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Russia-Vietnam Free Trade Zone on Schedule - Vietnam Briefing News

HCMC – During the September 6th meeting of the Russia-Vietnam intergovernmental commission, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov stated that the creation of a free trade zone (FTZ) between the states of the Eurasian Customs Union and Vietnam is on schedule to be completed by January 1, 2015. A further area of discussion revolved around national currency settlements.

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Saturday’s meeting was the 17th session of the Russia-Vietnam intergovernmental commission. Key topics discussed at the meeting included:

  • The problems surrounding trade growth
  • Creating a mechanism for calculating in national currency
  • The establishment of a working group consisting of representatives from the ministries of finance and central banks

Additionally, Deputy PM Shuvalov stated that both Vietnam and Russia were aiming to increase their trade volume between the two states to US$7 billion by 2015, and US$10 billion by 2020.

The Eurasian Customs Union, also known as the Customs Union, came into existence on January 1, 2010, and aims to be a sort of European Union for former Soviet states.  The Union is currently made up of the states of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Earlier in the year, the head of Russia’s Economic Development Ministry, Aleksey Ulyukayev, explained the path envisioned for the new FTZ: “We [Vietnam and the Eurasian Customs Union states] have a common target to increase trade volume to seven billion dollars by 2015. Meanwhile, we should make our trade and economic ties well-balanced and mutually beneficial. Talks over an agreement to create a free trade zone between the Customs Union states and Vietnam should be based on this approach.”

Over the past few years, relations between Russia and Vietnam have been growing substantially. Tensions with China have only further encouraged Vietnam to build up strong partnerships with other countries.

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In November of last year, Russian President Putin visited Vietnam for a series of high-level meetings. During these meetings, officials from both sides signed a number of agreements outlining cooperation in a variety of areas, including military issues, science and technology and extradition.

Partly due to its fears concerning China, since 2010 Vietnam has become a major buyer of Russian weapons. Russia is also helping Vietnam to develop its hydrocarbon resources.

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