"Both the population and businesses in the CIS countries see the benefits in closer cooperation. The population and businesses in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan were found to be the most willing to see various integration processes and closer cooperation within the CIS and the Eurasian Economic Union," said Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Tatiana Radchenko speaking at the Eurasian Week forum about the findings of the survey the Analytical Center conducted among the population and representatives of small businesses in member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The survey was conducted in order to gather information about how the population and businesses in the CIS (as well as in Ukraine and Georgia) regarded the Eurasian integration and its real economic benefits. As for the most obvious benefits of membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, 53% of business respondents and 52% of public respondents said they view them positively, with the population in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan seeing them more positively (72% and 66%), and that of Ukraine and Georgia seeing them as less positive (38% each), meanwhile among businesses, the highest positive scores were received in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (73%, 68% and 68%) while the business community in Azerbaijan and Georgia viewed them as less positive (39% each).
The expert pointed out that the population of these countries generally expects closer cooperation to drive economic growth, and specifically they believe that it will result in creation of new jobs, revenue increase, reduce the prices of goods and services and simplify the process of getting employment in the territory of the Eurasian Economic Union. Business expectations have to do with the simplification of customs clearance, reduced customs barriers, the opening up of new markets for their products.
According to the survey, 53% of business representatives and 49% of the population are aware of the Eurasian Economic Union and its activities, with people in Moldova and Ukraine being the most knowledgeable about it (68.4% and 58.1%) while those in Turkmenistan being most ignorant about it (20.4%). People older than 36 know about the Eurasian Economic Union in all the countries (41%). Moldova and Azerbaijan have the highest awareness of the Eurasian Economic Union among business representatives (67.1% and 60.6%) while Turkmenistan has the lowest score on this count. In terms of business sectors, it's the electric power industry (81.8%), agriculture (66.7%), fuel and energy (66.7%), metal production (64.7%) and the lumber processing sector (62.5%) that are most aware of the Eurasian Economic Union and its activities.
Finishing her report on the opportunities for integration and merging the Eurasian Economic Union and the CIS formats, Tatiana Radchenko pointed out that from the point of view of public opinion, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the most ready countries for various integration processes (their population and businesses were most positive about possible integration with between 66% and 72% of the respondents being in favor of closer ties).