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Forum “Greece – EAEU” has launched a new format of Europe's cooperation with the EAEU

Forum “Greece – EAEU” has launched a new format of Europe's cooperation with the EAEU


Having made an opening speech at the Business Forum “Eurasian Economic Union – Greece: A New Bridge for Cooperation and Development” held in Thessaloniki (Greece) on September 11, Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan spoke on the importance of expanding direct business contacts between the EAEU and the Greek entrepreneurs, shifting to cooperation in high-tech industries and creating joint ventures.

“The EAEU Member States have long-standing and sustainable economic relations with Greece, which is among the ten major trading partners of the Union in Europe, – said Mr. Sargsyan. – Therefore, it is critical to create dialogue platforms on which representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission, business community of our five states, and Greek entrepreneurs could discuss practical aspects of cooperation.” One of such platforms can be represented by the Business Forum “EAEU – Greece,” which was agreed between the Chairman of the EEC Board Mr. Sargsyan and the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras during a meeting held in February 2017. According to Mr. Sargsyan, this is an important and timely initiative. The Forum takes place in the time when Greece and the EAEU Member States are entering into the phase of economic growth.

The Chairman of the EEC Board drew the attention of the forum participants on the fact that the formation on the Eurasian space of the new economic reality, i.e. the Eurasian Economic Union, has changed the established practices of interaction and has created new conditions and possibilities both for business partners and the EAEU Member States. According to Mr. Sargsyan, however, it is necessary for the Eurasian Economic Commission to specify in more detail the benefits proposed by the Union, i.e. the unified technical regulations, barrier-free environment, free movement of goods and labour and focus on creating a single services market, exchange of experience and explaining the principles of the functioning of the common EAEU markets. Understanding this necessity has become one of the important reasons for signing of the Declaration on Cooperation between the EEC and the Government of Greece in August 2017. Such forums can become a kind of “assemblage points,” where “we could form a common vision of our cooperation, begin to build a strategy for further cooperation, including in the sphere of innovation developments, digital technology, biotech and other promising areas of scientific and technological progress.”

The Chairman of the EEC Board also drew the attention of the forum participants to the new trends in the world economy. “Divergence and diversity of the world economic development are creating amazing conditions for the capitalization of the comparative advantages of each state. From this point of view, the EAEU is a great example: 5 states with different area and population, level of socio-economic development and slightly different structures of the economy have created a single economic union, which will create the conditions for economic growth and development for all of them. This is a phenomenon of modernity, which shows the differences and diversity can be a source of growth,” – said Mr. Sargsyan.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Hellenic Republic Georgios Katrugalos said that the Greek economy has been returningto a growth​ and the expansion of economic cooperation with the EAEU Member States was of particular importance. The geographical position of Greece makes it becoming a bridge of partnership between Europe and Asia. Georgios Katrugalos concluded his speech by the following call for cooperation: “We want to exchange experience, to trade and to create successful cooperative projects in various sectors of the economy, but we need to get to know each other.”

The Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Russian-Greek Intergovernmental Commission Maxim Sokolov drew the attention of the forum participants that the EAEU and the European Union, which is joined by Greece, have had a great number of opportunities for cooperation in building an effective Eurasian transport system and the creation of a common economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok. According to the Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, there are all prerequisites for this purpose, since the transport sector has long outgrown the national borders due to its supranational nature. Joint work on the formation of transcontinental transport corridors will contribute to the optimization of the structure of the world economy: it will contribute to expanding access to sources of raw materials, new sales markets, as well as will also help to boost trade turnover between the EAEU and the European countries. To do this, the EAEU Member States have done a great job to remove internal barriers and to shape a common Eurasian transport services market.

After the plenary session, the forum participants continued their work at the round tables and discussion panels. The key topics included interoperability in the field of energy, transport services, development of logistics infrastructure, agricultural and industrial production, adaptation of products supplied to the EAEU Member States to the existing and emerging norms and standards of technical regulation, veterinary and phytosanitary control, as well as search of innovative ideas for the formation of a qualitatively new level of foreign economic cooperation between Greece and the EEC.

The event was attended by Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Industry and Agroindustrial Complex of the EEC Sergey Sidorsky, Member of the Board – Minister in charge of Technical Regulation of the EEC Valery Koreshkov, Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Maxim Sokolov, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Hovhannes Azizyan, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Greek-Russian relations Dimitrios Bakolas, President of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Armenia Arsen Ghazaryan, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic Georgios Katrugalos, Deputy Minister of Economy and Development of the Hellenic Republic Stergios Piciorlas, Secretary General for Strategic and Private Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development of Greece Lois Labrianidis, President of JSC “United Shipbuilding Corporation” Alexey Rakhmanov, Chairman of the Federation of Industrialists of Northern Greece Athanasios Savvakis, Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, President of Association of Regional Banks of Russia Anatoly Aksakov, Director of the Roscongress Foundation Alexander Stuglev, ambassadors of the EAEU Member States in Greece and other representatives of state authorities and business circles of the countries of the Union, Greece, and China.

The Forum is held within the annual multisectoral exhibition fair “T.I.F. 2017,” the most important economic event of Greece, which has already been holding in the Greek city of Thessaloniki for more than ninety years. This year, the honorary guest of the fair will be the People's Republic of China This will allow the participants and guests of the Business Forum “EAEU – Greece: a new bridge for cooperation and development” to establish business contacts not only with European, but also with Asian partners by implementing the idea of the Eurasian space as a natural bridge and a hub between Europe and Asia.

Organizers of the forum: Eurasian Economic Commission, the Roscongress Foundation, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and Enterprise Greece, Helexpo.​