FTA with Eurasia Economic Union promises major opportunities for Vietnam to promote exports and expand market access in region.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived at Kokshetau Airport in Kazakhstan on May 29 and headed to the northern town of Burabai to witness the signing of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU).
Addressing the ceremony, the PM said that after two years of effort the signing of the FTA is an important milestone. “The agreement signed today will help Vietnam become the first international partner to sign an FTA with the Union,” he said. “The agreement also represents the strategic vision of the Union to develop cooperation with the Asia - Pacific; a dynamic economic area and driver of global economic growth.”
For his part, Mr. Viktor Khristenko, Chairman of Asia-Europe Economic Standing Committee, said the agreement will help Vietnam’s businesses access the markets of five countries with 180 million people and GDP of over $2.5 trillion. Vietnam can also take advantage of many preferential conditions and customs advantages that will help boost its export of goods and services and its investment in Vietnam.
He added that over the last two years the negotiation process has achieved the expected results and provided overall benefits for both sides. “This is a new beginning in the development of cooperation between the countries,” he said. “The establishment of a free trade mechanism between the EEU and Vietnam opens up new opportunities for all signatories.”
According to an initial assessment by the Union, after the agreement takes effect trade between the two parties will reach $10 to $12 billion by 2020. Meanwhile, Vietnam estimates trade turnover will increase annually by 18 to 20 per cent.
Vietnam and the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) started the FTA negotiations on March 28, 2013, with a declaration to conclude negotiations signed on December 15, 2014.
On January 1, 2015 the Customs Union became the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), consisting of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. After eight official rounds of negotiations and a number of mid-term meetings, the VN-EEU FTA is now a reality.
The signing of the FTA will create an open and sustainable legal framework for economic development between Vietnam and members of the Union and promote bilateral relations and exchange measures.