MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Russia’s and Vietnam’s parliaments are interested in the soonest ratification of the free trade zone agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russian parliament’s upper house, the federation Council, said on Tuesday at a meeting with deputy speaker of Vietnam’s National Assembly (parliament) Tong Thi Phong.
"On our part, we will do our best to ratify the free trade zone agreement [between the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam] as soon as possible. We hope the Vietnamese parliament will do the same," she said, adding that the signing of this document in May 2015 was a milestone event.
"Vietnam was the first interstate partner of the Eurasian Economic Union to sign such document," Matviyenko said. She said she was confident the implementation of this agreement "will make it possible to considerably increase bilateral trade to at least $10 billion by 2020 and will encourage diversification of our trade though the growth of investments, services, technologies, highly-qualified personnel."
In May 2015, the Eurasian Economic Union and Vietnam signed a free trade zone agreement, the first ever such agreement signed by the newly formed Union and a third party. The Eurasian Economic Union currently comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Kyrgyzstan is in the state of joining the Union.
The agreement binds its signatories to simplify access of goods to their markets for parties to the agreement. Customs duties will be reduced on 88% of traded commodity. Customs duties on 59% of goods will be reduced immediately after the agreement comes into force, and in a span of five to ten years — on the rest 29% An average level of Vietnam’s customs duties on goods from the Eurasian Economic Union will be brought down from ten to one percent by 2025.