Israel may join the Customs Union already next year
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his webpage in Facebook that the Russian and Israeli working group started the preparation of the agreement between the Customs Union and Israel and the next year the agreement would be signed.
“In 2014 the agreement about the creation of the duty-free trade area between Israel, Russia and two more countries, which are part of the Customs Union: Kazakhstan and Belarus, will be worked out and signed. The signing of the agreement about the common trade area and the free-trade area should be a signal to the business society that at the top the partner relations between Russia and Israel are viewed very positively, because signing of the agreement on the creation of the free trade area reflects a high level of political relations,” the Minister wrote.
It is also known that in the current year the commodity turnover between Israel and Russia increased to $3 billion.
According to the statement of the Vice-Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and the co-chair of the Russian and Israeli intergovernmental commission Arkadiy Dvorkovich, the trade volumes between the Customs Union and Israel in such a zone will at least double, as compared to the level of the current year, and the investments will increase by 50 percent.
In the Russian export to Israel, according to the data of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the goods with the high added value prevail, unlike the structure of the Russian deliveries to the majority of the other far abroad countries. Moreover, the Israel side is interested in the further increase of the deliveries of high-tech goods from the Russian Federation and from the Customs Union in total, as well as in the increase of the deliveries from Israel to the countries of the Customs Union of the finished goods, as well as, for example, cutting-edge technologies in the spheres of agricultural and industrial complexes and nature management.
The Russian Federation also has the projects of gas deliveries to Israel and of participation in the development of big gas reserves on the Mediterranean shelf of this country, which may be compared to those in Iraq and Kuwait. According to the opinion of Avigdor Lieberman, the development of the gas reserves is one of the priorities of the long term cooperation with the Russian Federation. Moreover, as the recent session of the intergovernmental commission and the Russian and Israel business forum showed Israel does not exclude the Russian participation in the new energy projects such as building the gas pipe line, which will deliver the Israel gas to the Southern Europe, on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, and building of the gas liquefying plant for this gas on the shore of Israel. Lieberman believes that the decisions on these projects are to be expected till the end of 2014.
Let us remind that the Customs Union is holding the negotiations about the free trade area with the EFTA block (Norway, Island, Switzerland, Liechtenstein), New Zealand ant Vietnam.