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SEEC results: start of the digital phase of Eurasian integration

SEEC results: start of the digital phase of Eurasian integration


The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is ready to implement new formats of cooperation and international cooperation, including in the spheres of space, launch first joint projects in the field of digital transformation of the economies of the Union countries, actively protect free competition and equal rights for all producers in the Eurasian economic space. This was stated by Chairman of the EEC Board concluding the results of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on October 11, 2017.

The session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was held on October 11, in Sochi. It was attended by the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, as well as Chairman of the EEC Board Tigran Sargsyan and Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sapar Isakov.

Opening the session, President Vladimir Putin said: "We can say with confidence that the Union is successfully operating and developing. Integration has had a positive effect on the economic growth of our countries." According to the President of Russia, we can speak about the stable positive dynamics in strategically significant industries of the EAEU: “industry increase amounted to 2.4%, agriculture - to nearly 1%, cargo and passenger transportation - to 6.9 and 7.8%, respectively. Moreover, the volume of foreign trade of the Union increased by 26%, and the surplus of export and import operations exceeded 77 billion . The share of machinery, equipment and vehicles has reached 17.5%. The specific weight of energy products fell to 28%.

The Russian President is confident that the growth of trade between the Member States by 30% is “a direct consequence of the fact that we have created a common market within the Union and the common economic space.”

The head of the Russian Federation is convinced that we need to continue removing restrictions, impeding the free movement of goods, labour, services and capital between the Union states. We should accelerate the development of a road map for the elimination of existing barriers in industry, agroindustrial complex, energy, and technical regulation.

A number of important decisions were taken within the SEEC.

Main Directions for the Implementation of the Digital Agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union until 2025 were approved. The document establishes objectives, principles, tasks, directions and mechanisms of cooperation among the Union states in the digital sphere. Governments of the EAEU states together with the Eurasian Economic Commission are instructed to ensure elaboration of initiatives under the digital agenda.

“The Union countries, in their policies and programs of economic development, have already solved several tasks to respond to the challenges of the digital transformation of the economy. However, the agreed policy of the Member States in the digital sphere can be the source of synergies in the development of the digital economy of the Union countries," said the EEC Board Chairman.

The contribution of digital projects and initiatives can amount to 11% of the expected aggregate GDP growth in the EAEU by 2025, as the World Bank experts say. If the Union countries do not synchronize their efforts for the realization of the digital agenda, their contribution to the GDP growth will be much lower. “We have to move in an agreed way, applying best practices that have already been implemented in our countries, helping each other develop the common Eurasian digital space. Otherwise we will be faced with new barriers and boundaries that separate us geographically and technologically and complicate the movement of goods and services,” said the EEC Board Chairman.

The joint work will allow creating new jobs and industries in the Union countries, improve the competitiveness of businesses through digital transformations in all the spheres of society, engage the EAEU states in global, macro-region and regional digital transformation processes, facilitate the processes of free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.

The key areas for the development of the digital economy in the EAEU countries will be the digital transformation of industries and markets, the introduction of modern technologies and management tools for integration processes, the development of digital infrastructure, and also data protection and communication channels protection.

Next year, experts will begin to collect proposals and will be ready to develop those initiatives that are of interest to two or more EAEU countries. If the developments of the expert group will gain the support of the EEC Council and representatives of all the national governments, implementation of specific projects will be started on the basis of approved initiatives. Priority will be given to those initiatives that are related to the development of electronic commerce, digital infrastructure for transport corridors, the use of new technologies in industrial cooperation, as well as digital traceability. An important part of the joint work within the digital transformation will be the preparation of an Agreement on Data Circulation in the EAEU and a system of the Union’s regulatory “playgrounds”.

During the discussion of the Draft Main Directions of the Digital Agenda of the EAEU, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed holding a SEEC session in 2018 and a specialized Forum devoted to the issues of digitalization of the economies of the Union countries.

An example of cooperation among the EAEU countries in the sphere of high technologies is a disposition on development of a program of common use of spacecrafts and ground infrastructure, which was adopted at the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. The document approved by the presidents envisages a partnership in the sphere of space and geoinformation services on the basis of national data sources for remote sensing of the Earth.

The basis for cooperation between the Union countries will be the Eurasian technology platform “Space and Geoinformation Technologies”, which was established by the Commission in 2016, with the support of leading aerospace companies and research institutes of the EAEU. The intergovernmental program on integration of existing groupings of spacecrafts and ground infrastructure must be developed until November 1, 2018. The Working Group consisting of representatives of the Union aerospace offices and experts has already been established. In a week, the first meeting of this Group will be held within the Forum “Days of Space of the Republic of Kazakhstan".

A possibility of creating a common operator of space and geoinformation services is being considered, which will take over the management of the commercial exploitation of common orbital grouping of spacecrafts and will develop the marketing strategy to enter the world market. An important part of this program will be an information portal that will provide a variety of services (monitoring of emergency situations, searching and mining of raw materials, construction, ecology, etc.).

At the third phase, cooperative mass production and launch of smaller spacecrafts of the EAEU could be launched. For the creation of a satellite, the latest digital design and manufacturing technologies for the purpose-built hardware, additive manufacturing technologies for service platforms, on-board systems and complexes for the development of national enterprises in the Union countries will be used. Industrial cooperation of the Union enterprises will be a powerful impetus for the development of radio-electronic industry and production of composite materials, as well as an important driver of growth in the economies of the EAEU in general. Serial production of such satellites could be launched after 2023.

Members of the Supreme Council discussed the progress in the ratification of the Customs Code of the EAEU, which is second to the Treaty on the EAEU in its importance. The document contains a lot of new rules that are useful for businesses. “The entry into force of the CC EAEU will be a powerful impetus for the transfer of customs technologies to information solutions and will eliminate many problems of its practical use ,” said the EEC Board Chairman.

The Customs Code will largely and instantly change the whole customs regulation. This will directly affect many citizens and most entrepreneurs. In this regard, the heads of states pay particular attention to the need of informing the citizens in advance of key provisions of the Code and its effective date. It is expected that the CC of the EAEU will enter into force at the beginning of 2018. Today, in all the Union countries this document has been sent to parliaments so that the ratification procedures have been initiated.

The representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan Zholymbet Baishev was elected the Chairman of the Court of the EAEU for the next three years, and his deputy is now the representative of Armenia Erna Ayriyan.

According to the SEEC decision, in 2018, the Member State chairing the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission will be Russia.