"During its EAEU Presidency, Armenia will Make Every Effort to Back the Positive Dynamics of Integration" - Eurasian Intergovernmental Council Meets in Yerevan
Chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s regular session kicked off at Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex in Yerevan.
On January 1, 2019, Armenia assumed the presidency of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council and the Eurasian Economic Commission.
The Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s Yerevan session was attended by Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Tigran Sargsyan, Heads of Government of EAEU-member States: RF Premier Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Belarus Sergei Rumas, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev.
Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan welcomed Eurasian Economic Commission Board Chairman Tigran Sargsyan and the Heads of Government of EAEU-member States at Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex, followed by a joint photo session, after which the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council first met in a narrow format, then in an extended format.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan addressed the meeting with opening remarks:
Dear meeting participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you to Armenia at the regular session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. It is a great honor for us to preside over this important international organization and host the heads of government of friendly States.
As I have mentioned many times, Armenia’s participation in the Eurasian Economic Union is one of the priorities of our government. As we strive to ensure our country’s most effective participation in the Eurasian Economic Union, we are making efforts to improve the cooperation mechanisms and promote the integration process within the unified Eurasian space.
Radical changes are taking place in Armenia, which relate to almost every aspect of our public life.
The Government of Armenia is implementing large-scale reforms aimed at creating a competitive and technologically advanced economy, based on the principles of equality, justice and the rule of law.
During the past one year, we achieved tangible results in the fight against corruption. We provided equal conditions for all economic entities and strengthened the independence of the judiciary.
We have been able to minimize the impact of monopolies and oligopolies. Today, no one can manipulate its political influence or use other illegitimate leverages in pursuit of economic goals in Armenia. This, in turn, has restored the country’s healthy economic and political environment; I would even say the moral atmosphere in society, as a whole.
Effective measures have been taken to reduce the shadow economy. Radical reforms have been implemented in the tax system and tax administration. We are also optimizing the public administration system aimed at increasing the effectiveness of government. These steps are meant to tap our citizens’ creative, intellectual and entrepreneurial capabilities, and create a favorable environment for foreign investments.
Today, Armenia is a dynamically developing country with political stability and predictability. The parliamentary system of governance has increased the level of transparency and accountability in governance. The system of checks and balances has become more effective. Our efforts are aimed at building well-established institutions of democracy, civil society and promoting fundamental freedoms.
Our government has a high degree of legitimacy and an unprecedented level of public trust. Bound by such an overwhelming public trust, we will take bold steps to enhance the wellbeing of our people and our country.
Our government’s priorities go in tune with the philosophy of our Union. As a result, we view Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union as an important tool to achieve the goals and objectives of our government and as one of the factors to ensure economic growth.
I am glad to note that trade turnover between Armenia and the Member States has grown considerably. The share of Armenia’s imports from EAEU-member countries was 28.5% up in 2018. Exports to the member States rose by 20% to provide for an overall 11% increase in trade turnover.
During its presidency, Armenia will make every effort to back the positive dynamics of integration and search for new mechanisms and ways of cooperation.
One of the most important integration directions of the Eurasian Economic Union is the establishment of common markets for gas, oil and oil products and the formation of the common energy market.
We deem it necessary to activate the efforts aimed at finding a prompt response to the sensitive issue of energy supply on a non-discriminatory basis and their transit through the territories of Member States of the Union, including transit components. It is of paramount importance for us to fully implement the EAEU Digital Agenda, which is one of the strategic directions of cooperation.
In particular, we believe that the creation of Eurasian ecosystems can help develop digital services, boost the Union’s cross-border services and balance digital services and the related markets.
We attach special importance to the diversification of our Union’s external economic ties. As I have mentioned many times, Armenia is prepared to make every effort in a bid to expand the geography of free trade agreements and search for new partnerships.
Among other priorities of integration, I would like to mention the development and diversification of Eurasian transport infrastructures, as well as the increase of accessibility, growth and stability of financial services and the development of competition in this market.
We also need to improve the applicable regulatory framework, which can help better enforce the rights and responsibilities of our citizens engaged in labor activities that promote the economic development of our countries.
We also consider it important to use the full potential of the domestic tourism potential within the Union.
Now, I would like to proceed to the discussion of our agenda. Perhaps, I will voice a common opinion, if I say that today’s discussion went off in an atmosphere of openness and mutual understanding.
First of all, I would like to highlight the importance of approving the draft Eurasian Network. I feel it will contribute to the growth in production rates and output volumes in our countries, enabling new tools for the deepening of interstate cooperation. It is also important to improve the mechanisms of security at the appropriate level of cross-border information interaction.
We believe it necessary to introduce a mechanism that can ensure the smooth interaction of business entities with the executive power. Once implemented, it will allow business representatives to apply the system of national digital signatures, while the relevant competent authority will ensure the validation of documents.
We find it extremely important to eliminate the barriers and limitations in the common market, as well as to provide the necessary business premises in the conditions of common rules for healthy competition and the efficient use of logistics, transportation and communication capabilities.
Issues related to the implementation of the EAEU digital agenda, the elimination of obstacles in the domestic market, cooperation in industry, trade, customs and economic spheres were discussed at the meeting.
The heads of government next touched upon the launch of the Eurasian Network in the industrial and technological spheres, and discussed the steps to take in that direction. The agenda also featured the description of the model of a one-stop-shop domestic mechanism for streamlining foreign economic activities.
The meeting took note of the Eurasian Economic Commission’s reports on providing conditions for the development of digital ecosystem in the EAEU, which comprised recommendations on the development of online trade, the assessment of the impact of the decisions adopted by the EAEC in 2018 and proposals for developing a common approach in determining the country of origin in the event of withdrawal of goods.
A series of documents were signed concerning the activities of industrial cooperatives, the use of electronic signatures, elimination of barriers in the Union’s domestic market, the introduction of common approaches to the import and export of goods, the development of a digital one-stop-shop trading system in the EAEU.
It was decided that the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council will next meet in August, 2019 in Cholpon-Ata, Kyrgyzstan.
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