MOSCOW, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. A free trade zone agreement with New Zealand may be signed by year-end, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Likhachev told journalists on Tuesday.
According to Likhachev, Russia and the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan) are now in talks about economic cooperation, including free trade zone, and some are nearing completion. One of the potential deals is the agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprised of Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein, which are not members of the EU, along with New Zealand and Vietnam.
Likhachev believes an agreement with New Zealand would be most likely signed in 2014, while a deal on an economic union with Vietnam is expected in 2015.
He added that a deal with the EFTA was likely to be signed by year-end, if the EFTA’s members come to an agreement.
Russia and the Customs Union are also negotiating a free trade zone with India. An economic deal with Israel is under consideration, as well as about 35 requests from Latin American, Arab and other countries.