Free trade zone between Customs Union and Vietnam under negotiation: Putin

November 26, 2014 7:03 am 

MOSCOW, Nov. 26 — Negotiations on a free trade zone agreement between the Customs Union and Vietnam are at the final stage, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

"Vietnam could become the first country to conclude such an agreement and the talks (on the free trade zone) are at the final stage," Putin said following a meeting with visiting General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong.

The creation of the free trade zone will further strengthen cooperation with Vietnam, Putin said.

On his part, Trong said current priority is to conclude negotiations of the free trade agreement with the Russia-led Customs Union, which should be ready to be signed by the beginning of 2015, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Formally established on Jan. 1, 2010, the Customs Union comprises Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Russia and Vietnam signed on Tuesday a joint Declaration on promoting comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Putin said Russia and Vietnam are set to boost bilateral trade to 10 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, adding that a special high- level commission has been working on the issues of implementing 17 investment projects worth over 20 billion U.S. dollars.

Relations between the two countries have the nature of comprehensive strategic partnership and the prospects of further development, according to Putin.

A series of intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements were also signed on energy, information and scientific technology, as well as in social areas such as education and sports. (PNA/Xinhua)



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