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India, Eurasian Economic Union begin studying feasibility of free trade zone agreement

June 19, 2015, 10:03 UTC+3

Currently, similar working groups on free trade agreements work with Egypt and Israel

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Eurasian Economic Commission Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev

Eurasian Economic Commission Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev

© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Mashkov

ST. PETERSBURG, June 19. /TASS/. India and EAEU began to study the feasibility of a free trade zone agreement.

The corresponding document was signed between the Ministry of State for Commerce and Industry of India and EEC Thursday, June 19 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF 2015).

According to the EEC Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev, the research team will be formed in July and will finish the work "within a fairly short period."

"We hope that if you carry out research as planned, then the next year we will come to the presidents’ decision [of the Union countries and India - TASS] on beginning the negotiations on the free trade zone agreement," Slepnev said.

The group will analyze the dynamics of trade, investment and overall "joint trade policy and integration agendas."

Currently, similar working groups on free trade agreements work with Egypt and Israel.

In May, the EAEU has signed an agreement on free trade with Vietnam, which was the first agreement on the facilitation of trade regime after the establishment of the union in 2015.

"The study group should be giving its report, hopefully it would be in seven months, the moment we get this report we can start negotiating the free trade agreement further," Sitharaman told TASS in an exclusive interview. "The two regions are big, anything done together should naturally lead to bigger outcomes," Sitharaman said.

"We are ready to make a similar decision on Iran in the near future. And I think that in general this whole complex of measures forms a clear picture of our priorities for cooperation with partners in the Asian region, which now have the highest growth rate, and generally support the global economy. There is hope that we also will be able to contribute. So that we will be able to take advantage of common benefit from this economic cooperation and growth," Slepnev said.

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