Expert: There Are Free Niche Markets for Armenian Goods in Russian Market
"Armedia" IAA presents an exclusive interview with a Chief Economist of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) Yaroslav Lisovolik. The interview was conducted in the framework of the 12th international conference "Eurasian Integration", held at the initiative of the Eurasian Development Bank.
- Mr. Lisovolik, at the suggestion of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) the project "Integration 2.0” was reviewed. What is the project about and how can it affect the economies of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), particularly Armenia?
- I think it is about new momentum of the integration processes in the Eurasian area, taking into consideration the new realities in which our region is now. The human capital, as well as digital economy plays a special role in it. These issues, that so far have not been given enough attention to and momentum in the integration processes, can become new dimension.
It is obvious, that at the first stages, when we spoke about integration processes in the Eurasian area, the main emphasis was on the development of infrastructures. It is still a core and very important benchmark. However, now we realize that the integration processes do not end there, and there are various directions of work not only within the framework of the integration processes within the EAEU, but also beyond its borders. It is about those alliances that are being built with other countries. Tens of countries are currently waiting to build economic alliances with the EAEU, also including free trade zones with the countries of the EAEU.
This is why “Integration 2.0” is a new sphere of integration processes for me, which if actively developed, can rapidly increase the competitiveness of our regional grouping as compared to other regional projects in the world economy.
- The export from Armenia has increased by 20 percent last year. Is the tendency continuing this year and what can be done in this direction that has not been done yet?
- I think in reality it is encouraging that the positive economic figures on export, recorded last year, continue and the export increase from Armenia stays at a quite high level.
To continue these processes and to encourage economic growth by export, our countries should continue the work aimed at having favorable conditions for goods, including food, in each other's markets. The conditions for this exist: certain unused niche markets, for example, in the Russian food market still continue to exist, and they can be taken by the Armenian producers.
The dairy products of Armenia continue to have a competitive advantage. There is an opportunity to increase the presence of Armenian producers in the Russian market. I think there are opportunities to increase their presence in the fruit and vegetable markets. Here, it seems to me, there are competitive advantages, and it should be about the verified measures, including the connection of logistics related to the delivery of agricultural goods to the Russian Federation.
And, of course there is another measure that we should speak about; those are foreign trade alliances of the EAEU with other countries. It will allow the Armenians to enter new markets. As an example of this, we can speak of the EAEU free trade zone with Serbia. We discuss the possibility of passing from a number of bilateral agreements , Russia-Serbia, Belarus-Serbia, Kazakhstan-Serbia, to the full-scale free –trade area, which will result in an open European market, European direction for Armenians as well for the increased exports.
In general I think that the paradigm of foreign trade alliances, new markets for our producers is very interesting, and it will intensively develop in the coming 3-5 years.
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