Dear Nursultan Abishevich [Nazarbayev],
We have just examined in detail, as a small group, the current state of affairs and the work done within the Eurasian Economic Community, also taking into account the new economic possibilities and tasks that our countries have before them.
I think today we clearly do have a whole number of new opportunities we can make use of.
For a start, the Eurasian Economic Community has gained considerably in international authority. It now has observer status at the United Nations and influential international and regional organisations are showing real interest in establishing contacts with it. The community’s very existence is having a positive impact on the post-Soviet area.
Second, there is the economic factor. All of the Eurasian Economic Community member states are currently experiencing an economic upturn. Our national economies are showing sustainable growth and investment activity and foreign trade turnover are on the rise. Social development indicators are also changing for the better.
Third, we already have a clear understanding that one of the real reserves we can draw on to accelerate our development is to use effectively the resources and integration potential that we have. It is important that we not fall behind the times and that we take into account today’s global integration trends and take consistent steps forward.
Last year we approved a basic text, “Priority Development Directions for the Eurasian Economic Community for 2003–2006 and the Following Years”. This text can be seen as a sort of general blueprint for our integration work within the community in the short and medium term. Here too, in Astana, we are taking another significant step towards reaching the objectives we have set.
First of all, I would like to note the decisions that have been prepared in the area of strengthening the community’s legal foundations. Our agenda includes an agreement on cooperation in the securities market and an agreement on the basis of Eurasian Economic Community legislation. This second agreement is of particularly great significance as it creates the necessary conditions that we did not have previously for creating a body of supranational direct legislation within the framework of the community.
Finally, I think that our consultations on joining the World Trade Organisation have been extremely useful. I think that we all have an interest in effectively coordinating our work on this issue. Having this kind of coordinated approach will considerably strengthen our position in the dialogue with the WTO.
I would once more like to thank our Chairman, Nursultan Abishevich, for this warm reception in Astana, for his hospitality and, of course, for the excellent organisation of the Interstate Council’s work.
Thank you for your attention.