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25 Oct 2013

Myasnikovich, Glazyev discuss trade, economic cooperation in Customs Union

Belarus’ Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich and Russian Presidential Adviser Sergei GlazyevMINSK, 25 October (BelTA) - Belarus’ Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich and Russian Presidential Adviser Sergei Glazyev held a meeting in the Belarusian government on 25 October to review trade and economic cooperation in integration projects such as the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, BelTA has learnt.

The officials also touched upon the prospects of the expansion of the Customs Union free trade zone.

“It is absolutely evident that the Customs Union is a reality and is operating successfully. During the first two years we saw an almost twofold increase in trade. Customs Union trade was expanding especially quickly,” Sergei Glazyev noted.

“The first effect of the growing trade lived up to expectations of the Customs Union member states. The next stage will see the expansion of cooperation and investment activity and the creation of joint ventures,” Sergei Glazyev said. To this end the Single Economic Space should ensure free movement of goods, lift cross-border investment barriers and form a common labor and service market. “In line with the plans adopted by the heads of state, this work will have been completed by 2015,” Sergei Glazyev noted.

The Eurasian Economic Union should become operational from 2015. In addition to the common market of goods, services, labor and capital the union will follow a common strategy in industry, agriculture and power engineering. “We estimate the total increase in economic activity at $700 billion by 2030. One-third of it will account for the common market and two thirds for the common development strategy. In other words, the common market (the common commodities market has already been created in principle) generates one third of integration effect. Two thirds come from joint work aimed at the development of hi-tech industries,” Sergei Glazyev underlined.

The common customs territory creates favorable conditions for expanding cooperation by lifting cross-border barriers. Work to elaborate common development strategies has already been started by the Eurasian Economic Commission, he added. “I think that by 2015 our integration project will have utilized all the instruments of strategic planning and programming, which have already been partially applied in the Belarus-Russia Union State,” Sergei Glazyev noted.

“We expect that consistent implementation of plans aimed at deepening integration will have a positive effect in terms of quality. By 2030 we should achieve a 15% growth in gross output as compared to the non-integration scenario. If we had not developed the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union the economic activity would have been lower,” Sergei Glazyev underlined.

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