The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) is finalizing negotiations to set up a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and Singapore, officials announced this month.
The EAEU is a free trade area that includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The countries represent a market of some 183 million people and a combined GDP (PPP) of about $5 trillion.
Veronika Nikishina, the EEC’s trade minister, explained that the free trade zone with Singapore will not only apply to goods but also to services and investment.
“As a result, we will have a package of seven different agreements. We are set to sign the first of seven agreements – a goods agreement in Yerevan [at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council] on 1 October,” she said.
In the future, the parties intend to sign a number of bilateral agreements in services and investment. The main goal of the free trade zone between the EAEU and Singapore is to ease regulatory procedures and reduce duties in those commodity segments that are of interest to exporters from the EAEU countries, Nikishina added.
Singapore is set to join the expanding range of the EAEU’s economic partners. Several other states, including China, Iran, Vietnam and Cuba, are already enjoying free trade with the bloc. Meanwhile, according to Russian media, Israel, Egypt and India are also eyeing joining the free-trade zone with the EAEU.