ArmInfo. In Moscow, today begins the XII International Conference on Eurasian Integration, the plenary session of which is held under the unambiguous title Eurasian integration: stagnation or development. The conference is organized by the Eurasian Development Bank. According to the official opinion of the Eurasian structures, the first stage of the Eurasian economic integration, characterized by a breakthrough in a number of areas, was completed. A single customs space, a developed system of institutions and a common labor market were formed.
Now the Eurasian Union is at the beginning of a strategically important period of "growing up", requiring more patience and careful work. According to the official message, during the conference its participants will try to find answers to the question: can we talk about "Integration 2.0" - that is, intensification of integration processes in the sphere of trade, finance, investment, infrastructure, foreign economic and humanitarian cooperation. As EDB head Dmitry Pankin noted, there is an impression that "we rested against the wall" and we need a revision of the basic principles of integration.
The forum participants will touch upon such key topics as the internal problems of the EAEC, the Union's external economic tracks, investment projects in the field of infrastructure, and the financial sector.
According to the EDB's regular report, 2016 did not stop the negative dynamics of mutual trade and mutual investments, but the rate of decline of these indicators for the EAPP countries was significantly lower than outside the Union. Nevertheless, the report separately highlights the achievements in this area of Armenia, the dynamics of foreign trade which has experienced a significant rise. So, in 2016 Armenia's exports in value terms increased by 20%, including to the countries of the EEA - by 53%. Exports to Russia grew by 51%, to Kazakhstan - by 43%, to Belarus - by 2.1 times. To note, as of early November 2017, the assets of the Eurasian Development Bank amounted to $ 3.344 million, the current investment portfolio was $ 2.857 million. In the country structure of the current investment portfolio, Armenia accounts for only 1% of investments, even less - Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan - 0.3% each. Belarus accounts for 17%, while Russia and Kazakhstan account for 40% each. According to independent experts, these figures indicate the weak industrial potential of the countries at the tail end, which is why EDB experts are increasingly talking about the need to develop industrial cluster integration.