Statement by President Serzh Sargsyan at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council,
Dear members of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council,
Dear participants of the meeting!
First of all, I wish to once again thank Vladimir Putin for inviting and organizing today’s summit. I also want to thank our Kyrgyz colleagues for Kyrgyzstan’s chairmanship in the Eurasian Union.
For almost three years of the Eurasian Union’s functioning, a considerable amount of work has been done to implement the principles of freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and labor in the common market. The contractual and legal framework is constantly being replenished, the priorities of the Union have already been determined, joint coordination of policies in the most important sectors of the economy is being provided and the coverage of multilateral cooperation in the EAEU is consistently expanding.
For the first 7 months of this year, we have had an increase in the volume of mutual trade by about 28% as compared to the same period last year. In January-July 2017, Armenia’s exports to EAEU member countries’ markets grew by 29%. The total volume of foreign trade of member States with third countries increased by more than 26%, and Vladimir Putin cited many figures that confirm the correctness of our decision. This trend needs to be strengthened to ensure its sustainable character.
In our opinion, this calls for the following:
Firstly, we need to continue making joint efforts to not only identify, but also eliminate the existing barriers, provide the necessary prerequisites for doing business under uniform rules and regulations to ensure healthy competition.
While making efforts aimed at expanding the applicable contractual framework, we need to focus on those normative acts, which as adopted might make economic entities feel in practice the rationale behind their adoption.
Secondly, we expect that the digital agenda should help promote transparency of cooperation, increase productivity, and improve the quality of services. We share the view that matter is of paramount relevance, and we believe that it must be addressed based on the following considerations: assessing projects’ economic feasibility, their significance for the economies of our countries and the integration component; taking into account the positive experience of implementing similar projects in EAEU member States; the identification of such mutually agreed criteria as would help us assess the conformity of projects to the interests of member States and the Union, as a whole.
I believe that the processing of digital decisions can begin with the mutual recognition of electronic invoices. Since the issue of mutual recognition of invoices is cross-cutting for a number of digital initiatives, including tracking and electronic commerce, I suggest our governments work on this issue as soon as possible in cooperation with the Commission.
It is also important that all subsequent actions on the digital agenda could shield the business from potential increase in disproportionate administration and new financial burdens.
Another step towards EAEU consolidation, and this is the third consideration, is the cooperation at the international level. We proceed from the assumption that at the level of both the Union and individual nations, the interaction between various integration structures with the observance of our commitments, of course, can make an important contribution to the formation of a complementary and mutually beneficial space without dividing lines to the benefit of all States.
We are pleased to state that the EAEU-China talks on trade and economic agreement are complete in principle. This became possible thanks to our countries’ long experience of bilateral cooperation with China. We believe that this format of cooperation should contribute to the development of cooperation within the EAEU, as a whole. In the same way, the Union’s cooperation in one or another direction should enrich our countries’ bilateral relations.
We believe that the creation of a single Eurasian trade and economic space and transport corridor is possible through the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects that would promote the merger of the EAEU with the One-Zone, One-Way initiative, involving all countries of the Union. This will minimize all available infrastructural restrictions for integration, and, as a result, form a system of associated transport routes.
I would also like to confirm, and I believe it to be our common position, our drive to sign an agreement with Iran in the near future. This issue was touched upon yesterday with the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Prime Minister of Armenia during his official visit to Iran, and I understand that they are ready to continue the negotiations and conclude it in the near future.
In conclusion, I wish to inform you that yesterday the Constitutional Court of Armenia considered the Agreement on EAEU Customs Code, and the document will soon be sent to Parliament for ratification. We are hopeful that in the future as well all issues will be dealt with in a constructive manner in our countries to the benefit of our peoples and for the prosperity of our countries.