NDO/VNA - A free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) was signed in Burabai, Kazakhstan on May 29 after more than two years of negotiations, opening up a new chapter in the partnership between Vietnam and the union as well as each EAEU member in particular.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and leaders from EAEU members – Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan – as well as the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasia Economic Commission gathered together to witness the signing of the agreement.
Launched in Vietnam on March 28, 2013, the comprehensive agreement regulates issues related to goods trading, origin principle, trade remedies, investment, intellectual property, legality and institution, among others.
Once it becomes effective, two-way trade between Vietnam and the EAEU is expected to reach up to US$12 billion in 2020, a surge from US$4 billion in 2014. Vietnam’s exports to the union are estimated to rise between 18-20% per year.
With a total population of about 175 million and a GDP of US$2.5 trillion, the EAEU plays an important role in the growth of a number of former Soviet Union states towards a homogeneous economy.
Speaking to the media after the official signing ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung praised the efforts of negotiation teams over the past two years.
He further highlighted the sound traditional friendship and collaboration between Vietnam and EAEU member countries throughout the past.
The FTA makes Vietnam the first international partner to sign such a deal with the union, he noted, adding that the agreement also manifests a strategic vision of the union on developing ties with the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.
The Vietnamese leader expressed his belief that the FTA will greatly help boost economic growth in each country, fostering bilateral trade, service and investment relations and expanding regional cooperation.
As an active member of the ASEAN, Vietnam will do its best to assist the EAEU in extending its affiliation with the ASEAN Community, a 600 million-strong single market with a GDP of about US$2.5 trillion, he stated.
The PM also noted that Vietnam is speeding up negotiations for FTAs with many large partners, which will create favourable conditions for enterprises from EAEU’s member countries to invest in Vietnam and benefit from opportunities to access various markets such as the US, China, Japan, EU and Australia.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasia Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko expressed his delight at the signing of the deal, saying that it is a historical event of the EAEU as Vietnam is the first partner to sign the document with the union.
Vietnam has also been a strategic partner of the union in Southeast Asia over previous decades, he said.
The impartial agreement which takes into account common interest marks a new period in the partnership between both sides, he declared, adding that the establishment of a free trade mechanism between EAEU and Vietnam will open new opportunities for all parties involved.
Furthermore, in his speech, Kazakhstan PM Karim Masimov said the signing of the deal is an important part of the union’s diversification of cooperation channels.
PM Nguyen Tan Dung expressed his hope that Vietnam and EAEU member countries will promptly finalise internal approval procedures for the deal, so that it will become effective soon and bring about great benefit to enterprises and peoples of both sides.