The RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan participates in the 3rd session of the EEU Industrial Policy Council
The participants of the third session of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) Industrial Policy Council held within the framework of international exhibition “Innoprom: the big industrial week in Uzbekistan” in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, on April 5, 2021, discussed the issue of increasing the pace of industrial cooperation in the Eurasian Economic Union.
The key issue on the agenda of the session was intensification of cooperation between the EEU countries in the field of aviation industry.
“The potential of enterprises of our countries in this field is very great and it must be fully realized. There was an initiative by the Russian side to set up a joint commission within the Union to replace the import of foreign-made and high-tech products. It is necessary to enable our countries to develop branches for both production and air transportation. The proposals of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on establishment of such a commission have already been sent to the Russian government”, said Artak Kamalyan, the member (minister) of the EEC Board of Industrial and Agro-Industrial Complex. He also informed about setting up a branch expert group in the field of aviation industry under the Advisory Committee on Industry operating in the EEC platform. The countries of the Union are currently preparing their proposals for submission to the Commission. In particular, in February 2021 the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Russia presented its initiatives aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of aviation industry within the EEU. The parties are currently working on those proposals.
“I think, the main goal of this work is obvious. It is fundamentally important for us to develop our competencies, create jobs, and expand production. Therefore, the import privileges, in our opinion, should be provided exclusively for goods facing shortages within the Union”, said Denis Manturov, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia.
Welcoming the meeting participants, the RA Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan noted that in the current period of globalization, the degree of interconnectedness of states in all spheres of life is growing, and in this context, the role of regional unions is also growing. “Today we can discuss further steps aimed at development and improvement of our economic relations. The Industrial Policy Council is an effective platform for summarizing the intermediate results of our joint work and it serves as basis for important initiatives in coordinating our industrial policy. Extensive joint work awaits us in all areas of cooperation, in particular, in the areas of expansion of cooperating collaboration, promotion of our products to third countries, overcoming obstacles and restrictions to movement of goods, services, and labor force in the EEU territory, customs cooperation, and digitalization of technical regulations. The scientific and technological progress increasingly predetermines the degree and speed of development of industrial enterprises. It covers all components of innovation process. The tendency to increase the impact of scientific and technical progress on the level of production costs is becoming more and more urgent for our countries. In this regard, we welcome elaboration of the methodology for calculating the joint projected demand-supply for the main types of industrial products of the EEU member states, on the basis of which we will have the opportunity to determine the need for research and engineering activities to achieve the supply-demand balance. We expect that our joint document “Main directions of industrial cooperation until 2025” will enable the EEU member states to launch a qualitatively new collaboration to build an efficient intellectual and competitive industry in the global market”, Vahan Kerobyan said.
The meeting participants discussed creation of the “Investment Projects” digital platform, which is necessary for deepening the industrial cooperation in the Union, as well as agreed to develop a mid-term program document to increase the level of security of the EEU countries with regard to strategically important drugs and instructed the Commission to organize a discussion of this issue at the level of the Heads of the Union’s Member States. The parties agreed that implementation of this task during the COVID-19 pandemic is of special importance.
During the meeting, the draft of the new strategic document “Main directions of industrial cooperation until 2025” was approved. It will help overcome serious challenges such as increasing competition and technological backwardness.
In addition, the parties discussed possible tools for financing cooperation programs of the EEU countries with the participation of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB). The EEC and EDB cooperate on systematic bases. To expand the project portfolio, the minimum funding threshold was reduced from $30 million to $10 million, the issue of interest rate cuts was addressed, which is reflected in the EDB’s 2018-2022 strategy document.
The President of the EDB Board Nikolai Podguzov announced the prospects of financing EEU interstate programs. “Our countries are traditionally connected by thousands of production chains and common infrastructures, which form the basis of the Eurasian economic integration. Maintaining, developing, and expanding this potential for cooperation is one of the key tasks of the Bank. With regard to this work we are ready for close cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission and the EEU Industrial Policy Council. A promising way of such collaboration can be financing of EEU interstate programs and projects, which correspond to the Bank’s mission”, said Nikolay Podguzov. He also noted that in some cases, the EDB can support implementation of industrial cooperation projects through direct participation in the share capital of companies by fully sharing the risks of the project with its initiators.