The Economic Premise series summarizes good practices and key policy findings on topics related to economic policy. They are produced by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.
What Promises Does the Eurasian Customs Union Hold for the Future?
2013-02, Carneiro, Francisco G.
Established in 2010, the Eurasian
Customs Union (ECU) carries significant economic weight as
three of its member countries represent a potentially large
consumer market. Drawing on existing literature that has
studied the likely impacts of the ECU in Central Asia, this
note discusses the ECU's pitfalls and potential
benefits. After briefly describing the main features of the
ECU, this note assesses whether the changes introduced after
its establishment have benefitted all of its members
equally, and concludes with a discussion of what will need
to change to achieve the ECU's full potential.
Available evidence suggests that the Russian Federation has
been the main beneficiary in the short term, but that there
are several benefits to be gained by other members in the
medium to long term. Full realization of these benefits,
however, will require political commitment and steadfast
action to reduce nontariff barriers (NTBs), improve trade
facilitation, and reduce the costs of trading across borders
in the region.