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EDB recommends common trade policy for Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan

MINSK, 15 January (BelTA) – The economic modernization challenges facing Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan require common trade policy in the Single Economic Space, reads the report “Common trade policy and the ways of addressing the economic modernization challenges of the Single Economic Space” prepared by the Center for Integration Studies of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), with the participation of leading Russian, Kazakhstani and Belarusian experts, BelTA has learnt.

The report says that government development programs in the SES countries pursue similar goals, including improving the performance and increasing the share of high-tech industries in the GDP, investment in manufacturing, infrastructure, energy supply, efficient use of resources, support for exports in sectors with high added value, and the development of small business.

“Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus face similar economic modernization tasks. Modernization is closely connected with the state of foreign trade, and therefore one of the priorities of the integration is harmonization of foreign trade policy within the framework of the Customs Union,” believes the chairman of the board of the EDB Igor Finogenov. "There is a need to use its potential for improving the structure of export basket. The SES should become a unified economy competitive in foreign markets,” noted Igor Finogenov.

In particular, the SES trade policy should be aimed at facilitating the access of enterprises to international markets, stimulating the production growth and promoting the integration of these countries into the world economy.

The main priorities of common trade policy, according to the authors of the report, is the harmonization of the interests of producers and consumers of goods and services, ensuring competition on the markets, taking account of the interests of all member countries, accounting for a possible expansion of the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space and avoidance of distortions of competition.

The instruments of the common trade policy of the Customs Union suggested in the report are divided into three groups: short-term (simplifying VAT and customs procedures), medium term (harmonization of customs tariffs, technical regulation and the development of common trade statistics within the Customs Union) and long-term (export support, the anti-dumping policy and attracting foreign direct investment).

The report also analyzes the main economic risks that may arise in the process of negotiating the foreign trade policy by the SES member states, makes proposals regarding the areas of common trade policy and suggests the measures for its harmonized implementation.

The Eurasian Development Bank is the international financial institution designed to encourage economic growth of its member states, facilitate trade relations between them and promote integration in the Eurasian region. The EDB’s authorized capital exceeds $1.5 billion. The bank’s member states are Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Tajikistan.

The Center for Integration Studies is a specialized analytical center set up by the Eurasian Development Bank in 2011. The center conducts research, prepares reports and recommendations on the regional economic integration.