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Thailand eyes signing free trade zone agreement with EAEU, says Prime Minister

Prayut Chan-o-cha pointed to the prospects of the Far East as a link between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region

VLADIVOSTOK, September 3. /TASS/. Thailand hopes to conclude a free trade zone agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the country’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said during his speech via video link at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) on Friday.

"We hope that we will be able to conclude a number free trade agreements with other key economies in various regions, including the EAEU. No doubt that it (the EAEU - TASS) has very great potential as a market in the Eurasian region. Thailand intends to continue constructive dialogue with the EAEU member states, including Russia and Kazakhstan, so that we can move together on such an important and urgent agenda," he said.

He also pointed to the prospects of the Far East as a link between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region. Chan-o-cha stressed that the Far Eastern region fits well into the Russian concept of creating a Greater Eurasian Partnership.

"In this regard, I see a large number of opportunities for further cooperation to strengthen ties in the spheres of infrastructure, trade, investment, exchange of experience in the development of tourism and the creation of special economic zones," the Prime Minister added.

In addition, he said that Thailand is actively developing the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which is located along the east coast of the kingdom and is a popular tourist destination. Chan-o-cha mentioned the similarity of this region to the Russian Far East, adding that they both have enormous potential. He called on foreign investors to invest their capital in digital technologies, healthcare and smart logistics in the EEC, noting that the region has excellent infrastructure and modern mechanisms to stimulate investment.

The EAEU is an international economic integration association, whose members are Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Observer status has been granted to Moldova, Uzbekistan and Cuba. The EAEU has already signed agreements on a free trade zone with Vietnam, Singapore and Serbia. In total, about 50 proposals were received from various countries and associations to establish partnerships with the EAEU.