Niko­lai SAMOSEIKO, Chair­man of the Per­ma­nent Com­mis­sion for In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives:

Economy of Belarus - - INTEGRATION -

thanks to its greater depth and liq­uid­ity. The EEU has over 1,000 banks with about $250 bil­lion in the ag­gre­gate cap­i­tal, ap­prox­i­mately $2 tril­lion in as­sets and roughly $1 tril­lion in the stock mar­ket.

With the fi­nance laws har­mo­nized by 2025 the EEU will de­cide on the pow­ers and func­tions of a supra­na­tional body to reg­u­late the fi­nan­cial mar­ket which is ex­pected to be head­quar­tered in Al­maty. The sin­gle cur­rency in the EEU is not the is­sue of a midterm per­spec­tive. This is the fi­nal stage of the in­te­gra­tion process. How­ever, now Be­larus, Rus­sia and Kaza­khstan are dis­cussing, at the level of the cen­tral banks, the in­te­gra­tion of the na­tional pay­ment sys­tems and the project to cre­ate an ana­logue to SWIFT.

The mem­ber states agreed to pur­sue a syn­chro­nized en­ergy pol­icy and cre­ate a common en­ergy mar­ket. Thus, the for­ma­tion of the sin­gle elec­tric­ity mar­ket is sched­uled to be com­pleted in 2019. Since the ex­penses on elec­tric­ity are in­cluded in the cost of any prod­ucts, goods and ser­vices, this may be­come one of the main cat­a­lysts of the eco­nomic growth in the EEU mem­ber states, ex­perts say.

As for the sen­si­tive “oil” is­sue, the mem­ber states plan to sign an in­ter­na­tional agree­ment to set up the common oil and gas mar­kets by 2025. It is stip­u­lated that Be­laru­sian oil re­finer­ies will be fully pro­vided with oil for the pe­riod up to 2025 when the common mar­ket of oil and oil prod­ucts is op­er­a­tional.

The mem­ber states also plan to out­line the main ar­eas of in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion. The par­ties have agreed to im­ple­ment a co­or­di­nated agro-in­dus­trial pol­icy. There are plans to in­tro­duce the common Made in EEU brand to pro­mote the im­age of the EEU goods on the do­mes­tic and for­eign mar­kets.

It is of prime im­por­tance that nu­mer­ous is­sues re­lated to la­bor mi­gra­tion have been set­tled. New rules will come into force in Jan­uary 2015. In par­tic­u­lar, work­ers of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union mem­ber states will have the right to work ei­ther un­der a la­bor con­tract or a civil law con­tract. The EEU en­vis­ages uni­form in­come tax­a­tion rules for nat­u­ral per­sons from the first day of work on an equal foot­ing with na­tion­als of the coun­try of em­ploy­ment.

Be­sides, the par­ties agreed on the prin­ci­ple of mu­tual recog­ni­tion of ed­u­ca­tion cer­tifi­cates with­out con­duct­ing any ad­di­tional con­fir­ma­tion pro­ce­dures. The EEU Treaty es­tab­lishes the right of work­ers to un­der­take pro­fes­sional ac­tiv­i­ties ac­cord­ing to the pro­fes­sion and qual­i­fi­ca­tions ob­tained in the home coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to the es­tab­lished norms, the coun­try of em­ploy­ment pro­vides med­i­cal as­sis­tance to work­ers of the mem­ber states on an equal foot­ing with its cit­i­zens. So­cial in­surance of work­ers of the mem­ber states is car­ried out un­der the same con­di­tions and in the same man­ner as of the cit­i­zens of the state of em­ploy­ment.

The mem­ber states are also work­ing on a sep­a­rate in­ter­na­tional agree­ment to se­cure equal rights and guar­an­tees in pen­sion cov­er­age and pro­tec­tion of pen­sion rights of em­ploy­ees in the EEU.

In gen­eral, the EEU Treaty cre­ates the nec­es­sary le­gal terms to de­velop the sin­gle mar­ket for ser­vices, the sin­gle fi­nan­cial mar­ket, con­duct a co­or­di­nated tax and cur­rency pol­icy, pro­tect in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights, and reg­u­late la­bor mi­gra­tion. Th­ese mea­sures will pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion be­tween business en­ti­ties of the coun­tries and ex­pand their trade and eco­nomic ties.

Com­pe­ti­tion Against Prices

The de­vel­op­ment of the EEU common mar­ket goes hand in hand with the ef­forts to cul­ti­vate healthy business com­pe­ti­tion. The Agree­ment on Sin­gle Prin­ci­ples and Com­pe­ti­tion Rules signed by Be­larus, Kaza­khstan and Rus­sia in 2010 was a se­ri­ous step in this di­rec­tion. The main pur­pose of the doc­u­ment is to se­cure equal eco­nomic con­di­tions and shape the sin­gle com­pe­ti­tion pol­icy in the Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space. The next im­por­tant step was the sign­ing of the model law on com­pe­ti­tion in 2013, which out­lined common ap­proaches to the law on com­pe­ti­tion.

The Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion has been vested

Mu­tual recog­ni­tion of li­censes in the bank­ing, in­surance and se­cu­ri­ties mar­ket is a key ob­jec­tive of eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion

with the func­tions to mon­i­tor the com­pli­ance with the common com­pe­ti­tion rules on the cross­bor­der mar­kets in the Cus­toms Union and the Sin­gle Eco­nomic Space. Jointly with the na­tional anti-mo­nop­oly au­thor­i­ties the Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion has been study­ing the cross­bor­der mer­chan­dise mar­kets. The Com­mis­sion also or­ga­nizes events on com­pe­ti­tion ad­vo­cacy, ed­u­cates the business com­mu­nity about the anti-mo­nop­oly leg­is­la­tion and works on its im­prove­ment.

Since the com­pe­ti­tion pol­icy is one of the fun­da­men­tals of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union, it is ex­pected that the in­tro­duc­tion of the model law on com­pe­ti­tion to the na­tional an­ti­monopoly leg­is­la­tions of Be­larus, Kaza­khstan and Rus­sia will be com­pleted by the 2014 yearend, Min­is­ter for Com­pe­ti­tion and An­ti­monopoly Reg­u­la­tion of the Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion Nurlan Ald­abergenov said at the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence in Vitebsk.

In or­der to boost com­pe­ti­tion the EEU needs to ad­dress the is­sues that are im­por­tant not only for business but also for the EEU na­tion­als, the min­is­ter stressed. For ex­am­ple, the EEU coun­tries should grad­u­ally move to­wards free-of-charge roam­ing ser­vices in the union. The Euro­pean Union can serve as an ex­am­ple here. The sit­u­a­tion on the pas­sen­ger trans­porta­tion mar­ket also raises some ques­tions: air fares are equal to the cost of rail com­part­ment tick­ets. The Eurasian Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion is also study­ing the pharmacy mar­ket of the three mem­ber states.

“We are do­ing an ex­ten­sive re­search into all th­ese prob­lems. I think that in early 2015 we will present the re­sults of the anal­y­sis and pro­ceed to the prac­ti­cal part of the project, i.e. a di­a­logue with trans­porta­tion com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions,” Nurlan Ald­abergenov said.

The EEC came for­ward with an ini­tia­tive of set­ting up work­ing groups to an­a­lyze mer­chan­dise mar­kets. Start­ing from 1 Jan­uary 2015, when the Eurasian Eco­nomic Union be­comes fully op­er­a­tional, the rel­e­vant bod­ies will have all nec­es­sary au­thor­i­ties to re­move bar­ri­ers and other is­sues.

Par­al­lel im­ports are also an im­por­tant is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed. It is ex­pected that

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