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Andrey Slepnev proposed to elaborate road map for developing trade and economic cooperation between EAEU and China

Andrey Slepnev proposed to elaborate road map for developing trade and economic cooperation between EAEU and China

10/30/2020

Developing trade and economic relations was considered at the first meeting of the Joint Commission for implementing the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EEC and the PRC held on October 28 and chaired by Andrey Slepnev, Member of the Board — Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and Wang Shouwen, Deputy Minister of Commerce of the PRC. The sides have discussed elaborating a road map aimed at implementing the Agreement.


The Co-chairs of the Joint Commission exchanged views on the state of mutual trade and investment cooperation in 2020, noting that despite the coronavirus pandemic, the mutual trade turnover between the EAEU and the PRC decreased slightly (by 6.3%) and reached 79.1 bln US dollars in January-August of this year . China holds a 20% share in the EAEU's foreign trade turnover and is ahead of other foreign partners in this indicator.


Wang Shouwen has noticed that the global decline in direct investment amid the pandemic did not affect cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC and the China's investment in the EAEU Member States amounted to about 700 mln US dollars this year, showing an increase of 8%.


The most important arrangements during the meeting were reached on further plans for developing trade and economic relations on the EAEU's initiative.

 

Andrey Slepnev has stated the need to focus on practical directions that will have a real effect on trade between the EAEU countries and China.To conduct this work in a consistent manner and in a scheduled mode, "it is expedient to elaborate a road map for developing trade and economic cooperation, which may include major milestones and areas of cooperation, including in the field of trade in agricultural products, development of transport and logistics infrastructure, modernization of the border checkpoints infrastructure, digitalization and "smart" technologies," the EEC Minister noted.

He has proposed to reflect in the road map "plans for bringing regulation documents together and introducing common decisions simplifying trade". "The road map can become a full-fledged, additional tool for developing cooperation and will help build work between the Joint Commission’s meetings on specific directions," Andrey Slepnev stated.


The Chinese side, represented by Wang Shouwen, Co-chairman of the Joint Commission, has proposed to consider positive experience of the Khorgos International Center for Border Cooperation when developing approaches to the road map and extend it to other areas of cooperation considering possible implementation of more ambitious plans to deepen trade relations between the EAEU and the PRC.

 

The Khorgos International Center for Border Cooperation is an important hub of the Silk Road Economic Belt. It connects China with Central Asia and Europe through transport infrastructure, trade, financial logistics and cultural exchanges.


Moreover, the Joint Commission has discussed issues of expanding trade in agricultural products, focusing on the need to address individual issues restricting access to the Chinese market for agricultural products, including pork and cereals from the Russian Federation and small cattle meat and grain legumes from the Kyrgyz Republic.


Special priority was given to the issues received from the business community of the EAEU Member States and China; in particular, the Chinese side has noted its readiness to facilitate establishing business contacts between the Union companies and the PRC and has already transferred contact details of sugar and flour manufacturers from the EAEU to the Chinese National Corporation COFCO. In turn, the Commission has provided explanations on issues exercising the Chinese business, including those on applying the EAEU Technical Regulation "On requirements for energy efficiency of power consuming devices" (EAEU TR 048/2019).


The Joint Commission has also discussed such issues as cooperation in the field of trade protection measures, exchange of information through the mechanisms of the Agreement on products entering the EAEU and the PRC markets in violation of mandatory technical requirements and other issues of technical regulation restricting mutual turnover of goods.


Summarizing the meeting, Andrey Slepnev has noted: "The Joint Commission’s first meeting is just the beginning, some start for carrying out the more extensive work in the designated areas. I hope that the meeting will give the required impetus to further steps at all levels since interaction with China is a priority for us."


Wang Shouwen has emphasized the high importance of the Agreement for coupling the EAEU and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, expressing confidence that implementing the Agreement will create an environment for regional economic integration.

 

For reference

 

The Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union and its Member States, on the one part, and the People's Republic of China (PRC), on the other part, dated May 17, 2018, entered into force on October 25, 2019.

The Joint Commission has been established in accordance with Article 12.1 of the Agreement. The Joint Commission’s functions include addressing any issues being regulated or related to implementing the Agreement by mutual consent of the Parties.

 

The Joint Commission is the main dialogue mechanism established under the Agreement. It should increase efficiency of its implementation and create links to strengthen cooperation between the EAEU and the PRC.​