Common market without barriers and unimpeded transit of goods – Smailov addresses EAEU Prime Ministers

An enlarged session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council was held in Almaty. It was attended by Heads of Government of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, Belarus Roman Golovchenko, Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov, Russia Mikhail Mishustin, First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan Adylbek Kasymaliyev and Chairman of the EEC Collegium Bakytzhan Sagintayev.

The parties discussed the current state and prospects for the development of the integrated information system of the EAEU, the action plan to create favorable conditions for the development of electronic commerce and the issue of amending the list of priority integration infrastructure projects in the field of transport.

In addition, the participants considered the macroeconomic situation in the EAEU countries and proposals to ensure sustainable economic development.

Alikhan Smailov reminded that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the signing of the EAEU Treaty. Today it is a dynamically developing integration association with a population of 190 million people, labor market of over 93 million people and GDP of $2.7 trillion. At the same time, mutual trade of member states from 2015 to 2022 has doubled and reached $85 billion.

"A landmark event of the past year was the adoption of the Eurasian Economic Way Declaration. This document defines the key directions of integration processes in the Eurasian space for the next 5 years. The implementation of the Declaration will create conditions for the development of our economies. We will have to make every effort to implement specific economic projects," Prime Minister said. 

As Head of the Government noted, the EAEU is located at the crossroads of East and West, North and South, which has always been a competitive advantage of the region.

"Kazakhstan attaches special importance to the development of transit and transportation infrastructure. Over the past 15 years, our country has allocated more than $35 billion for this purpose. A logistics center in Lianyungang, a dry port "Khorgos", a transit highway "Western Europe - Western China", a railway corridor from China to Iran have been launched. Modernization of Caspian sea ports "Kuryk" and "Aktau" has been carried out," Alikhan Smailov said. 

He also added that the construction of new railroads "Bakhty - Ayagoz", "Darbaza - Maktaaral", bypass line around the station "Almaty" has been started and the second tracks on the section "Dostyk - Moyinty" are already being laid. 

In addition, the construction of Kazakhstan's terminal in Chinese Xi'an was launched. Together with the Russian, Turkmen, Indian and Iranian parties, work is being carried out on the synchronous development of the eastern route of the North-South corridor.

"We consider it important to further increase the capacity of international corridors, logistics terminals and checkpoints of our countries. I invite all EAEU countries to implement joint projects to develop transit and transportation infrastructure," Prime Minister said. 

At the same time, he said that in order to strengthen cooperation in industrial cooperation, a mechanism of financial assistance to joint projects would be launched from this year. It will allow to realize strategic projects, effectively promote business initiatives, increase mutual investments and create new jobs.

"The realization of large industrial cooperation projects will ensure the development of technological potential of the member states. I believe it is important to further expand the tools of financial support for joint initiatives," Alikhan Smailov said. 

Head of the Government emphasized that the foundation of the integration association remains the implementation of the "four freedoms" and the basic principles of the EAEU Treaty. 

"Our exporters often face cases of hidden restrictions. Therefore, the issue of realization of one of the four freedoms - the freedom of movement of goods remains urgent for us. It is necessary to form a common barrier-free market and ensure unimpeded transit of goods to third countries. This should be facilitated by digitalization of all major processes," he said. 

According to Prime Minister, the international agenda is important in terms of expanding markets. Therefore, it is important to intensify dialogue with third countries and international organizations of mutual economic interest.

"Partners should be aware of our advantages. It seems important to attract third countries to participate in certain infrastructure projects of the EAEU. The Commission needs to work on a list of projects to which interested countries can be involved," Alikhan Smailov said. 

In conclusion, he noted that according to the World Bank's forecast, in 2024 the growth rate of the world economy will continue to slow down and will drop to 2.4%.

"The ability to adapt to the challenges, both at the national level and on the scale of the EAEU, today is an important factor in the success of our Organization," the Prime Minister stressed.

Following the meeting, the participants signed a number of relevant documents.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Eurasian Intergovernmental Council

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