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Customs Union, Vietnam hold first-round talks

Staff writer |
The first round of negotiations on a free trade agreement was held between the member countries of the Eurasian Economic Customs Union and Vietnam in Kazakhstan's largest city of Almaty, the country's Economy and Budget Planning Ministry said.

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Negotiators from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, members of the Customs Union, and Vietnam carried out consultations on commodities trade, tariff regulation, the country-of-origin rule, intellectual property protection, and national procurement, the ministry's press service said. They also reached an agreement on e-commerce and phytosanitary measures in the draft deal.

A free trade zone between the trade bloc and Vietnam, once established, would boost exports of goods from Customs Unions member to the southeastern Asian country and promote bilateral trade relations, according to the ministry.

The Eurasian Economic Customs Union, launched on Jan. 1, 2010, is aimed at providing a single customs territory, where countries participating in the union apply uniform tariffs and other regulations for trade with other countries.

Eurasian Economic Commission was established on Jan. 1, 2012 as a regulatory body for the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space that also groups Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to facilitate integration process.

The Custom Union plans to launch free trade talks with more than 30 countries across the world, Russian customs agency said in February. The free trade pact with Vietnam is expected to be signed in 2015.

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