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RT | 7 September 2019
Singapore to join Russia-led free-trade zone in October
One of the leading Asian economies, Singapore, is set to ink a free trade agreement with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) next month, Russia’s deputy minister of economic development has revealed to RT.
In an interview to RT during the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) Timur Maksimov said that talks with Singapore on the free trade deal had already been finished.
“A meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is scheduled for October 1, where the document [free-trade deal] is expected to be signed,” the official said.
He added that the sides are also working on similar accords on investment and services, that are set to be finalized before the end of the year. A comprehensive document on free movement of goods, services and capital is expected to be inked in 2020, according to Maksimov.
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 Israel, Egypt and India are also eyeing joining the free-trade zone with the EAEU as a total of more than 50 countries have expressed interest in cooperation with the bloc.
The EAEU, the international organization for regional economic integration, was established at the start of 2015 and now includes five member-states – Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The EAEU’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded $1.9 trillion as of the end of last year and has increased nearly one percent in the first three months of 2019.