EAEU and Regional Cooperation in Eurasia

Despite the fact that the Eurasian Economic Union is a young multi-national association, it can be already considered as a full-fledged player in the world economic system and has achieved serious success in shaping the contours of cooperation with different countries and integration associations within Eurasia.

In 2015, a free trade agreement was signed with Vietnam, which led to a 50% increase in mutual trade turnover. Also significant were the Interim Agreement signed in May 2018,  which lead to the formation of a free trade zone with Iran, and the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation with China. Both documents came into force just recently; on October 27 and 25 this year, respectively.

In 2019, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) intensified its foreign trade activities. So, on October 1 in Yerevan, in the presence of the heads of state of the Union countries, as well as the leaders of Iran and Moldova, an agreement was signed on the creation of a free trade zone with Singapore. The document addressed not only the opening of markets for goods, but also for services and investments. On October 25, 2019, a Free Trade Agreement was signed with Serbia.

A Win-Win Situation: EAEU Signs Free Trade Deals with Serbia and Iran
Yuri Kofner
On October 25 in Moscow, prime ministers of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states, Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Tigran Sargsyan and Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic signed a Free Trade Agreement between Serbia and the EAEU. On October 27, a “temporary” free trade zone was launched between Iran and the EAEU.

Our accumulated positive experience on FTAs provides the basis for further progress in pursuing them with other countries in Eurasia, including Israel, India and Egypt.

One important format for the EEC’s international activities is the signing of memoranda of understanding and cooperation with the states of the region, such as Mongolia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand, as well as international organisations and integration associations. In 2018, Tigran Sargsyan, Chairman of the EEC Board, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the EEC and ASEAN nations in the presence of the countries’ leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Currently, active work is underway to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding between the EEC and the SCO Secretariat.

A special role for the development of the region is played by cooperation between the CIS and the EAEU. In 2018, the EEC and the CIS Executive Committee signed a Memorandum on deepening cooperation. The leaders of both organisations regularly participate in events held by both the EEC and the CIS Executive Committee.

For the EAEU countries, the CIS member states that are not members of the Union are traditional and natural trading partners, which form the basis for building the productive work of the two associations.

The EAEU is currently launching large-scale projects related to the transformation of many sectors of the economies of the member states. In particular, the Union’s Digital Agenda is being implemented, laying down the mechanisms for this transformation, and an initiative management office is functioning.

Five digital projects have already been launched: the digital tracking of products, goods, services and digital assets; transport corridors; the implementation and mutual recognition of electronic accompanying documents; the implementation of the Eurasian network of industrial cooperation, subcontracting and technology transfer, as well as the unified search system “Jobs without borders”.

In addition, industrial and technological cooperation between member states is actively increasing. 16 Eurasian technology platforms are already functioning; the issue of creating Eurasian brands is being worked out.

The Eurasian Economic Union is open for cooperation with all countries of the region. It is important for the EAEU member states that they have favourable conditions for doing business with their CIS partners.

Ultimately, the deepening and development of traditionally trusting relations between the EAEU and CIS countries is aimed at creating a comfortable environment for business entities and improving the welfare of residents of the countries of the region.
Central Asia: A Threat or an Opportunity?
Timofei Bordachev
The Central Asian countries should intensify their regional dialogue, if only to prevent the resolutions of their problems by Washington, Beijing or Moscow. However, it would be short-sighted to think that this dialogue and narrow regional forms of cooperation could become a “lucky ticket” to the world for them.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.