On October 29, 2015, Minsk played host to the annual General Meeting of the International Association of Exchanges of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IAE CIS). The meeting was held at the head office of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange that celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.

The event gathered top-managers of 15 largest exchanges from 6 countries as well as representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and Association of Futures markets. Valentin Chekanov, Minister of Trade, Arkady Salikov, BUCE Chairman, and Alexei Kuprin, IAE CIS Executive Director, opened the meeting.

According to the Minister of Trade, the Government of Belarus pays close attention to the development of exchange trade: “When we created the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange in 2005, there were many of those who doubted the need for such an institution. 10 years later, however, I can say with certainty that we have managed to change the attitude of our business community and convince them that that the commodity exchange is an effective state-of-the-art instrument for business. Valentin Chekanov also noted that “today it is critical to ensure that more goods are traded at the exchange because it creates a transparent market, eliminates corruption and, what is more important, makes commodities cheaper and more accessible to end consumers. As practice shows, our Belarusian exchange can perfectly cope with these tasks”.

In his turn, Arkady Salikov, BUCE Chairman, stressed that IAE CIS is, above all, a platform for sharing information and experience that one can use when implementing joint integration projects within CIS and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The important thing here is for exchanges “not to remain idle observers of economic processes but take up the initiative and become generators of new ideas and trends in commodity, financial and stock markets. The role of IAE CIS in these matters is absolutely invaluable”.

In this regard Kurmet Orazayev, Chairman of ETS Commodity Exchange, noted that BUCE is one of the most active participants of the Association and contributes a lot to its sustainable development: “It was the Belarusian commodity exchange that initiated the creation of the Council for Commodity Markets as an offshoot of IAE CIS. It is a specialized body responsible for harmonizing the legislation governing the operation of national commodity markets and seeks to build a single inter-exchange infrastructure that would be attractive for market operators and participants”.

In the course of the General Meeting, the representatives of CIS exchanges discussed the concepts of common gas and petroleum markets in EAEU as well as creation of a single exchange space and centralization of accounting and settlement procedures within the Union. In addition, the sides reviewed the prospects of inter-exchange collaboration under the Agreement on mutual access of exchange brokers and dealers of one EAEU member state to exchanges of other member states and the possibility of implementing a single mechanism for controlling the execution of exchange transactions. According to Alexander Afanasyev, Chairman of Moscow Exchange, any integration is a rather complicated and lengthy process that requires thorough preparation. The crucial part is to take into account the interests of all stakeholders, including regulators and market participants. Only in this case such projects can be successful.

Based on the results of the Meeting, the participants signed a protocol that specifies IAE CIS near-term priorities and agreed to intensify inter-exchange cooperation aimed at further integration of commodity, financial and stock markets of EAEU member states in close partnership with EEC and the Eurasian Development Bank.

For reference: International Association of Exchanges of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IAE CIS) was founded in Moscow in April 2000 in a bid to coordinate efforts aimed at development of organized markets in compliance with international standards. IAE CIS includes 20 organizations from 9 CIS countries that play a critical role in bolstering mutual trade as well as exchange transactions with currencies, commodities and securities.