The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) has prioritized a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Singapore following “several ASEAN nations” approaching the EAEU for Free Trade Agreements at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi last May. The Singapore deal may be concluded by the end of this year. The EAEU is a free trade bloc that includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Russia. It essentially extends from the borders of China to the borders of the European Union.
Russia Briefing News
Edited by Maria Kotova
Translated by Veronika Petruleva
Несомненно растущий потенциал рынка Китая привлекает все больше иностранных инвестиций, особенно в пищевую промышленность (Food & Beverage Industry). Достаточно взглянуть на статистику чтобы понять, что КНР – крупнейший потребитель импортной пищевой продукции. Около 71% респондентов среди китайского населения в 2015 году посчитало безопасность питания приоритетным вопросом для нации, полагая, что импортная продукция более качественная, чем произведённая в стране. Рост доходов населения также дает основу полагать, что у китайцев есть средства на приобретение иностранных продуктов, а недавние законодательные нововведения расширяют возможности для более простого выхода на локальный рынок Поднебесной.
The Kremlin has issued a decree that local government inspections of businesses in Russia should be decreased by 70 percent following complaints from entrepreneurs that local government administration checks were making their businesses inefficient.
The order reads: “The government of the Russian Federation jointly with the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation: To ensure the inclusion in the legislation of the Russian Federation changes providing for the limiting the number of unscheduled inspections carried out by each authority control (supervision) in respect of legal entities and individual entrepreneurs annually (no more than 30 percent of the number of planned inspections envisaged by the annual plan of scheduled inspections of each body of control (supervision).”
Russia’s Eurasian Diamond Centre (EDC) has established a facility in the Vladivostok Free Trade Zone to create a diamond infrastructure cluster in the Russian Far East that will unite the companies of the industry and will focus on export-import operations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East said on Thursday. The EDC is part of ARLOSA, a group of Russian diamond mining companies and a world leader in the diamond mining industry, holding the world’s largest diamond reserves in Yakutia.
The Eurasian Diamond Centre opens up opportunities for companies in the rough and polished diamond industry, and also for retailers and jewelry manufacturers, including the luxury segment, cultural values and antiques markets participants. The unique platform allows developing and implementation of new manufacturing technologies, holding of exhibitions and regular auctions of precious gems and opening of new market channels.
An undeniable fact when looking at EU-China rail services is that goods need to be transported via Russia. This is not always the easiest of situations, and especially so for EU based businesses. The sanctions have slowed down much needed EU-Russian infrastructure development and integration and customs clearance, while occasional petty theft or bribery can also be a problem.
However, there is no reason to miss a Russian transit once one understands the longer term issues and how to deal with them. Concerning logistics, this business is currently heavily politicized in Russia. Due to the on-going EU sanctions, Russia’s policy is that no railway company will be given railway development plans for or to be directed to or from the EU by rail. That means that the services and capacity provided in Russia is frozen in time at 2014, a period during which China overland freight has begun to develop.
The Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) prime ministerial council has signed a directive for a temporary agreement on forming an EAEU-Iran free trade agreement. The signing of a full format deal on the free trade area between the member states of the EAEU and Iran will contribute to GDP growth in all EAEU member states, and will boost trade and economic relations, according to the Eurasian Economic Commission.
“According to the results of the EEC econometric analysis, conducted within the framework of the joint research with Iran on the expediency of free trade zone establishment, a sufficient potential of GDP growth for all EAEU member states was deduced (plus US$27 million for Armenia, US$78.6 million for Belarus, US$508.6 million for Kazakhstan, US$12 million for Kyrgyzstan, US$1.3 billion for Russia)” the commission said. The prognosis was based on the scenario of the EAEU adopting a full FTA with Iran, but the transition to such a type of agreement can take time.
Following on from China’s Alipay forming a Russian network via the VTB Bank, further evidence of increasing cooperation and integration between China and Russia’s point of sale financial development systems have just been announced in Murmansk. Tourists from the People’s Republic of China and other Asia Pacific countries visiting the Murmansk Region will now be able to make withdrawals and pay for their purchases using UnionPay cards. These cards are accepted by over 90 percent of local Mumansk ATMs and terminals.
Russian Railways is considering launching a passenger train along the route St. Petersburg – Kaliningrad – Berlin, passing through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland en route, Victor Golomolzin, the CEO of Kaliningrad Railroad, part of Russian Railways told journalists last week.
The route, which is currently connected, yet remains unused, will require some upgrading to bring it to contemporary standards. At present the most viable option for travelers wanting to reach the Baltics or Berlin is either to fly or take the bus, a lengthy journey. The Kaliningrad region is Russia’s westernmost region and an enclave on the Baltic Sea.
“We are generating the idea of launching the Berlin-Kaliningrad-St Petersburg train, taking passengers in Berlin, going through Poland to Kaliningrad, and going from Kaliningrad via Lithuania and Latvia to St. Petersburg,” Golomolzin said. He said that discussions are continuing with the Governments Railway companies of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland over the potential for increased rail connectivity. Continue reading…
The development of the Arctic Northern Sea Passage has taken a major step forward with the Russian supertanker Christophe de Margerie en route to South Korea. Sailing the Northern Sea Route with a load of liquefied natural gas from Norway, the shipment is a major step for Russia’s Sovcomflot to enter the global gas transportation market. Sovcomflot has 128 tankers and 13 LNG transport ships. This is about four percent of the global gas transporting fleet, however Russia’s share of this market is currently increasing. It means that Russia was now pitching itself as an important transporter of European gas to Asia.
The Christophe de Margerie does not need icebreakers to sail along the Northern Sea Route as it is able to cut through two meters of pack ice. Additionally, Russian companies intend to add value to raw gas. Gazprom has announced it is to build an LNG plant on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East as well as a facility in the Baltic Sea.
Russian Railways has completed the construction of a rail link that keeps away from the Lugansk region of Ukraine, bypassing the country entirely. Service is expected to start in September.
A test train of a locomotive and freight cars has already run through the completed stretch, Russian Railways have said. The construction of the rail link between Zhuravka – Millerovo began in 2014, after the deterioration of relations between Russia and Ukraine. The new 137 kilometers stretch runs entirely within Russian territory in the Voronezh and Rostov regions.
This will increase the line’s capacity and ensure the security of freight and passenger traffic, Russian Railways said. “It will provide stability of passenger and cargo transportation, and most importantly – to reduce the economic and technological risks that could arise when the route goes through Ukraine. This includes stop and delay of trains, delivery time delays, and traffic violations.” Continue reading…