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Kazakhstan ratifies Vietnam-EAEU free trade agreement

February 24, 2016, 19:55 UTC+3 ASTANA

The agreement is intended to create favorable conditions for mutual trade and investment

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ASTANA, February 24. /TASS/. Kazakhstan has ratified a free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union’s (EAEU) member states and Vietnam. The relevant law was signed on Wednesday by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, his press office reported.

The agreement that was concluded in Kazakhstan’s Burabay resort on May 29, 2015, is intended to create favorable conditions for mutual trade and investment. It provides for duty-free trade regime between the EAEU countries and Vietnam. At the same time, according to Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Minister of National Economy Marat Kusainov, "a transitional period for cancelling the import customs duties is set for some product types."

"Some sensitive products have been withdrawn from the free trade regime and duties will be imposed on them in accordance with the sides’ import tariffs," he said.

The agreement gives the parties the right to use special protective, antidumping and countervailing measures in accordance with the WTO rules.

"It also provides the use of a protective mechanism in the form of customs duty at the level of the EAEU Common Customs Tariff, which will protect sensitive for EAEU textile products and furniture if the limit of the annual volume of imports from Vietnam is exceeded," Kusainov said.

The Kazakh Economy Ministry previously outlined the prospects of exporting to Vietnam of a number of domestic goods, first of all food products - flour, grain, alcohol, dairy products and beef.

"We immediately get the zero duty in the Vietnamese market for our grain and flour. The duties will be also reduced to zero for other goods over certain transitional periods. So we have good prospects. We believe that we will be able to expand our exports", Kazakhstan’s Deputy National Economy Minister Timur Zhaksylykov said.

The ministry assessed the losses of the national budget due to the abolition of import customs duties at 458 million tenge ($1.26 million) a year.

"The economy in general will benefit because the duties are reduced also for our exports," Zhaksylykov said. According to him, in 2015 the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Vietnam accounted for $205 million.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization for regional economic integration. It has international legal personality and is established by the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. The EAEU provides for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, pursues coordinated, harmonized and single policy in the sectors determined by the Treaty and international agreements within the Union. The Member-States of the Eurasian Economic Union are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.

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