EAEU: what proposals did Presidents make in Nur-Sultan?
The jubilee sitting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council was attended by First President of Kazakhstan – Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Zheenbekov, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Chairman of the EEC collegium Tigran Sargsyan, as well as President of Moldova Igor Dodon, as the head of the observer state at the EAEU, and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon as the guest of honor.
Starting his speech, First President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, expressed his gratitude to President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, for an initiative to award the title of Honorary Chairman of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and all members of the EAEU for supporting this proposal.
“I’m especially grateful for the initiative of awarding me the title of Honorary Chairman of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. As far as my strength and capabilities are possible, taking into account the experience that we have saved both in the CIS and in the EAEU, I will try to be useful for everyone, especially for our Economic Union”, Yelbasy said.
Resulting from the current situation in the world, Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed his new vision for the further development of the integration processes in Eurasia and named 4 initiatives for the EAEU’s development.
1. Expansion of the strategic lines of the EAEU and strengthening of the idea of integration.
“We need to establish full-fledged economic cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN. The meaning of the Eurasian economic space is not to close, but to make it more open in global interaction”, the Honorary Chairman of the SEEC said.
2. Chinese initiative “One Belt, One Road” - continuation of the EAEU potential in terms of infrastructure and logistics.
“Its implementation will have a tremendous economic effect, will contribute to the achievement of both internal and external goals of the association”, the First President of Kazakhstan stated.
3. “Smart integration”, aimed at the development of domestic production of the participating countries.
“We need to think about what and how we import. We have to create a group of people in the EEC that will analyze”, Nazarbayev said.
4. New strategies to conquer markets in the context of trade wars.
“We need new strategies to conquer markets in the context of trade wars. For example, due to the mutual sanctions of the United States and China, there is a certain gap in the production chains. We should fill the vacated niches with our goods, why not? We can benefit from it. I propose to develop a Roadmap until 2025, taking into account this and other initiatives”, Nazarbayev said.
In conclusion, the Honorary Chairman of the SEEC stressed the importance of ensuring the orderly development of the integration union for the benefit of the peoples of all countries.
“A key priority in the activities of our institutions should remain a commitment to economic goals and an intention to realize tasks exclusively through the prism of the economic component”, Yelbasy concluded.
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan paid much attention to the extension of foreign economic relations of the Eurasian Economic Union.
“We aim to effectively conclude negotiations with Singapore, Serbia, Egypt, Israel and India. The Agreement with Iran has already been ratified by the National Assembly of Armenia”, he told.
He mentioned the progress of achieved negotiations with Singapore and proposed to make every effort in order to sign a package of agreements with this country this year.
“I take into account that negotiations with Singapore on the free trade agreement have been almost completed. I consider it important to make every effort to sign a package of agreements with Singapore this year”, Pashinyan said.
He noted that in July this year he is going to pay a visit to Singapore, during which he will do his best to ensure progress in this direction.
Alexander Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, pointed out the need to reject “protectionist decisions, prohibitive and restrictive measures”.
The Head of Belarus also spoke about the need to further expand the powers of the Eurasian Economic Commission, first of all, in terms of countering the introduction of barriers.
“The Honorary Chairman of the Union can provide significant assistance in this matter”, Lukashenka said, referring to Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Belarusian leader proposed to the summit participants that the recognized leader of Kazakhstan should undertake an audit of everything that was done or not done in the Union, starting from the staff composition of the Eurasian Economic Commission and ending with the strategic directions of its activities.
Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov said that the Union raised issues of customs control in relation to his country.
“We propose to carry out a triple customs control with the participation of members of the EAEU and the EEC. Results must be transparent. In 2017, we put together a triple commission with Kazakhstan and many questions were dropped”, Jeenbekov said.
He also proposed to create a body to form a common energy market. According to him, Kyrgyzstan is ready to host such a body.
In turn, President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev named 6 important vectors of the integration association.
1) We need large integration projects: the construction of a high-speed railway and the Eurasia Canal.
2) Each country should continue to implement the national digital agenda.
3) Kazakhstan has launched the AIFC and proposes to use the potential of the financial center to attract investments in the economies of the EAEU’s countries.
4) It is necessary to coordinate efforts to protect the common market from dumping, counterfeit and unfair competition from third countries.
5) There should be customs administration at the common customs border.
6) It is necessary to increase the attractiveness of the EAEU: principles of mutually beneficial cooperation and maximum consistency of decisions.
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin said that the EAEU will cultivate contacts with Africa.
“There are good prospects for promoting friendship with countries and integration associations of the African continent. On October 24 Sochi will host the Russia-Africa summit. We’re inviting the leadership of the EEC to take part in this event. A memorandum on the Commission’s interaction with the African Union is prepared, and this document could be signed on the margins of the Sochi meeting”, Putin said.
Following the summit, the Joint Statement of the Heads of the Member States of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Treaty on the EAEU was adopted, and a number of international documents were signed. This is a kind of solemn declaration to the world community about the success and achievements of the EAEU over a five-year period of work.
The next meeting of the SEEC will be held on October 1, 2019 in Yerevan.
Photo by Bauyrzhan Zhuasbayev
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