Moscow, Hanoi Discuss Expanding The Eurasian Economic Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has discussed with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Phu Trong prospects of expanding economic and political cooperation, the Kremlin press service said yesterday.

“Specific directions of the development of bilateral ties were thoroughly discussed. The interest was stressed in expanding the trade and economic cooperation, particularly via maximizing the potential of the free trade agreement between the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union – TASS) and Vietnam.”

The EAEU includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan and Russia, and effectively extends from the borders of China to the European Union. Numerous countries have signed FTA with the EAEU including China, who are currently negotiating tariff reductions. Other signatories in Asia include Singapore, while Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India have all expressed interest.

The Vietnamese FTA has been lucrative for both Russian investors looking at the Vietnamese market, with significant increases of Russian FDI coming into the country. Maria Kotova of Dezan Shira & Associates comments “Our firm has run market research studies and assisted investment by Russian companies into Vietnam and the fact that Vietnam is a member of ASEAN is atrractuve to Russian investors. Vietnam can be used as a springboard for sales and exports into other ASEAN nations, as well as China and India via the ASEAN Free Trade Agreements with these countries and this is proving a sound strategy for Russian manufacturing exporters.”

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