Digitalisation as a Key to the Transit Potential of Eurasia
List of speakers

On May 25, the Valdai Club held an online discussion, titled “The Digital Future of Eurasia: Priorities for Eurasian Integration until 2025”. The experts discussed the problems of the digital agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union, primarily in relation to the use of the transit potential of Eurasia.

Mikhail Mamonov, Deputy Minister of Digital Development of the Russian Federation (2018 −2020), describing the obstacles to digitalisation of Eurasia, stressed the difference in the digitalisation levels of the EAEU countries and the difference in standards adopted by the countries for working with data and information technologies, which complicates the exchange of legally significant information. According to him, in order to realise the transit potential of the Eurasian Union, a seamless exchange of information with China and the EU is required, and this means that a consensus within the EAEU is needed on standards and data management systems.

Maxim Gall, Deputy Head of the Project Office for the Implementation of the “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” Programme at the Analytical Centre for the Government of the Russian Federation, added that it is very important to create a synergistic effect in the field of digitalisation at the EAEU level by synchronising digital developments and the investments of member countries, using the tools of the Eurasian Economic Commission. At the moment, management tools at the supranational level do not fit the pace of digitalisation at the level of member countries, which makes it difficult to make the breakthrough decisions which are taken at the national level synchronise with one another. This means there’s a need to focus on priority areas, one of which, undoubtedly, is transport.

Mirlan Omuraliyev, Assistant to the Chairman of the EEC Board, outlined the measures taken by the Eurasian Economic Commission to harmonise national efforts in the field of digital development. He emphasised that the priority remains the joint implementation of projects based on the consensus between the EAEU members.

Alexey Bezborodov, General Director of Infranews Research Agency, noted that the level of interpenetration of transport networks between the countries of the Eurasian Union is higher than between US states or provinces of China. At the same time, he considers it a negative factor that large corporate players in the Eurasian market are playing an independent game without government leadership and supervision, scattering efforts and resources, instead of moving in one direction. “The state does not clearly and rigidly define the rules,” the expert said. “It is necessary to equalize the field of the EAEU and to take concerted efforts.”