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QINGDAO, May 18 /ITAR-TASS/. The Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia, may sign an agreement on a free trade zone at the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015, the Russian Economic Development Ministry’s press service cited head of the ministry Aleksey Ulyukayev as saying at a meeting of the trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum in the Chinese city of Qingdao on Sunday.
In his words, sections on different commodities and services in the free trade zone deal would have been finalized before the end of 2014.
“We have a common target to increase trade volume to seven billion dollars by 2015. Meanwhile, we should make our trade and economic ties well-balanced and mutually beneficial. Talks over an agreement to create a free trade zone between the Customs Union states and Vietnam should be based on this approach,” Ulyukayev said.
In 2013, trade between Vietnam and the Customs Union states went up 8.4% on 2012 to reach around four billion dollars.
Ulyukayev and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang also discussed operation of the Russian-Vietnamese high-level working group on priority investment projects at their meeting in the Chinese city of Qingdao.
This working group has already been operating for more than a year. The working group’s first results became contracts officially fixed on two projects - by one project from each country. Notably, Russian energy systems machine-building company Power Machines participates in the construction project of Vietnamese thermal power station Long Phu-1.
“We should continue monitoring of projects’ implementation and seek jointly for all parties to fulfil their liabilities,” the Russian minister of economic development said.