JCC's Eurasian Economic Forum showcases new trade bloc
A treaty to establish the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was signed on May 29, 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on January 1, 2015. Armenia acceded to the EAEU on January 2, 2015, and Kyrgyzstan on August 6, 2015. Negotiations with Tajikistan are underway.
The EAEU has an integrated single market of 180 million people and a gross domestic product of over USD 4 trillion. Its goals are the free movement of goods, capital, services and people as well as common transportation, agriculture and energy policies. Provisions for a single currency and greater integration in the future are under consideration.
The Eurasian Economic Forum organized by JCC on September 29, 2015 at SWX Convention Point looked at the evolution of the EAEU and examined the form common customs and logistical regulations would take in practical terms. A central topic was the kind of opportunities that the EAEU offers Swiss companies.
Speakers on the Eurasian Economic Union were Ambassador Pierre Helg, Embassy of Switzerland in the Russian Federation and Viktor Spasskiy, Director, Integration Development Department, Eurasian Economic Union Commission. Dr. Stefan Stroppel, Head, Pharma Services, Novartis discussed the advantages and challenges of the EAEU for the pharma industry. Frank Müller, CEO, AsstrA Associated Traffic presented the logistic pathways and new opportunities for moving goods that the EAEU offers. Customs regulations in the EAEU were analyzed by Xeniya Deikova, Manager, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG.
The second part of the program explored Business opportunities in the 5 countries of the EAEU. First Deputy Minister Maksim Yermalovich, Ministry of Finance of Belarus discussed the benefits of EAEU membership for Belarus and key sectors of opportunity including agribusiness, IT, Transportation infrastructure and the availability of industrial parks for foreign companies.
Zharkin Kakimzhanova, Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN, presented Kazakhstan: Investment Aspects of Regional and Global Integration. Tigran Davityan, Permanent Representative of Armenia at the WTO showcased investment opportunities in Armenia. Andreas Bitzi, Partner, Schneider Group discussed best practices for foreign Investors doing business in Russia. Susanne Grossmann, Managing Director, Seco Start-Up Fund presented financing support for Swiss companies entering the Kyrgyz market. Tony Steinmann, CEO, Swiss Shyrdak, concluded the event with a dynamic presentation on the two SMEs he has set up in Kyrgyyzstan with support from the Seco Start-Up Fund - a hotel and a traditional carpet manufacturing operation.
Eurasian Economic Forum Program (Download)