Russia setting priorities of its EAEU presidency – Medvedev

Dmitri Medvedev file photo

ASTANA. Aug 14 (Interfax) – The Russian presidency of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in 2018 will focus on trade barriers, interaction with international partners, labor standards, and support for exports, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council’s meeting in Astana on Monday.

“Russia will be presiding in the Eurasian Union next year. We are setting our priorities,” Medvedev said.

The Russian presidency will focus both on current topics, such as exemptions and restrictions, and also on strategic tasks, Medvedev said. “These are areas such as support for exports, investment climate, labor standards, innovations, and interaction with international partners,” he said.

“It is important to invite representatives of CIS member countries to the Eurasian Union’s events, to further partnership, and to negotiate free trade zones with a number of countries,” Medvedev said.

The Eurasian Economic Union’s domestic and foreign trade has grown by more than a quarter, while exports have gone up approximately 10% in the past four months, he said.

“The structure of commodities has also been improving. Exports of machinery and equipment (34%) and food and agricultural raw materials (26%) have been on the rise, in addition to a decline in the share of energy commodities, which means our trade turnover is becoming more balanced,” Medvedev said.

It is necessary to improve business rules and develop cooperation in order to further these dynamics, Medvedev said. “Our task for the near future is to fulfill the Eurasian Commission’s roadmap of lifting barriers in industry, agriculture, energy and technical regulations,” he said.