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Recap of the 4th Eurasian Week 2019 International Exhibition Forum

30 September 2019
IV Международный выставочный форум «Евразийская неделя – 2019» подводит итоги

The 4th Eurasian Week 2019 International Exhibition Forum was held on 25–27 September in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek with the support of the Roscongress Foundation. The Forum was attended by 1,850 participants from 31 countries and featured 200 speeches and presentations by 71 companies in the exhibition area. The makeup of the participants was particularly important this year, with industrialists and entrepreneurs making up 80% of the attendees. This is crucial given that the Forum was conceived as a platform for dialogue between business and government of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) countries. The active negotiations held on the sidelines of the Forum were another significant result. A mobile application designed specifically for Eurasian Week participants indicated that more than 350 business meetings were held.

The Forum’s plenary session, which focused on challenges facing the EAEU, was attended by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Mukhammedkalyi Abylgaziev and Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) Chairman of the Board Tigran Sargsyan.

“We have a historic chance to build our own digital agenda, understand our strengths, and lay claim to the Eurasian Union becoming a global player. No country alone is able to solve this problem. We would be uncompetitive. The biggest multinational corporations already have an advantage since they have accumulated huge databases and find the most optimal and fastest solutions based on them. As a result, they provide their services at the lowest prices. And today we are implementing projects that will enable us to get involved in this fight”, Sargsyan said during the plenary session.

A panel session attended by energy experts focused on prospects for creating a common Eurasian energy market. It was reported during the event that the EAEU will see common markets for electricity, gas, oil, and petroleum products emerge before 2025, when the necessary regulatory acts will be adopted and enter into force.

The Forum participants paid special attention to expanding contacts on foreign markets and the markets of the Asia-Pacific region. The panel session ‘EAEU: Integration into the Global Market and Opportunities on Asia-Pacific Markets’ was devoted to this issue.

“Given the instability in the global economy, which has led to low rates of international trade, we are looking for sources of growth. The markets of countries in the Asia-Pacific region are a driver of development for us due to their growing capacity and the improving prosperity of the population”, Veronika Nikishina, member of the EEC Board (Minister) for Trade,​ said during the event.

A significant portion of the Forum’s agenda addressed prospects for developing economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. EEC Chairman of the Board Tigran Sargsyan and President of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture Gholam Hossein Shafei held a working meeting on the sidelines of Eurasian Week to discuss various aspects of cooperation within the framework of the previously concluded Interim Free Trade Area Agreement. The EAEU Business Council and the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture signed a memorandum of cooperation.

An awards ceremony was held during the Forum for the winners of the Eurasian Digital Platforms competition. SmartCheck, a project created by a team from Armenia that is used to develop a platform for the authentication of goods using microchips, won the competition.

“Our main goal is to provide four ‘freedoms’ – the free movement of goods, labour, capital, and services on the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union. A common market for goods, services, capital, and labour can only be created through ‘digital’. Our competition is one of the steps towards achieving this goal. It is an interstate platform for the examination and exchange of practical experience involving the digital transformation of the economy of the Union Member States”, said Karine Minasyan, chairman of the competition’s panel of judges and a member of the EEC Board and EEC Minister for Internal Markets, Information Support, Information, and Communication Technologies.

Youth-related events at the Forum focused on the agenda of the EAEU Young Leaders School, which brought together youth activists and aspiring diplomats from the participating countries. The School aimed to expand collaboration between young people in EAEU countries and create new opportunities for the implementation of youth initiatives as well as the social and professional self-realization of members of the younger generation.

The Forum programme also included a number of events that focused on practical business results, including procurement sessions for small and medium-sized producers of agricultural products, a networking event in the EAEU mining industry, and an IT investment show involving the finalists of the International Innovative Project Competition.