Kyrgyzstan not yet economically ready to join Customs Union
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 9 / Trend , I.Abishov /
Today, the economic unpreparedness of Kyrgyzstan to join the Customs Union (CU) is obvious, the President of Association of markets, enterprises and service sphere of Kyrgyzstan, Sergei Ponomarev, believes.
"We [Kyrgyzstan] are not economically ready for this step, but politically it is appropriate," Ponomarev said in an interview with the Fergana news agency.
Kyrgyzstan decided in October to join the Customs Unions, which already includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Economists believe this will ensure a stable product market, Kyrgyzstan will be able to make better use of its workforce and attract investment in manufacturing. In addition, the country's joining the organization will double the national customs tariff.
Mr. Ponomarev believes Kyrgyzstan will not enter the Customs Union in 2012 and this process will take longer.
"The main problem in joining the Union is the price for customs clearance of goods, which now stands at 28 cents in Kyrgyzstan, and will increase to an average of 4 euros after joining the organization," he believes.
Mr. Ponomarev advised to learn from Kazakhstan and phase out the country's accession to the organization with a view to become more competitive eventually.
"For example, becoming a member of the Customs Union since Jan.1, 2013, we can say that the price for customs clearance of goods [instead of 28 cents] will be 38 cents, in 2014 - 58 cents and 4 euros in late 2018. That is, we must prepare ourselves to be competitive," he said.
He believes crops grown in Kyrgyzstan are not competitive.
"We can not grow a wheat which is grown in Kazakhstan, - neither in quality nor in price. This applies to all crops," Mr.Ponomarev said.
He regards the increase in tariffs for customs clearance of products as the main problem. Now the country's major markets live thanks to the resale of the Chinese products, he said.
After joining the organization, the prices will rice on all imports. Low rate subsidies and poor technical equipment of the farmer makes the Kyrgyz product uncompetitive in the Russian and Kazakh markets, Mr. Ponomarev said.
The Customs Union is the union of neighboring states, under which there was created a single economic space for the development of free trade, as well as set higher tariffs on the external borders of the association. It includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Documents on the establishment of the Customs Union were signed in Minsk on Nov.27, 2009 and it operates since Jan.1, 2010.