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Eurasian Economic Union and China To Cooperate on Silk Road Project for Economic Development

May 14, 2015 (EIRNS)—Eurasian Economic Commission Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev (Russia) told Russia Beyond the Headlines (RBTH) that the cooperation agreement between China and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) would allow Russian companies to receive investment from Chinese banks within the framework of the Silk Road project. Slepnev said the agreement will differ from a WTO-style trade agreement in that it will not impose large-scale import taxes and that it will put stress on cooperative investment projects. The future agreement will help the Eurasian Economic Union with its investments in the industrial and transportation sectors, as well as in services and infrastructure. The sides will give their consent to the first details of the agreement by the end of 2015, Slepnev said.

Director of the Analysis Department at Russ-Invest Dmitri Bedenkov, also told the RBTH that the idea of the Silk Road consists of the fact that the regions in which the project will be realized have substantial investment potential in their transportation infrastructure—about $7 trillion. However, most countries lack financing. For this the Chinese government is implementing a credit program for the project’s member countries, both directly and through various institutions, including with the help of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), whose co-founders include EAEU members Russia and Kazakhstan. The effective development of EAEU structures calls for cooperation with the Silk Road project, not competition with it, says Bedenkov.