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Main directions of Eurasian Economic Union's industrial cooperation with China determined

Economy 16.10.2019 | 15:16
Aleksandr Subbotin. An archive photo
Aleksandr Subbotin. An archive photo

MOSCOW, 16 October (BelTA) – The creation of common digital space in production sector and agribusiness, technology localization, and effective interaction in R&D and innovation will become priorities in cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Union member states with China. Member of the Board (Minister) for Industry and Agribusiness of the Eurasian Economic Commission Aleksandr Subbotin made the statement during the Eurasian industry congress Integration 2019, BelTA has learned.

In line with development strategies of Eurasian Economic Union member states priorities of cooperation with China include production sector and agribusiness. With this in mind, the Eurasian Economic Commission has determined the three most important branches of cooperation. The creation of common digital platforms and solutions will help remove barriers standing in the way of movement of merchandise, services, capital, and data. The key competences this industry of the future will stem from include electric transport, big data, additive manufacturing, and unmanned technologies. China has made serious headway into these areas, however, in order to advance successful cooperation with China the Eurasian Economic Union member states need manufacturing cooperation and the observance of the digital standards China is creating in innovative sectors.

Cooperation in R&D is another important avenue, including by means of setting up technology parks, clusters, and technology platforms. “It is of strategic importance to ensure transition from production localization to the localization of competences,” Aleksandr Subbotin said. “The work should begin with forecasting unique competitive advantages of the Eurasian Economic Union on the world market. For instance, Belarus is a recognized center of competence in the area of IT industry. As part of the Belt and Road initiative Belarus has already implemented the project to create the Great Stone industrial park near Minsk together with China. In 2019 the park was granted the status of a special economic zone, which gives its resident companies the Eurasian Economic Union's best customs preferences. In 2018 the number of the park's registered residents increased from 22 to 41. Their number is expected to reach at least 60 by the end of the year. The expected volume of investments in the projects exceeds $1 billion. The Great Stone will be a global hub with digitization components. Unlike other free economic zones the park has its own smart R&D center.”

The technology park Haier was opened by the Chinese company Haier in the Russian city of Naberezhnyye Chelny in August. A washing machines factory was opened as well. Refrigerating equipment, freezing equipment, kitchen equipment, smart TV sets will be made there. The construction of an integrated gas and chemical industry complex Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries is in progress in Kazakhstan. The relevant contract with China National Chemical Engineering Company was signed in 2015. Making 500,000 tonnes of polypropylene is the project's goal. An enterprise to make polyamide materials out of grain using a Chinese technology will also be established in Kazakhstan as well.

Technology localization is a mutually beneficial sphere of cooperation, the official stressed. Eurasian Economic Union member states are interested in cutting-edge Chinese R&D products in the area of engine manufacturing, modern storage media, and automobile engineering, including the production of electric car where China is a world leader. As an example Aleksandr Subbotin mentioned the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone where the joint venture MAZ-Weichai had been inaugurated to assemble Weichai engines for trucks and buses. A factory is being built in the park with Weichai Group's assistance to make Fast Gear brand gearboxes for trucks.

Apart from that, the Eurasian Economic Union is interested in stronger R&D cooperation in agriculture, in the assimilation of cutting-edge agrarian technologies and innovations: Chinese accomplishments in the area of energy effectiveness and output capacity of processing enterprises look interesting.

Aleksandr Subbotin went on saying: “In order to explore opportunities in all these areas, the Eurasian Economic Commission and the sides are working on an industrialization roadmap. It will be discussed at a regular session of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission in November. This document should become a program tool for developing the Eurasian Economic Union's production sector. It will tie together actions of national governments, financial and banking bodies. The industrialization roadmap will sketch out the spheres to where bringing foreign investments and technologies would be most advisable from the point of view of the development of the economies of our countries and from the point of view of union integration. It will become the foundation for a more balanced dialogue with the People's Republic of China.”

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