Vietnam, Customs Union wrap up FTA talks

By Hong Cuc, Thanh Nien News

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Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign a joint statement on the conclusion of negotiations on their free trade agreement in Kien Giang province on December 15, 2014. Photo credit: VNA Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign a joint statement on the conclusion of negotiations on their free trade agreement in Kien Giang province on December 15, 2014. Photo credit: VNA

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Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have concluded negotiations on their free trade agreement that may raise the current trade flow of US$4 billion to $12 billion in 2020.
A joint statement on the conclusion was signed on Monday by Vietnam's Industry and Trade Minister Vu Huy Hoang and the Eurasian Economic Commission’s Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev in the southern province of Kien Giang under the witness of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The agreement covers trade, investment, rules of origin, intellectual property, customs facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and among others.
Under the agreement, the Customs Union provides Vietnam with preferential tariffs on exports of agricultural produce, seafood, textiles and garments, footwear and furniture.
Meanwhile, Vietnam opens its market according to a roadmap for husbandry products, machines, equipment and vehicles from the union.
The two sides, which began their FTA talks in March 2013, are expected to officially sign the agreement in early 2015.
After the signing, two-way trade is projected to hit US$10-12 billion in 2020, significant up from roughly $4 billion this year.
Last Wednesday, Vietnam and South Korea signed a statement to conclude their negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries.
Vietnam also expects to finalize negotiations for the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership next year.

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