Economic life as it is

Grodno is hosting the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting

Grodno is hosting the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council meeting, with heads of government focusing on integration issues of the formation of common markets for oil, gas, finances and agricultural co-operation.

Eurasian Intergovernmental Council session in expanded format

On opening the session, Belarus’ PM Andrei Kobyakov noted that, while moving along the path of liberalisation and lifting barriers to trade, countries inevitably approach sensitive issues requiring a compromise for supranational interests. Moreover, the period after the Union’s launch is even more intense than during the process of the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union development. This is a natural process, since practice always puts everything into perspective and issues come to the fore. Meanwhile, reports of the commission on the development of acts and international agreements proceeding from the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as initiatives of the Belarusian chairmanship aim to elaborate and make detailed action plans for the implementation of policies. The Union members will need to investigate the further liberalisation of the service market and the protection of intellectual property.

Mr. Kobyakov proposed paying special attention to the formation of industrial policy, in particular, the development of a draft project dealing with the major avenues of industrial co-operation within the Eurasian Economic Union. It’s now important to control the process of preparation for the common markets of oil, gas and oil products, as well as being ready for the launch on January 1st, 2016, of the common market for drugs and medicinal products. In addition, the interaction of key economic establishments — the ministries of economy, finance and the national banks — is high on the agenda.

Meanwhile, as Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev noted, complicated processes in the global economy are a good impetus for the consolidation of forces and uniting of the members of the Eurasian Economic Union. “We are facing a rather difficult economic situation in comparison to that seen when our Union was formed. Global economic affairs are not simple nor are they fully worked out in advance. Turbulence is observed on the stock and capital markets in a number of states. As a result, variability on financial and commodity grounds is a key factor of new economic life; we must take this into account while outlining our own policy. These all create additional risks for national economies, which have already been manifested in some respects,” he said.

According to Mr. Medvedev, the Eurasian Economic Union states now need to move to the establishment of a single market for goods, works and services, while continuing work on the formation of an legally based agreement — primarily regarding barriers and withdrawals, as well as some sort of lack of transparency (which is still observed). In the coming months, a new Customs Code will be adopted — to come in force in 2016. Until the end of the year, agreements will be prepared on the concluding of international agreements and approaches to settling foreign currency relations and activity on financial markets — alongside many other documents. Interaction in the field of macro-economic currency and financial policy is of special significance for all countries; its mechanism is already determined.

By Ulyana Bushkova

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