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Russia could sign free trade agreement with New Zealand

Staff writer |
Russia is likely to sign a free trade agreement with New Zealand in 2014, and an agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei Likhachev told journalists in Moscow.

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"Signing the agreement to create a free trade zone with New Zealand this year is, in my opinion, very likely. As concerns the EFTA, there is a definite possibility they'll sign by the end of the year, but these are not two-sided talks, they are talks with an association," Mr. Likhachev said. EFTA includes Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Lichtenstein.

Mr. Likhachev also said that Russia was not likely to sign a free trade agreement with Vietnam this year. "I think that we will see this agreement in 2015, and it will likely be signed in the form of an economic union."

Research groups have been created to analyze and prepare free trade agreements with India and Israel, he said, adding that there have been requests from another 35 countries for similar agreements. These countries include Central and Latin American countries, as well as Arab countries.

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