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EEC proposes to abandon currency control in settlements in EAEU currencies

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) is preparing proposals that relate to the abandonment of currency control in settlements in national currencies in mutual trade. The Minister for Trade of the EEC Andrei Slepnev said at the international forum «Promoting Eurasian Economic Integration: Factor of Business Cooperation», which was held in the form of a video conference.

According to him, international trade will undergo changes, the e-commerce sector will take a significant share in it. At the same time, it is necessary to confront the risks of disunity in the supply and investment chains, which is fueled by narrowing demand and trade wars.

The EEC Minister noted that amid the pandemic the countries of the Union demonstrate solidarity on many issues. In addition, he stressed the role of business associations, which, through their organizational capabilities, maintain links between enterprises within the union.

Speaking about the risk of dollarization of domestic settlements, he noted that this could be fraught with rising prices.

Andrei Slepnev also stressed the need to expedite negotiations on free trade agreements. At the same time, approaches should be seriously revised: in addition to discussing direct deliveries of goods, it is necessary to consider the scope of investment, the possibility of creation of new industries. The minister separately focused on «digitization» and the e-commerce sector.

«I do not presume to predict what we will see in terms of electronic commerce in three years. But I believe that we can increase its share several times — and we will have it like in China: we will buy kefir via electronic applications, and will not go to the nearest store,» Andrei Slepnev said.

He recalled that the Prime Ministers of the EAEU countries instructed the commission to regulate the problems of electronic commerce. A working group is being currently formed at the EEC, who will begin work in the second half of the year and will actively interact with business.

Lowering of the thresholds for duty-free import is out question as of today.

It is much more important to work out the convenience for consumers: control and regulation must meet the standards of the modern «digital» world. Issues of technical regulation are also significant. There is no supervision over food, baby products, and medicines coming across the border. But all this affects the human health safety.