WTCA News: WTC Moscow – an active participant of the WTCA, supports the Initiative “From Lisbon to Vladivostok”
23 March 2020

“Conducting dialogue in modern conditions is difficult, but possible.
We do not simply not want a return to confrontation,
we are making a choice in favor of dialogue!”

Sergei Katyrin, Chairman of the Board of directors of the Moscow WTC, President of the RF CCI

On March, 2020, the International Conference “EAEU and the EU: Prospects for 2020” was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, dedicated to the signing of the Memorandum on the accession of the RF CCI to the Initiative “Common Economic Space from Lisbon to Vladivostok”.

The moderator of the event was Mr. Ulf Schneider, co-chair of the Lisbon - Vladivostok Initiative. He stressed that "I am convinced that the future lies in the close cooperation of the European Union and the EAEU in the common economic space."

The Eurasian Economic Union has existed for more than five years and during this time a long way has been traveled towards the approximation of the systems of legal regulation of entrepreneurship, competition policy, and dispute resolution. Work is underway to reduce excess barriers to business development. 

The President of the RF CCI Sergey Katyrin said: “In a pragmatic and controversial world, Russia makes a choice in favor of an integration project ... interaction in the European direction is gradually returning to its normal course, despite serious political difficulties. For Russia and other EAEU countries, the European Union is one of the most important partners!” 

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According to Sergey Katyrin, the development of integration processes is always a hot topic for the RF CCI, because the Federal Chamber cooperates with the EEC and takes part in the work of the Advisory Council of the CCI of the Member States of the Customs Union. Gov. “The signing of this Memorandum means supporting the concept of a Common Economic Space from Lisbon to Vladivostok, supporting the efforts of the European Commission and the Eurasian Economic Commission to harmonize the rules and regulations governing international business and trade and economic activities .... The accession of the RF CCI to the Initiative is evidence of the Chamber’s course towards the development and expansion of cooperation between Russian and European business circles.” 

Advisor to the President of the RF CCI Georgy Petrov said that it would be time for the West to recognize that the European Commission and the EEC are equal bodies, and their interaction is necessary, especially in view of the forthcoming possible reorganization of the WTO. 

“... the customs codes of the European Union and the Eurasian Union are largely identical ... and the medium-term objectives are to determine the removal of technical barriers and the creation of common standards.” 

Mr. Dietrich Möller, EAEU Advisor to the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce and former President of Siemens in Russia (Siemens was the first to join the Initiative), considers the strategy of creating a single EU-EAEU space to be necessary, even in the current very difficult political situation. “There are many economic barriers and contradictions, but this is the right direction, work is ongoing, the parties need each other.”

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Artak Kamalyan, a member of the Board (Minister) for Industry and Agriculture of the Eurasian Economic Commission, indicated that for political reasons there is practically no dialogue at the highest level, but in business circles there is a request for such a dialogue, “and the participation of the RF CCI only raises the status of the request for creating an economic space from Lisbon to Vladivostok.” 

“It is time to start a full-scale dialogue in all directions,” supported the general tone of speeches by the Chairman of the RF CCI Committee on Economic Integration and Foreign Economic Affairs, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrei Spartak ( Presentation by Andrei Spartak). 

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Portuguese Ambassador to Russia Paulo Viseu Pinheiro and President of Confindustria Russia (Association of Italian Industrialists in Russia) Ernesto Ferlengi supported the signing of the memorandum. 

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Then, the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Accession to the Initiative “Single Economic Space from Lisbon to Vladivostok” took place. The memorandum was signed by President of the RF CCI Sergey Katyrin and co-chair of the Initiative Ulf Schneider

Representatives of the Rosspetsmash Association, the Russian Association of Pulp and Paper Industry Organizations and Enterprises, the Lotos Special Economic Zone of the Astrakhan Region, the BlaBlaCar online service of France, the Belgian logistics company Alers, and Julius Mainl also put down their signatures.

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