Russia-led free trade bloc seeks joint payment system with BRICS
The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is interested in setting up a common payment system with BRICS nations, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Monday. The Russia-led free trade bloc aims to cut reliance on the Western monetary system.
The EEU was founded as the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. It was established in 2015, and was later joined by Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. In 2016, Vietnam became a free trade partner with the EEU
. The union is designed to ensure the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers between member countries.
According to the report, citing the EEU’s regulatory body, the plan also envisages the issuance of a single payment card within the two trade blocs. That would unite the national payment systems of its member states, including Russia’s Mir, China’s Union Pay, India’s RuPay, Brasil’s Elo and others.
Vladimir Kovalyov, an adviser to the chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission, said the EEU is currently focused on establishing a joint financial market, with priority on developing a common “exchange space.”
“We’ve made substantial progress and now the work is focused on such sectors as banking, insurance and the stock market,”
Kovalyov was quoted as saying by Izvestia.
According to the official, a regulatory body for the proposed joint financial system of the EEU and BRICS would also be established as part of the new infrastructure.
The EEU, which brings together countries in the post-Soviet space, has been increasingly looking for ways to deepen cooperation with the BRICS group of emerging economies. That bloc consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, accounting for more than 40% of the world’s population and nearly a quarter of global GDP. Efforts have already been made among some BRICS members to trade in local currencies in order to reduce dependence on the US dollar and euro.
Iran to join free trade with Eurasian Economic Union within month
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The legal formalities for the organization of a free trade zone with the EEU are expected to be settled within a month, Deputy Minister of Industry, Mines and Trade of Iran, the head of the Trade Development Organization of Iran Alireza Peyman Pak, RIA Novosti reported.
Peyman Pak and Alexander Shokhin, head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, signed a memorandum on Wednesday during the Russian Industrialist forum in St. Petersburg to establish a Russia-Iran business cooperation council.
Considering that within a month the final agreements and formalities on Iran's presence in the EAEU will be over, this could be a positive factor that will affect joint cooperation, Peyman Pak said.
According to him, the Iranian side is interested in creating a free economic zone within the Eurasian Economic Union, and is ready to provide the southern ports under this free zone with all preferences.