ArmInfo. "In January-July 2016, the Armenian export to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) countries increased by 70%," Tatyana Valovaya, Member of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Board - Minister in charge of Integration Development and Macroeconomics, said at the plenary session of the First International Forum of Eurasian Partnership in Yerevan on October 14. This happened amid the decline in the commodity turnover between the EEU member states and the third countries.
The EEC minister pointed out that for the EEU member states the economic integration is a driver of economic growth and it creates economic opportunities. Valovaya stressed Armenia's economic indices, which demonstrate quite a positive dynamics. "They are much better and positive than the average indices throughout the Union," she said. "For instance, Armenia's GDP growth is +2.8%. This is much higher than the average indicator for the Union in general. In Jan-July 2016, the industry output grew by almost 8% as compared to the same period of 2015. The growth in Armenia's export to the EEU countries correlates to the rise in industry and agriculture. This demonstrates the justified expectations of business," she noted.
At the same time, she added, the Commission knows that there are still certain barriers on the commodity market. "We are taking consistent measures to remove them. We realize that it is not only the export of commodities that matters to economic integration. Armenian business also pins hopes on expansion of integration in other fields," she said.
Valovaya touched on the existing and emerging common markets of the EEU. At present, half of the services market operates as a single market. The Commission is working to create a common financial market to achieve freedom of movement of capital and investments. "By 2025, we are going to create a common financial market, which is very interesting to our Armenian colleagues for one simple reason: the financial institutions, which are already functioning or will be established in Armenia, including those having foreign capital, will get an access to the market throughout the Union," she said.
One can say that the freedom of movement of labor force has already been achieved. "This is a very important issue for the citizens of Armenia. Due to the EEU membership, the citizens of Armenia have an opportunity to work in the Eurasian Economic Union without any discrimination," she stressed.
One more advantage of the EEU membership is the opportunity for competition of jurisdictions. According to the EEC minister, the Armenian national regulatory system is effective and competitive in business development. "The Republic of Armenia holds leading positions in the Union on almost all international ratings," Valovaya said, pointing at Doing Business, where Armenia is ranked the 31st (the highest position among the EEU member states). "I think this combination of low administrative barriers, effective economy management and the positioning as part of the single market of 200 mln consumers is the most important element of economic integration. This provides additional opportunities to the partners from the third countries," she said.
The goal of the First International Forum of Eurasian Partnership is to foster the integration processes of bilateral and multilateral trade and economic partnership in the Eurasian space. The agenda includes issues related to investment environment, business support mechanisms and technological cooperation prospects. The forum participants are representatives of the state structures of the EEU countries, heads of large businesses, banks, investment companies, NGOs, international organizations, as well as scientists and experts from a number of countries.