14 Nov 2019 18:04

EAEU membership to boost Uzbekistan's economy - EBA

TASHKENT. Nov 14 (Interfax) - Uzbekistan's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) will have a positive effect on national development, Johan Vanderplaetse, chairman of the board at the European Business Association (EBA) and Schneider Electric's President for Russia and the CIS, said.

"This could be a stage-by-stage process. At the initial stage, a special regime would apply to cushion against a potential negative effect from accession to the union and provide prospects for becoming its full member," Vanderplaetse told a press conference in Tashkent on Thursday, when asked about potential consequences of an EAEU membership.

Uzbekistan's authorities are drafting a roadmap that will enable them to begin direct talks with the EAEU members, he said.

"Uzbekistan also needs to develop its economy, and EAEU accession will give a strong impetus to this process," Vanderplaetse said.

There are pluses and minuses to accession, and the Uzbek government "is wise in studying them," he said.

The prospect of the country joining the union was discussed by an EBA delegation at meetings with government officials and representatives from European companies operating in the country, Vanderplaetse said.

The EBA is the biggest agency representing foreign investors in the EAEU. Today is the last day of its delegation's four-day visit to Uzbekistan. Among the delegates are heads of big European companies such as Bayer, Creon Capital, Deloitte, Generali Russia&CIS, Kuehne+Nagel, Mitsubishi Electric, Oriflame, Schneider Electric, and Signify.

In June, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told the parliament that the country needed to analyze all challenges before deciding whether to join the EAEU. In particular, Uzbek enterprises did not currently conform to the EAEU requirements, he said.

Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko also said that the Uzbek leadership was still pondering accession during her visit to the country in early October.