Vietnam, Russia to speed up trade pact talks: report

TN News

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Vietnamese and Russian officials have said they will push harder for a free trade agreement as the countries aim to more than double their trade value in the next three years.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and his Russian counterpart Igor Shuvalov agreed to speed up necessary works for setting up a free trade area for Vietnam and the two-year old Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, a report on the government's website said Friday.

Trade between Vietnam and Russia is expected to reach US$3 billion this year and then rise to $7 billion by 2015, according to the report.

Officials have said Russia is interested in a free trade agreement with Vietnam as it wants to strengthen its presence in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia. A trade pact will also enable Vietnam to boost its agricultural, seafood and garment exports to Russia, they say.

Negotiations are scheduled to start early next year.

Vietnam earlier this month began the first round of talks for another free trade agreement with the European Union. The two sides are expected to wrap up negotiations in 2014.

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