Russia WTO membership will faciliate trade with Vietnam

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Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization will clear the way for a free trade pact between the country and Vietnam, boosting their exports to each other, an official said.

Trade relations between Vietnam and Russia have not seen any breakthrough in recent years, but this will probably change when Russia becomes a WTO member, said Nguyen Ngoc Quan, deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade's European department.

Russia's WTO membership will help realize the plan to launch a free trade agreement with Vietnam, which is expected to be proposed officially at the end of 2011, Quan said.

The trade pact will allow Vietnam to get closer to a customs union with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, which together have a trade value of US$900 billion, he added.

Russia has been trying to get into the WTO since 1993 with decades of negotiations and its officials believe 2010 was the most successful year, taking the accession a step closer to reality.

Trade between Russia and Vietnam has increased in a stable manner over the past three years, reaching nearly $2 billion in 2009. However, the trade value only accounted for a very small part of their respective international volumes.

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