EAEC Heads of Government to Discuss a New Free Trade Zone Treaty

Oct 18. MFA

EAEC Heads of Government to Discuss a New Free Trade Zone TreatyPrime Minister Karim Massimov arrived in St. Petersburg to take part in the Council of Heads of Government of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) on October 18.

Ahead of the meeting, the Prime Minister met with his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovich and discussed bilateral cooperation within the CIS and the Customs Union. In 2010, Kazakhstan’s trade with Belarus totaled 657.2 million dollars, a 1.5-fold increase since 2009. Import from Belarus grew by 19.6% reaching 457 million dollars, while export to the country increased by 3.6 times reaching 200.2 million dollars.

Massimov also met Acting Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Omurbek Babanov and discussed trade, economic, and investment cooperation.

The main topic of the EAEC meeting agenda is the discussion of the new draft agreement on free trade zone that would replace the largely outdated 1994 Agreement. The document, when signed and ratified, will simplify fundamental legal principles of trade among the countries-signatories and will replace a number of multilateral and about 100 bilateral agreements that today regulate free trade within the CIS. The document stipulates compliance with the norms and regulations of the international system of trade regulation aiming to simplify member-countries’ accession to the WTO. The provisions of the agreement are also complaint with the commitments taken by the member countries in regard to third countries and their unions.

The heads of government will also discuss the draft agreement on a unified system of registering foreign citizens outside the Community and people without citizenship entering the territory of member-states. This will entail setting up of a single electronic database that will ensure monitoring foreign citizens, migrant workers, and criminals.

In the “quintet” format, the heads of the government of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia will discuss the setting up of an EAEC Court to be operational from January 1, 2012.

The three members of the Customs Union, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, will also discuss the draft Declaration on the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union, the process of drafting the Treaty on Customs Union Commission, and other documents which are putting together conditions for creating a Common Economic Zone among Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

The Eurasian Economic Community established in Astana in 2000 is an international economic organization uniting Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine have the status of observers. Its main aims are formation of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Zone as well as other objectives related to intensification of economic and humanitarian integration.