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Vietnam Seeks Free Trade With Former Soviet States

by Tatiana Smolenskaya, Tax-News.com, Moscow

30 August 2012


Vietnam and the nations of the ex-soviet customs union, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, are to open negotiations towards a comprehensive free trade agreement in 2013, Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, has said following recent meetings with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Addressing a press conference, Medvedev said the two nations would begin negotiations early next year. He said the governments had agreed to target substantially higher trade flows, building on recent growth, to establish two-way trade levels in excess of USD7bn by 2015. This projection is substantially more ambitious than that targeted as recently as August, when Russia had said it was hoping for growth to USD5bn by 2015, from around USD2-3bn in 2011.

The post-Soviet customs union has in recent years sought to integrate itself more deeply into the world economy. Leaders agreed in 2011 to push for a 'Eurasian Economic Union', which would reduce trade barriers with other Commonwealth of Independent States under proposals for a single economic space.

More recently, Ukraine said it would join the existing tripartite Union. The Union is also negotiating free trade agreements with members of the European Free Trade Association - made up of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland - and also with New Zealand.

TAGS: Russia | tax | Iceland | export duty | fiscal policy | law | tariffs | Liechtenstein | Norway | excise duty | agreements | trade disputes | Belarus | Kazakhstan | New Zealand | Switzerland | import duty | trade | Vietnam | free trade zone

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