The first round of the negotiations of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan took place in Hanoi on March 29.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang and Trade Minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission Andrey Slepnev signed a joint notice on the session between the two sides.

Both sides were unanimous in the scope and areas of the agreement that need to be adjusted such as commercialisation, service trade, investment, regulations and economic cooperation.

The two sides stressed that the agreement will be in line with the regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), taking due consideration of each nation’s sensitive areas and the development gap between them.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the union stood at 2.7 billion USD in 2012.

The two chief negotiators said that the FTA will help the sides achieve the goal of raising bilateral trade turnover to 10 billion USD before 2020 as set by their leaders.

They also agreed to promote the politic, economic, trade and investment relations between the four countries.-VNA