EAEU leaders to speed up ratification of common customs code - Putin


Leaders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) confirmed the intention to speed up ratification of the common customs code, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday after the EAEU summit, according to TASS.

"We shared opinions regarding the status of affairs and development prospects of the EAEU at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and noted growing positive impact of integration processes on the economy of our countries," the Russian leader said.

"It is gratifying that all leaders of the Eurasian Union confirmed interest in continued comprehensive deepening of integration, having spoken in particular for accelerated completion of national ratification procedures of the common customs code, so that it can come into force from January 1, 2018," Putin said.

The meeting focused on the digital economy and EAEU leaders agreed to build up cooperation in this sphere, the president added.

Putin said that the heads of the countries of Eurasian Economic Union had approved the guidelines of the Union's digital agenda until 2025 at its meeting on Wednesday. "During the meeting in a narrow format, we approved a new important document called the Guidelines of the Digital Agenda of the Union until 2025," he said.

He recalled that the initiative to develop this document was put forward in December 2016. "Russia is ready to participate in the practical implementation of the digital agenda. It implies that the countries of the Union coordinate policies in the area of Internet economy development, formation of common rules for digital trade, common standards for information exchange and protection," the Russian leader said.

"We can say with confidence that the Union is successfully functioning and developing, the integration positively affects the rates of economic growth of our states," Putin said.

He mentioned several economic indicators: "This year, the aggregate GDP of the Eurasian Economic Community increased by 1.8%, positive dynamics is recorded in strategic production areas - in industrial sector the growth was 2.4%, in agriculture it was almost one percent, freight, passenger transportation grew by 6.9 and 7.8% respectively," he said.

The Russian president also noted that the trade volume of the Union had increased by 26%, and the positive balance of export-import operations with third countries exceeded $77 bln.

Putin noted that "while the share of cars, equipment and vehicles reached 17.5%, the specific weight of energy products in export-import operations fell to 28%.

"The trade turnover between the EAEU member states has increased by 30% this year, this is due to the fact that we created a single market within the Union and a common economic space," the Russian leader said.

"We are convinced that it is necessary to continue systematic work to remove restrictions that impede the free movement of goods, labor, services and capital between our states, we should accelerate the development of a road-building program to eliminate the barriers still existing in industry, agro-industrial complex, energy, technical regulation," Putin said.

He called on the member states of the Union to complete all internal procedures so that the Union's new Customs Code will come into effect on January 1 of 2018, as it was planned.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev along with his counterparts from Armenia, Belarus, Moldova, Russia, as well as Kyrgyz PM and EEC Chairman Tigran Sargsyan took part in the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Sochi.

Speaking to the reporters, the Head of State summarized the results of the negotiations held within the CIS Heads of State meeting and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Akorda press service says.

"We mapped out plans for further work, outlined the promising areas for the digitization of our countries. Kazakhstan, Russia, and Belarus reached an agreement on joint efforts in this regard," the President of Kazakhstan said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan is expected to host a meeting on issues of digitization next year.

Besides, the Head of State told about the results of the meeting with German entrepreneurs. There, agreements to build up Kazakh-German relations in various economic sectors were reached.

In addition, the President of Kazakhstan underscored the importance of the meeting with Vladimir Putin.

"The relations between Russia and Kazakhstan are at the highest level. We reached an agreement was on the joint implementation of the program in Baikonur. Moreover, it is planned to lay an oil pipeline to Uzbekistan," said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The head of state said that during the negotiations they also discussed the further use of Kazakhstan's transit transport potential in view of the Eurasian corridor development.

Russia will take over the presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2018. The corresponding decision was taken by the heads of state at the summit of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Sochi on 11 October, BelTA has learned.

In line with the EAEU Treaty, the presidency in the union's bodies is held by its member states on rotation in the order of the Russian alphabet within one calendar year.

The next meeting of the Eurasian Economic Council is scheduled to take place in spring 2018.

Reported by Kazinform, BelTA.