Malaysia is keen on having Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries as its new free trade agreement (FTA) partners.

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) FTA Policy and Negotiations Coordination Division Director Datin Che Mazni Che Wook said Russia is one of the key countries that Malaysia is currently aiming for.

Besides Russia, the other 11 CIS members are Armenia , Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

In fact, Malaysia plans to have an FTA with Russia and also with CIS countries but need to determine the procedure on how the country want to proceed, and have to do a feasibility study.

"If the study shows that it will bring benefit to Malaysia, then we will start consulting the industry and stakeholders," she said.

Malaysia is already in FTA discussions with Turkey, the European Union (EU) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) states, and is in the process of considering an FTA with Bangladesh.

In addition, Malaysia is also a negotiator for the ASEAN-Japan Investment and Services, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreements, Che Wook said.

Malaysia's trade with its FTA partners grew 5.8 percent to 832.52 billion RM (almost 260 billion USD) in 2012 from the 786.66 billion RM in 2011, according to Bernama.-VNA