MINSK, 26 May (BelTA) – Belarus' Deputy Prime Minister Igor Petrishenko has outlined areas of integration in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) during a panel discussion at the Eurasian Economic Forum. He is taking part in the forum via video link, BelTA has learned.
“We all know that the policy of import substitution that has been pursued by each of the EAEU states separately has led to the establishment of a number of overlapping productions. There is a high probability that the EAEU member states will face overproduction in the short term. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the industrial cooperation index in our union was only 3.6% in 2021. We need better coordination in order to deepen cooperation and prevent cut-throat competition and over-saturation of the internal market with similar products,” Igor Petrishenko said.
This can be done through compiling a common list of commodity items slated for import substitution and developing a set of measures to promote import substitution. “In addition, it is necessary to remove mutual restrictions on our participation in public procurement contracts, to ensure equal terms of participation in import substitution programs in each of the EAEU countries. Without denying the importance of the industrial cooperation plans that were already agreed by the countries (in aviation, pharmaceutics, production and operation of clean transport), we suggest revisiting and updating our cooperation plans,” the vice premier noted.
He also suggested assessing the effectiveness of Eurasian technological platforms that are needed for introducing advanced technology into production. This is particularly relevant in the context of the ongoing work on a strategic program of the EAEU scientific and technological development. “For example, Belarus has great competencies in optics and microelectronics. These two sectors served as a springboard for the development of Belarus' own space industry. Therefore, we actively upheld the interstate program for the production and provision of space and geo-information products based on Earth remote sensing. This will allow our enterprises to get integrated into joint R&D projects of the EAEU,” Igor Petrishenko noted.
Development institutions like the Eurasian Development Bank and the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development also play an extremely important role. “Manufacturing sectors of all five member states expect us to come up with special loans to implement joint projects in manufacturing. The introduction of this type of lending, in our opinion, can send a good signal to other investors, especially if these projects will cater for production needs of the neighboring markets, like Uzbekistan and other countries of Central Asia, entire Southeast Asia and, of course, China,” the deputy prime minister is sure.
The Eurasian Economic Forum is taking place in Bishkek on 26 May. The forum serves as a platform to discuss the most pressing issues of the Eurasian Economic Union, entrepreneurial activity in the EAEU, green energy, as well as interregional ties and cooperation.
The business program of the forum consists of six panel sessions. The panel sessions will discuss development prospects of Eurasian integration, macroeconomic stability, the state of things in the manufacturing industry, energy and transport, digitalization and new avenues of cooperation in the EAEU countries.