EAEU eyes free trade agreements with Indonesia, Mongolia
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is considering an opportunity of establishing free trade zones with Indonesia and Mongolia, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Alexander Pankin told TASS in an interview.
"Joint research groups are currently formed to examine feasibility of making free trade agreements with Indonesia and Mongolia," the diplomat said.
Comprehensive activities are implemented within the EAEU framework to broaden trade and economic ties with third countries and create preferential conditions for access to foreign markets, Pankin noted. "The EAEU trade basket already comprise free trade agreements with Vietnam, Singapore and Serbia and the temporary one with Iran; two non-preferential agreements with China are implemented," the official said. "Draft free trade agreements with Israel and Egypt are at a high stage of readiness," he noted.
The most promising requests from the standpoint of the mutual economic efficiency are selected among more than fifty applications for the foreign trade zone received by the Eurasian Economic Commission, Pankin said. It is difficult to forecast the end of negotiations because of the pandemic, he noted. "Six rounds of negotiations were held with Israel; the last one in March 2020 in Jerusalem, actually just before state borders closing. Significant progress was achieved after three rounds (all of them were in 2019) with Egypt; the date of the next meeting is coordinated," the diplomat said.
The question of liberalizing trade relations with Argentina is not in the agenda at present, Pankin said. "Cooperation down the EAEU line is implemented within the framework of memoranda earlier signed by the Eurasian Economic Commission with MERCOSUR, the Latin American economic system, and the bilateral sectoral document with the state secretariat of agricultural industry of the Argentina’s Ministry of Production and Trade," he added.