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EAEU and African Union discussing draft Memorandum of Understanding

EAEU and African Union discussing draft Memorandum of Understanding

ЕАЭС и афр.jpg
“The dialogue between the EAEU and the African Union is designed to intensify trade and economic cooperation between their Member States and promote the development of integration processes within two associations”, - Sergey Shukhno, Director of Integration Development Department of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), stated during working consultations with representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC) at the organization’s headquarters in Addis Ababa on September 16. 

A key issue during the discussion was the approval of the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the EEC and the African Union, the efforts on which were intensified within the framework of the Russia – Africa Sochi Summit in October this year. The leadership of the EEC and key African integration associations, including the African Union, were invited to participate therein.

Opening the consultations, the EEC’s representative a delivered presentation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), informing the partners about current trends in developing the Eurasian integration project. An emphasis was made on the Commission’s and the Member States’ efforts in key economic realms transferred to supranational competence as well as on the implementation of the Union’s international agenda.

“We are pleased to note that the Eurasian Economic Union has already established interaction channels with a number of African States: with Egypt – within the negotiation process on a free trade area, and with Morocco – in a Memorandum of Cooperation format”, - Sergey Shukhno mentioned, having stressed the interest in dialogue with the EAEU and other partners in Africa, as it was mentioned, in particular, during the discussions held earlier in the EEC as well as within the SPIEF 2019.

L. Madueke, Head of the AUC’s delegation of experts, Director of the Partnership Development Department of the African Union, emphasized that the EAEU and the AU had largely overlapping objectives and integration agendas, especially given the creation of the regional African free trade area, designed to give a significant impetus not only to developing trade ties within the continent, but also to bringing the economic cooperation with external partners in different regions of the world to the required level. Moreover, the AUC’s representatives highly appreciated the EEC’s experience in ensuring free movement of goods and functioning of customs infrastructure; they also showed special interest in the activities on eliminating exemptions, barriers and restrictions on the Union’s single market.

Sergey Shukhno drew attention to the existing potential for developing trade relations between the two regions. “The EAEU’s trade turnover with the African States rose almost 2.7 times since 2010, having reached 21.7 bln dollars by the end of 2018. However, more than 80% of the EAEU countries’ exports to Africa is accounted for five countries – Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and Tunisia. It is an obvious point that such proportions should be changed, including by making use of the opportunities being opened by regional economic integration,” - summed up the Director of the EEC Integration Development Department.