Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed a joint declaration on December 15 announcing the conclusion of the negotiation on their free trade agreement (FTA).
|Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign the joint declaration on December 15 (Photo: VNA)|
The declaration was signed in the southern province of Kien Giang by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrey Slepnev in the witness of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
The two sides kicked off their FTA talks on March 28, 2013. After eight rounds of negotiation and many technical discussions, they have initially agreed on contents of the agreement on a wide-ranging scope and high-level commitments while ensuring mutual benefit and taking into consideration each side’s specific conditions.
The contents cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment, rules of origin, trade remedy, customs facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and legal and institutional issues.
Under the agreement, the Customs Unions provides Vietnam with preferential tariffs in order to facilitate the export of the country’s staples like farm produce, seafood, garments and textiles, footwear and wood furniture.
Meanwhile, Vietnam agrees to open its market according to a set roadmap for several commodities from the union, including husbandry products, machines, equipment and vehicles.
The two sides are finalising the remaining technical matters and will officially sign the agreement in early 2015.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, both Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrey Slepnev said that during the negotiation process, the two sides carefully considered each other’s specific conditions in order to ensure equal benefit.
They expressed belief that once operational, the agreement will help lift two-way trade to a high level, while reducing barriers, boosting bilateral investments and generating new jobs for labourers.
The eighth negotiation round took place in the locality from December 8-14.