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Artak Kamalyan: "The EEC deems it necessary to enhance the EAEU industrial cooperation"

Artak Kamalyan: "The EEC deems it necessary to enhance the EAEU industrial cooperation"

The objective to enhance the Eurasian Economic Union’s industrial cooperation was discussed by attendees of the third meeting of the EAEU Industrial Policy Council held within the International Exhibition "Innoprom. Big Industrial Week in Uzbekistan" in Tashkent.

Intensifying cooperation between the EAEU countries in the aircraft industry was the key issue on the meeting agenda.

"The potential of our countries' enterprises in this field is very high and it should be fulfilled in its entirety. The Russian side announced the initiative to establish within the Union a joint commission on import substitution of foreign and high-tech products. This is required to enable our countries to develop both the production and air transportation sectors. The EEC’s proposals to form such a commission have already been sent to the Russian Government," noted Artak Kamalyan, EEC Minister in charge of Industry and Agriculture.

The Minister has also informed on creating a sectoral expert group on cooperation in the aircraft industry under the Advisory Committee on Industry operating at the EEC’s venue. Nowadays, the Union countries draft their comprehensive proposals to be submitted to the Commission. In particular, the initiatives to enhance cooperation in the field of aircraft construction within the EAEU were presented by the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade in February this year. At present, the sides diligently draft these proposals.

"I believe, this work's main objective is obvious – it is fundamentally important for us to develop our competencies, create jobs and expand production. Therefore, in our opinion, import benefits should be granted exclusively to those products that we lack in the Union," stressed Denis Manturov, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade.

The meeting attendees discussed creating the digital platform "Investment Projects" required to deepen industrial cooperation in the Union as well as agreed to elaborate a medium-term program document to increase the provision of the EAEU countries with vitally important medicinal products and instructed the Commission to organize consideration of this issue at the level of Heads of the Union States. The sides were equally of the opinion that fulfilling this objective was of particular importance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting approbated a draft of the new strategic document – the Main Directions for Industrial Cooperation until 2025. It will help overcome such serious challenges as rising competition and lack in technology.
Furthermore, the sides discussed possible instruments for financing cooperative projects of the EAEU countries involving the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB). The EEC and the EDB cooperate on a systematic basis. The minimum funding threshold was lowered from 30 mln US dollars to 10 mln US dollars to expand the project portfolio; the issue of reducing interest rates was addressed as well, which is reflected in the EDB 2018-2022 Strategy. 

Nikolay Podguzov, Chairman of the EDB Board, has declared that financing the EAEU interstate programs has good prospects. "Our countries are traditionally connected through thousands of production chains and common infrastructure that form the framework of the Eurasian economic integration. Maintaining, developing and expanding this cooperation potential is one of the key objectives of the Bank's activities. We are ready to close interaction between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the EAEU Industrial Policy Council in this area of work. Financing the EAEU interstate programs and projects corresponding to the Bank's mission can be a promising form of such interaction," Nikolay Podguzov said. He also noted that in certain cases the EDB could support implementing industrial cooperative projects by direct participation in the companies’ equity capital, spreading full project risks with the initiators.

"I am convinced that today's meeting as well as our subsequent joint work in that space will serve to accelerate the integration development and achieve practical results of sustainable development of the Union's real economy. The next meeting of the EAEU Industrial Policy Council will be held in the autumn of 2021 in Kazakhstan as part of the Machine Builders Forum. And we hope that our agenda will be primarily devoted to sectoral cooperation issues," Artak Kamalyan stressed.

Later in the day, the EEC Minister attended the strategic session "Global Industrial Production in Search of Growth Drivers". The business discussion attendees - representatives of government and business circles from 20 countries – discussed economic policy measures aimed at promoting trade turnover as well as the main drivers of industrial production growth in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking about the EAEU situation, Artak Kamalyan noted: "In April last year, the Presidents of the Union States decided to control the pandemic by joint efforts. Our countries respond to the pandemic in a dignified way. A number of important decisions aimed at protecting internal markets and stimulating the manufacture of those goods our countries need to successfully control the pandemic were adopted at the EEC’s venue."

In particular, a set of measures aimed at supporting mutual trade, free movement of goods during the pandemic and creating conditions for further economic growth was adopted.

Successful interaction in the pharmaceutical sector and organizing joint production of the Russian "Sputnik V" vaccine in Belarus and Kazakhstan was listed by the Minister as one of the significant results of the integration cooperation.

"The pandemic has shown that it is integration that can allow us to function in a sustained fashion and address such challenges," Artak Kamalyan concluded.

For reference

The EAEU Industrial Policy Council was established by the Decision of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council dated May 29, 2019. The Council is composed of Heads of the Member States’ authorized authorities - the Ministers of Industry and the EEC Minister in charge of Industry and Agriculture. Its key objectives include drafting proposals to implement major integration projects involving funds of the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development, to create joint ventures and cooperative associations, to implement a coordinated industrial policy by the Union countries, to develop joint measures for promoting exports of high-tech jointly manufactured industrial products of the EAEU States to third markets as well as to eliminate barriers in the industrial sphere.