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EIC outcomes: Mechanisms for project implementation approved within the EAEU Digital Agenda, Shipping Agreement signed

EIC outcomes: Mechanisms for project implementation approved within the EAEU Digital Agenda, Shipping Agreement signed

2/1/2019

Implementation of the Digital Agenda, economy, energy industry, transport, international cooperation, macroeconomics and integration in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) became the key topics for discussion at the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council which took place in Almaty (the Republic of Kazakhstan) on February 01.

The Members of the Intergovernmental Council approved the mechanisms for project implementation within the EAEU Digital Agenda, studied the state of mutual trade between the Union countries in 2018, macroeconomic situation in the Member States, and discussed the formation of common gas market of the EAEU. The Shipping Agreement was signed. A number of other decisions were adopted aimed at deepening integration processes.

The Intergovernmental Council approved the mechanisms of project implementation within the EAEU Digital Agenda.

The mechanisms determine the temporary procedure for project implementation within the Union’s Digital Agenda. As the Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan emphasized, these mechanisms were necessary for further implementation of the Union’s Digital Agenda. They will result in creation of new forms of cooperation and development of national centers of competence. “To implement a project, consent of all the countries is required. A project passport is developed, which will afterwards be approved at the level of the EEC Council. After that, the EEC Board must form a statement of work and choose contractors therefore”, - explained Tigran Sargsyan.

The Commission has already elaborated the model of interaction of such competence centers within the Union in the format of the Eurasian competence center network and sent it to the parties for discussion.

Key decision-making levels for project implementation have been determined.

Project participants may be represented by public authorities and organizations of the Union countries, competence centers of the Member States, the EEC and other subjects. The project is being implemented, provided that it is approved by all the Member States and at least three countries participate therein.

The mechanisms will promote deepening of economic cooperation within the Union’s space, will create new forms of cooperation between the states and businesses via competence center networks as well as will ensure elaboration of working practices for complicated and distributed projects, will promote formation and accumulation of digital competencies and expertise within the Union.

The Members of the Intergovernmental Council considered the issue of forming common gas market of the EAEU.

Speaking at the press briefing following the results of the EIC session Tigran Sargsyan reported that the members of the Intergovernmental Council had also discussed a hot-button issue of determining the price of gas transit. The Parties have not reached a compromise yet. Nevertheless, after the program for the formation of the common gas market was approved in December 2018, the EEC started to work over its implementation and the action plan for its formation. “The program stipulates for the development of a number of conceptual documents such as single rules of access to gas transportation systems, the procedure for trading in gas on stock exchange and trading rules at the common gas market. We are supposed to submit such documents for approval on a step-by-step basis so that our common gas market could start working by 2025”, - said the Chairman of the EEC Board.

The Intergovernmental Council addressed the issue of creating supranational enterprises.

The Commission presented to the members of the Intergovernmental Council the best practices of creating supranational companies that work on the territory of several countries and develop products united under a single brand.

“This experience is important for us, - emphasized the Chairman of the EEC Board, - because the concept of Eurasian brand and implementation of joint Eurasian projects today constitute a crucial task. We are also interested in establishment of a legal environment for Eurasian brands which would give an impetus to integration processes within our Union”.

The Intergovernmental Council entrusted the Commission to continue examining such experience in order to apply aspects to be of use for the EAEU.

The EAEU countries signed the Shipping Agreement during the session of the Intergovernmental Council.

This is a significant document for the Union that will help the Member States form a single transport space, a common internal market of water transport services, will facilitate implementation of transit potential and development of transport complexes.

The document expedites mutual access of vessels sailing under the flag of the EAEU countries to inland waterways of other Member States. At present, waterways access permission system is in place. The document will enable transition to notification system: access of vessels to sail under the flag of the Member States will be granted based on the notice.

The States will also mutually recognize vessel documents, qualification documents of the captain and members of the crew.

The Agreement gives the right for two-way carriage of cargo, passengers and their luggage between the Member State of the vessel’s flag and other participating country on adjacent inland waterways as well as transit passage through inland waterways.

The Eurasian Economic Commission presented a report “On the state of mutual trade between the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union in 2018”.

In nine months of the previous year total worth of mutual goods turnover of the EAEU increased by 11.9% as against the relevant period of 2017 having reached 44.2 bln US dollars. Average prices for goods of the Union’s single market exhibited greater stability (104.4%) than a year earlier (112.7%). Increase in mutual trade volume of the EAEU in comparable prices (by 7.2%) was found to be more significant than increase in exports (by 5.4%) and imports (by 4.2%) of goods in foreign trade with third countries.

Increase in product diversification of single EAEU market has also been highlighted. Development of competition in mutual trade in turn exerts a positive impact on the quality of products manufactured in the Union.

The report highlighted that consistent elimination of obstacles at the EAEU market, practical cooperation in the spheres of economy having integration potential would serve further diversification of trade and would intensify economic growth in the Member States. This will result in increased single market capacity, formation of stable and predictable demand for the products of the Union countries.

The Commission’s report “On macroeconomic situation in the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union and proposals to ensure sustainable economic growth” was heard.

It was pointed out that economies of the Union countries had remained in an uptrend. Following the results of January-September of the preceding year, the highest growth rates were demonstrated by Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan – 6%, 3.7% and 4.1% respectively. The GDP of Russia and Kyrgyzstan in this period increased by 1.6% and 1.2% respectively.

Economic growth in the Member States was primarily stipulated by growth in industrial production sector and tertiary sector. Positive dynamics of industrial production, retail turnover and construction is being observed within the Union. For instance, industrial production in Armenia went up by 6.7%, in Belarus – by 6.8%, in Kazakhstan – by 4.8%, in Russia – by 3%. Industry development was for the most part supported by processing and mining industries.

The next regular session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council will take place in April-May this year in Yerevan (the Republic of Armenia).