CIS ready to adopt Agreement on Free Trade in Services

On March 18, in Moscow, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov chaired a regular meeting of the CIS Economic Council, where various areas of economic cooperation between the CIS member states were discussed.

Note, this year the Republic of Kazakhstan assumed the chairmanship in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Speaking at a meeting of the Economic Council, Bakhyt Sultanov noted that over the 30 years of the existence of the CIS, an extensive regulatory and legal framework has been formed, solid experience has been gained in almost all areas of cooperation.

“In the economic sphere, overcoming the negative impact of turbulence in the global economy remains a topical issue on our common agenda. The implementation of agreed measures in this direction to confidently enter the trajectory of positive growth of national economies and ensure economic stability will be one of the priorities of the Kazakh chairmanship,” the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

The key issue on the agenda was consideration of the draft Agreement on Free Trade in Services, Establishment, Activities and Investments of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The signing of the Agreement is planned at a meeting of one of the highest bodies of the CIS in 2022. The implementation of its provisions will become an important factor in the development of the free trade zone and the growth of the national economies of the CIS member states.

Members of the Economic Council heard information about the use of the national currencies of the CIS member states as a factor in strengthening the economic interaction of national economies. Mutual settlements in the national currencies of the Commonwealth member states contribute to the development of their interaction at all stages of the process of production of goods and services, as well as at the stage of circulation of created goods, distribution and exchange.

The Council also approved a number of draft documents that are planned to be submitted for consideration at the next meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Government.

In particular, a report on the activities of the Interstate Space Council in 2020-2021 was also heard, and the effectiveness of its work in coordinating cooperation between the CIS member states in the field of exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes was noted. The draft Plan of Priority Actions for the Implementation of the Information Security Strategy of the Commonwealth of Independent States Member States for the period up to 2030 was also approved.

The members of the Economic Council also approved the draft Agreement on the exchange of biological material. The document provides for the expansion and deepening of cooperation between the veterinary services of the CIS member states, in particular for the implementation of joint actions for the early detection of foci of infectious diseases, the development of practices for the exchange of biological material and the replenishment of biobanks of microorganisms of the CIS member states.

The draft Protocol on Amending the Agreement on the Creation of a Common Scientific and Technological Space of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States of Nov. 3, 1995, was approved, the preparation of which was caused by the need to update the provisions of the Agreement in accordance with modern conditions for the development of science, technology, innovation, as well as the best world practices in this area.

During the meeting, a set of measures was also approved for the development of chemical engineering of the CIS member states for the period up to 2030, aimed at establishing cooperation in the development, production and purchase of chemical equipment, as well as creating advantages to ensure competitiveness in the foreign market.

In addition, information on the activities of the Intergovernmental Council on the Timber Industry and Forestry in 2017-2021 was considered. Including on the interaction of state forest management bodies and the forest industry in the Commonwealth space, including measures to combat transboundary fires, illegal logging, forest pests and diseases.

By the decision of the Economic Council, the 2021 CIS Prizes were awarded for achievements in the field of product and service quality.

The next meeting of the Economic Council is scheduled for June 10, 2022, in Nur-Sultan.

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