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On 20 September, a delegation of Russian business leaders led by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Overchuk visited Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.

Alexei Overchuk’s working visit to the Republic of Armenia

During the visit, Alexei Overchuk met with Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan to discuss the development of Russian-Armenian cooperation in trade and the economy.

As part of the Russian companies ’business mission organizedby the VEB.RF State Development Corporation, Alexei Overchuk attended a roundtable discussion Russian-Armenian Economic Cooperation: Prospective Projects.

The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out the importance of the Russian and Armenian business communities’ activities as a pillar of bilateral trade and economic relations. He mentioned positive trends in mutual trade, which increased by 17.2 percent between January and July 2021 year on year, and stressed that there was great potential for boosting mutual trade and investment.

“Russian and Armenian business people are receiving support from state bodies in both the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia and can use Russian development instruments, namely VEB.RF and the Russian Export Center, to expand their business opportunities. Our country can offer effective solutions for the development of transport, energy and social infrastructure, as well as for implementing prospective projects in the Republic of Armenia and the South Caucasus as a whole, ”Alexei Overchuk pointed out.

He called on the business communities of Russia and Armenia to consider cooperation opportunities not only in traditional spheres, such as mechanical engineering, transport, fuel and energy, but also in infrastructure and digital technology. He commended the efforts of the Russian-Armenian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation to create comfortable conditions for the implementation of these projects.

“We hope that following this event we will be able to launch new joint projects that will boost the further development of our bilateral relations, the Deputy Prime Minister noted.

Alexei Overchuk also attended the opening ceremony of the Armenian Business Forum 2021. In his remarks there, he spoke about the strategic nature of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia.

“Despite the pandemic, Russia has remained Armenia’s leading trade partner and currently accounts for nearly a third of its foreign trade. Between January 2015, when Armenia joined the Eurasian Economic Union, and the start of the pandemic, our bilateral trade almost doubled from $ 1.3 billion to $ 2.5 billion, ”the Deputy Prime Minister said.

He noted that a new strategic intergovernmental midterm document – Program of Economic Cooperation until 2025 – was in the works. The document is designed to boost Russian-Armenian trade and investment collaboration and will define the main spheres of bilateral interaction. “These will be specific events in each industry to be incorporated into the Plan of Events. We will prioritize their formulation, doing this jointly with the business communities of our two countries, ”the Deputy Prime Minister said.

Speaking of multilateral cooperation, Alexei Overchuk emphasized the efficiency of collaboration within the EAEU. He pointed out that the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia were maintaining constructive dialogue on the most important matters related to EAEU development and integration. The two countries held the same views on EAEU digitalisation as well. Joint digital projects have been launched, the first of which is the Travel without COVID-19 mobile app. “The project is developing successfully, it already involves some countries outside of the EAEU, and the total number of downloaded PCR tests has exceeded one million. Moreover, it is the first digital project of this type launched by a regional integration association, ”he explained.

Mr Overchuk noted that the EAEU was transiting to e-document management and introducing digital product traceability. “Trade digitalization serves to maximally simplify access to the EAEU market and boosts the efficiency of administering the customs and tax payments. To fully use the EAEU’s logistic potential, we are phasing in an ecosystem of digital transport corridors. The aggregate anticipated effect from its introduction will be anywhere between 1.5 and 2 billion US dollars. We are also launching a digital project entitled Work without Borders in the EAEU countries, which will make it possible for local workers and employers to find each other in no time. The project is beginning to yield a positive effect for the business community, ”he said.

Alexei Overchuk stressed that the said projects were an effective tool in helping to revive economies after the pandemic and a confident step on the way towards further EAEU growth, facilitating as they were the emergence of a favorable business climate in the Union.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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