The Economic Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States held the 83d session in Ashgabat.
The forum, organized in accordance with the Action Plan for the implementation of the Concept of Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship over the CIS in 2019, brought together representatives of the CIS Executive Committee, the governments of the CIS member states, the heads of relevant ministries and departments of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the Kyrgyz Republic , Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan.
The current meeting of the Economic Council has once again confirmed the position of Turkmenistan to strengthen traditionally fruitful ties in the CIS.
The priority areas of the interstate trade and economic partnership as well as the issues of strengthening the regulatory framework of mutually beneficial contacts between the CIS member states were discussed during the forum. One of the main topics was the draft Declaration on Strategic Economic Cooperation of the CIS Member States that was initiated by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
During a meeting in a narrow format, the heads of delegations agreed on a package of documents included into the Agenda and a number of organizational issues.
In this context, it was noted that Turkmenistan considered the chairmanship over the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2019 as an important mission aimed at strengthening and expanding constructive interaction in the CIS. In accordance with the Concept of Turkmenistan’s Chairmanship over the CIS in 2019, important meetings and forums were organized in the period, and a number of major events are planned.
Speaking during the forum, Chairman of the Executive Committee - Executive Secretary of the CIS Sergey Lebedev, on behalf of all participants of the meeting and the CIS Executive Committee, expressed gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the opportunity to hold a meeting of the Economic Council in Ashgabat, and hospitality. Noting that the personal attention of the President of Turkmenistan to all the events, predetermined their successful organisation, the guest expressed confidence that the upcoming meeting of the heads of CIS countries in October would be held at the traditionally high organizational level.
Speaking about the significance of 25 documents grouped in 14 agenda items of the current meeting, Sergey Lebedev noted with satisfaction that all the documents had been reviewed and approved by the Commission on Economic Affairs. The comments and suggestions of the states on the materials under consideration were discussed at the consensus meeting held the day before and were mainly taken into account.
Speaking about the main documents presented for discussion by the meeting participants, the draft Declaration on Strategic Economic Cooperation of the CIS Member States, initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State on October 11, 2017, those speaking emphasized that this document formulated an agreed approach to implementation of the economic interests of the Commonwealth and each of the CIS member countries.
Approving the document, the meeting participants suggested submit it to the upcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth.
The subject of the discussion was also the draft Concept of cooperation in the field of digital development of society and the Plan of priority measures for its implementation. In the modern era, this direction opens up great opportunities for the introduction of systems that contribute to long-term economic growth and high productivity, increase the share of information technology and telecommunications in the structure of GDP, increase the efficiency of public administration, and create new jobs in high-tech industries.
Speaking about the necessity to strengthen trade and economic relations, the participants emphasized the importance of the Turkmen leader’s proposal to enhance this particular component of cooperation in the CIS. In this regard, the Economic Council is entrusted with the responsible task of preparing proposals with the focus on final results.
Highly appreciating the approaches of Turkmenistan in this strategic issue, for the practical implementation of these initiatives, the meeting participants called for the use of existing tools, in particular, a new concept of CIS economic development for the period up to 2030 developed by experts.
The meeting participants addressed the issues related to the implementation of the guidelines for the development of radio navigation for 2019-2024. This plan is designed with the aim to increase the reliability of navigation support as one of the most important factors in maintaining the high level of transport security.
Speaking about the importance of the measures stipulated by the Plan for the implementation of the Agreement on the prevention and elimination of the focus of forest diseases and pests in the border areas of the CIS member states dated November 2, 2018, the participants underlined the importance of this issue in the context of international environmental diplomacy, which occupies an important place in the policy pursued by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The works indicated in the document are primarily aimed at minimizing losses and economic damage from diseases and pests, as well as improving the protection of forests.
The results of monitoring the implementation of the provisions of the Free Trade Zone Treaty were presented to the meeting participants for discussion. At the same time, there was an increase in indicators of foreign trade turnover, a decrease in the size of export customs duties on a number of goods, and the elimination of some barriers in mutual trade.
A number of issues included in the agenda of the meeting focused on financing joint projects implemented within the CIS.
The meeting participants also exchanged views on the implementation of the Concept of inter-regional and cross-border cooperation of the CIS member states for the period up to 2020 and the Plan of measures for its implementation, the provisions of the Free Trade Zone Treaty of October 18, 2011, the decisions of the Economic Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States on June 21 2019, as well as on the activities of the CIS Electric Power Council in 2015-2018, etc.
Following the discussion of issues on the agenda, a number of documents were signed.
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