OREANDA-NEWS. International Economic Forum of the CIS countries Contemporary Challenges and Prospects of Integration Development within the CIS Zone organized by the CIS Economic Development Business Center with support by the CIS Executive Committee, World Trade Center and the Russia in the WTO International Business Center was held at the World Trade Center.

Program of the event included a plenary session, signing memoranda on cooperation, as well as work within several sections on new integration opportunities within the free trade zone, investment and innovation, elimination of technical barriers in international trade (report on the Round Table on Elimination of Technical Barriers in International Trade). Special focus was on the healthcare services and financial markets. The event was attended by the representatives of businesses, international financial companies, ministries and agencies of the CIS countries.

The Plenary Session was opened by Sergey Lebedev, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, who noted importance of the International Economic Forum of the CIS Countries for development of the integration processes within the former USSR zone. Vladimir Semashko, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus supported the same idea in his address. He read out the address of Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, to the participants of the Forum. In his address Alexander Lukashenko outlined the priority directions of the integration processes: development of the Free Trade Zone, attraction of investment, enhancement of good neighborly relations and economic cooperation. Vladimir Semashko also stressed that Belarus welcomes expansion of the free trade zone through accession of, primarily, the CIS countries.

Development of Russias economy within the Commonwealth of Independent States is a priority, stated Andrey Belousov, Minister for Economic Development of the Russian Federation. He noted that even 20 years after disintegration of the USSR, the CIS countries economies, those of former USSR Republics, still maintained their mutual complementability, which was a considerable advantage. According to him, average GDP growth against 2011 in the CIS countries was 3.4%, while total trade turnover increased by 3%. Trade turnover between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus grew at the rate of 8.7%.

Andrey Belousov identified the main directions of the integration processes, among which were establishment of the barrier-free movement of the goods within the CIS countries, liquidation of the barriers for finance and investments, improving of the investment climate etc. In particular, for the purposes of establishment of a positive investment climate he proposed to accelerate implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), to reform the judicial system, modernize the state procurement system and the system of allocation of land for construction.

The system of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Russia and the CIS countries contributes to the integration of the Commonwealth countries. Sergey Katyrin, Chairman of the CCI of the RF, in his address noted the efforts of the Council of the ICCs of the CIS countries. The Council provides comprehensive support and promotes development of small and average businesses, activation of the exhibition and fair industry, establishment within the CIS economic zone of the CCI EXPERT CIS, a Uniform System of Expert Assessment of Goods Quantity, Quality and Completeness.

Sergey Katyrin also noted establishment of the Russia in the WTO, a unique International Business Center, with the World Trade Center Moscow, which concentrates on providing information on the WTO tools and rules, creation of a floor for interaction of the state and business on the WTO matters. S. Katyrin expressed his appreciation of the personal contribution by Vladimir Salamatov, Director General of the WTC JSC, to development and support of the dialogue between business and state in Russia.

Vladimir Salamatov, Director General of the WTC JSC, was awarded an honorary diploma of the CIS Business Center for his contribution to development of economic integration of the CIS countries and a medal of The CIS Economic Integration Leader. The awards ceremony was delivered by Sergey Lebedev, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee.