What past year brings for EEU

By Vestnik Kavkaza
What past year brings for EEU

The economic results of 2016 for the EEU were better than in 2015. Although GDP of the EEU deceased by 0.3% in 2016, it is significantly less than it was in 2015, when GDP deceased by 2.5%. The Integration and Macroeconomics Minister of the Eurasian Economic Union, Tatyana Valovaya, said that "in 2016, GDP of only two participants declined - Belarus and Russia, all other countries have experienced growth. Our forecasts for 2017 suggest that all the EEU states will experience growth in general."

Inflation in the alliance was 6% in December 2016, and a year ago it was 12.4%. Growth in agricultural products amounted to 3.2%. The EEU reached positive dynamics in the manufacturing sector. Industrial production growth was 0.2% (last year there was a decline of 3.4%). Armenia's growth in industrial production amounted to 6.9% in 2016 thanks to its participation in the Eurasian Economic Union.

"Even though the decline in mutual trade has continued this year, it is considerably less than in 2015. And even if we compare January 2017 and November 2016, the level of trade decreased by 10.8%. For comparison, if we compare with 2015, it declined by 30.4%. That is, we have a completely different dynamics," Valovaya said.

According to her, the recent Doing Business data has shown that almost all EEU states have leading positions: "There are 190 countries in the rating. Kazakhstan is 35th, Belarus is 37th, Armenia is 38th, Russia is 40th, Kyrgyzstan is 75th, but its position is also being improved. When the state begins to improve its national legislation in order to be more competitive in the framework of our common economic space, it leads to the fact that we improve our positions at the international arena as well. The necessary economic reforms are being carried out, and the indicators of competitiveness is not only quantitative, but also qualitative recognition of the results of our economic integration".

According to the proposal of the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 2016 was declared the Year of the expansion of trade and economic contacts with foreign partners. And last year, the import of the Eurasian Economic Union from the Asia-Pacific region, including the US, for the first time exceeded imports from the EU states.

"Our geography is changing, it becomes more balanced. During the ASEAN-Russia summit in Sochi there was a presentation of the Eurasian Economic Union, in 2016 the Eurasian Economic Commission was visited by the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Prime Minister of Singapore, they signed a memorandum of cooperation ... As for the US and Europe, I would not say that they do not recognize the Eurasian Economic Union. Yes, the European Commission, the governments of many European countries refrain from official contacts. However, our work with the business is very tight, both with the European and American. We are invites by our American colleagues who are interested in what is happening in the Eurasian Economic Union in the field of creating a common pharmaceutical market, the service sector," Valovaya said.

According to her, there is a dialogue with European business, with the Italian, the French, the German and the Austrian: "The European business for a long time showing the need to establish contacts between the European Commission and the Eurasian Economic Commission. But no matter what is happening in America or Europe, contacts in the Eurasian Economic Union in other areas are developing very well, we have a balanced foreign economic strategy. "