HANOI, October 31 2010 (RIA Novosti)
Vietnam mulls free trade zone with post-Soviet customs union
Vietnam is considering creating a free trade zone with the post-Soviet customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet said on Sunday.
Triet said during a joint press conference with his Russian colleague Dmitry Medvedev who is on an official visit to Vietnam that both countries intended to increase bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2020 from the current $1.5 billion.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed in November 2009 an agreement to create a customs union, paving the way for a single economic space. The agreement came into force on January 1, but is unable to start working fully until disputes are resolved and the customs code comes into effect.
The three countries have agreed to create a single economic space by January 1, 2012.
Ukraine has said it does not intend to join the customs union, but has supported the idea of free trade among former Soviet republics.