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VLADIVOSTOK, September 6. /TASS/. The conclusion of an agreement on a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Mongolia may be held already in 2018, Russia’s Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy told TASS on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
He also co-chairs the intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Mongolia.
"We plan it next year," he said.
Donskoy also stressed that interregional and cross-border trade is one of the key areas of interaction and development of economic relations.
"70% of the growth that we see is trade between neighboring regions, so from the point of view proposals to establish a free trade zone were made. No final decision has been made yet," the minister said.
Introduction of a visa-free regime between Russia and Mongolia in November 2014 had a significant impact on the development of economic integration, acting Minister of Economy of Russia’s republic of Buryatia Zandra Sangadiyev said.
He referred to statistics showing that in 2016, 418,000 Mongolian citizens visited Buryatia, which is 2.2 times more than in 2015.
The annual foreign trade turnover between Buryatia and Mongolia exceeds $30 million. According to the Ministry of Economy of the republic, last year exports amounted to more than $26 million, imports were at about $6 million.
Today, the economic relations between the region and the neighboring state are governed mainly by the agreement between the government of the Russian Federation and the government of Mongolia on economic and transboundary cooperation that was signed in 1999.