As many as 40 countries are considering the possibility of signing agreements on free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Sputnik News reports.
The Eurasian Economic Union, which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, is an international organization, which aims to achieve the free flow of goods and services between its member countries.
“In May this year, we signed a free trade agreement between the EAEU and Vietnam. Another 40 countries are examining the possibility of signing similar agreements,” the president said in an address to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit that will take place on November 18-19 in Manila.
The Asia-Pacific region, including parts of East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, is estimated to account for some 40 percent of the global economy.
According to the Russian President, for a long time, trade has been a driving force of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region, but currently, the region needs additional agreements on a wide range of issues, including services, investment, non-tariff barriers, competition and subsidies.
The new agreements are likely to presuppose complex negotiations, and this should be taken for granted, Putin said.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), established in 1989, promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The APEC forum includes Russia, the United States, China, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Brunei
Earlier this year, another regional bloc, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), supported the idea of liberalization of trade with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.