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MOSCOW, October 4 (Itar-Tass) — Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will create a huge market with millions of consumers as the Common Economic Space will begin to function from January 1, 2012. The CEC will have uniform legislation, free movement of capital, services and labor forces, and all the migration, border and other barriers will be removed for CES citizens, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote in his article titled New Integration Project for Eurasia: Future that Is Being Born Today." The article was published by the newspaper Izvestia.
"The way to this benchmark began two decades ago, when a Commonwealth of Independent States was set up after the collapse of the Soviet Union. By and large, a model was found which helped save myriads of civilizational and spiritual ties uniting our peoples. To save production, economic and other ties, without which our life is unconceivable.
"One might have different assessments of the effectiveness of the CIS, or have endless discussion on its internal problems and unrealized expectations. But it is difficult to challenge the fact that the Commonwealth remains an irreplaceable mechanism, facilitating the rapprochement of positions and forging one point of view on the key problems our region is facing. It brings visible, concrete help to all its participants.
"Furthermore, it is the CIS experience that enabled us to launch the multi-tier and multi-speed integration in the post-Soviet space, and create such needed formats as the Union State of Russia and Belarus, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Customs Union, and, lastly, the Common Economic Space,” Putin underlined.
"During the world financial crisis, which made the state seek new resources for economic growth, the integration processes were given an additional impulse. We objectively came close to seriously modernizing the principles of our partnership, both within the CIS and in other regional associations. And we focused our attention on the development of trade and production ties.
"In effect, the integration is turning into an understandable, stable and long-term project, attractive for citizens and business, which does not depend on changes of the current political setup or other situations.
"It is this task that was set for the Eurasian Economic Community in 2000, and eventually, it is the logic of close, mutually advantageous cooperation, the understanding of the commonness of strategic national interests that prompted Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to form the Customs Union.
"On July 1, 2011, control over the movement of goods was lifted on the internal borders of our three countries, which completed the formation of a full-fledged single customs territory with clear prospects for implementing the most ambitious business initiatives. And of now, starting from the Customs Union, we're making a step toward the Common Economic Space. We're creating a colossal market with more than 165 million consumers, with uniform legislation, and free movement of capital, services and labor force.
"It is significant that the CES will be based on coordinated actions and in the key institutional fields: macroeconomics, ensuring the rules of competition, technological regulations, agricultural subsidies, transport, and tariffs of natural monopolies. Next, the members coordinate the visa and migration policies, which will enable them to lift control on the domestic borders. That is, to creatively apply the Schengen agreements experience, which benefited not only the Europeans, but also all those who come to work, study or on vacation in EU countries.
"We will not have to set up technological facilities on 7,000 kilometers of Russian-Kazakhstan border; furthermore, entirely new conditions for building up border cooperation are being created.
"Removing migration, border and other barriers for citizens, the so-called labor quotas will imply the opportunity to choose the place of residence, receive education and work without restrictions.
"The USSR, given its institution of certificates of domicile had no such freedom.
"Broad opportunities are opening for business. I’m speaking about new dynamic markets, where uniform standards and requirements for goods and service will be effective; in most cases, they will coincide with the European ones.
"It is important because we're now transferring to modern technological regulations, and a coordinated policy will enable us to avoid technological gaps, trivial incompatibility of production. Moreover, each company from our countries in any CES member-state will enjoy all the advantages of domestic producer, including access to state orders and contracts.
"Of course, in order to gain a foothold in such an open market, businesses will have to work on their effectiveness, reduce costs and invest in modernization. Consumers will only gain from it," Putin said.