the obvious need to improve the regulatory framework that ensures the effective and fair implementation of those people’s rights engaged in labor activities, as well as those pensioners who have contributed to the development of our countries.
It is important to continue the development of trade and economic relations of the EAEU with third countries and associations. The signing of relevant agreements with Iran and China, and the completion of the ongoing talks with Singapore, Serbia, Egypt, Israel and India can give additional impetus to the process of integrating the Union into the global economy.
Combining efforts to promote EAEU goods to foreign markets – in conditions of self-sufficiency of the Union in many sectors of the economy – is gradually becoming one of the main challenges for ensuring balanced growth of our economies. Such efforts will help the joint access of Eurasian producers to foreign markets and promote new cooperative chains within the Union.
It is necessary to continue the efforts aimed at improving the level of accessibility, ensuring the growth and sustainability of the financial sector, as well as increasing the efficiency and development of competition in this market. We should also strive for a significant increase in the volume of EAEU-member states’ national currencies in settlements between the subjects of our countries.
We are convinced that building up equal cooperation within the framework of our integration association should ultimately serve to create comfortable conditions for doing business and the full realization of human potential.
I count on effective cooperation and support from all Member States in the practical implementation of the initiatives of the Armenian Chairmanship in 2019. I hope that in a year we will have a more consolidated and effective union serving the interests of our economies, states and peoples.