ASTANA – On 23 May, the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC) and the Advisory Committee on Tax Policy and Administration of the Eurasia Economic Commission (EEC) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in fiscal affairs in the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The MoU was signed by Timur Suleimenov, Member of the EEC Board and the minister in charge of Economics and Financial Policy on behalf of the Commission, and Moukhit Akhanov, President of ITIC Kazakhstan, supported by Roman Troshkin, Director of Moscow ITIC and Michael Wagner, ITIC Board Member, who signed the MoU on behalf of the ITIC.
The next day, on May 24, board member Suleimenov speaking at the platform of the Sixth Astana Economic Forum discussed the financial market of the CES (Common Economic Space) and their prospects for integration. In his report, he noted, “the Customs Union countries for over a year have lived in the reality of the Common Economic Space, on Jan. 1, 2012 the first 17 agreements forming its basis, came into force. The agreements provided for the soonest implementation of the principle of ‘four freedoms’: freedom for movement of goods, services, the labour force and the assets.” According to Suleimenov, it is impossible to provide those freedoms without a convergence of approaches towards the regulation of the economy, establishment and application of common principles and harmonized regulatory framework, coordinated trade and customs, tax, monetary, currency and financial policies.
The Commission is a single permanent regulatory body of the Customs Union (ECU) and the Common Economic Space (CES). The Commission was established in November 2011 in order to implement set tasks for the creation of the CES, including tasks for the creation of an integrated financial market, which is meant to provide an efficient allocation of capital, allow for diversifying risks and increasing competitiveness on the financial market and remove barriers on mutual access.
The main goal of the Commission is “to provide for the operation and the evolution of the ECU and the CES, and to carry out further economic integration initiatives within the ECU and CES.”
Organized in 1993, the International Tax and Investment Center, an independent non-profit research and education foundation headquartered in Washington and with offices in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Thailand, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, has been working in the Eurasia region for twenty years. The ITIC serves as a training centre and information source on ‘best practices’ in taxation and investment policy and administration, in order to improve the investment climates of transitioning and developing countries, thereby spurring the formation and development of business and economic prosperity.
The Customs Union, formed by Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation by treaty in 2007 and in operation since 2011, provides for a single customs territory absent customs duties and restrictions of an economic nature with the exception of special protective, antidumping and countervailing measures. The Customs Union applies a common customs tariff, customs code and other fiscal measures regulating trade with third countries. With a strong institutional framework, commitment to implementation and introduction of a system of rules harmonized with international norms and the WTO regime, the CU provides an advanced form of economic integration, thus demanding close cooperation on the part of all economic actors engaged with the region.