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KUALA LUMPUR, August 24. /TASS/. More than 40 countries have expressed interest in creating a free trade zone (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said Monday at the East Asia Summit (EAS).
"Global cooperation is an important trend. Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan organized a Eurasian Economic Union and set up the free trade zone with Vietnam. More than 40 countries and international organizations have expressed interest in establishing a free trade zone with the EAEU — China, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia are among them," the Minister said.
Speaking about the cooperation with the countries of EAS, Ulyukayev noted that the summit is "an excellent opportunity to extend participation in integration processes in the region" for Russia. "The EAEU countries play an important role in the global economy — the GDP of the member states reached $60.5 trillion in 2014," the Minister added.
18 states participate in the EAS: 10 ASEAN countries and its dialogue partners — Australia, China, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, the United States and Japan.
In 2014 Russia's trade turnover with the countries of EAS, according to the Russian customs statistics, amounted to $208 bln and increased in comparison with 2013 by 2%, including export that amounted to $105.8 bln (increasing by 8.9%), import — $102.2 bln (decreasing by 4.2%). The foreign trade surplus between Russia and the EAS in 2014 amounted to $3.7 bln. The Russian exports to these countries were based on fuel and mineral products.