CIS PMs fail to agree on creation of free trade zone

Xinhua | May 20, 2011

CIS PMs fail to agree on creation of free trade zone

The prime ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries failed to reach an agreement on the creation of a free trade zone during the meeting of the CIS heads of governments in Minsk on Thursday, local media reported.

Participants of the meeting didn’t manage to reach a final decision as they faced certain difficulties. Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan put forward their demands at the meeting.

According to Chairman of CIS Executive Committee Sergei Lebedev, compromises on the document will be discussed in St. Petersburg at another session of prime ministers in October. A free trade area does exist in the CIS since the signing of a general treaty in 1994, but the document is out-of-date. The terms of the new free trade agreement will be as close as possible to WTO rules and require the abolition of quotas and import duties in countries signatories, said Belarusian Prime Minister Michail Myasnikovich.

The draft agreement on a free trade zone, which would move the grouping of most of the former Soviet republics further toward liberalized trade, was the most important topic on the agenda of the meeting.

The agreement contributes to the formation of the single and up- to-date contractual base for the complete liberalization of the trade at the CIS territory and removal of the barriers.

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source: Xinhua