Customs Union to bring states closer

Post-Soviet space economic integration to be based on integration nucleus of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia

The Chairman of the Eurasian Development Bank’s Board, Igor Finogenov, has delivered a speech at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, stating that the establishment of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will respond to globalisation challenges, enabling member states to join global labour division on a whole new basis, while preserving accumulated potential and realising competitive advantages.

Mr. Finogenov notes that, over the past decade, CIS economies have moved away from each other but, since the middle of the last decade, the economies of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have become more integrated. “This testifies to the establishment of an integration nucleus in post-Soviet space,” the official asserts. “The further development of economic integration within post-Soviet space is to be based on this integration nucleus of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. If this is successful, then neighbouring states will gain a powerful impetus to join the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space.”

Mr. Finogenov emphasises that the Eurasian Development Bank has organised research on the theme of the Customs Union’s expansion — conducted by the leading academic institutes of Russia and Ukraine. Their calculations point to the significant gains for Ukraine on joining the Customs Union, which vary from $6-9bn a year. By December 2011, the Integration Research Centre (set up by the bank) will have conducted serious studies on the economic integration of Ukraine with the economies of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, using advanced instruments of economic analysis.

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