An overview of the EAEU-ASEAN Business Dialogue (Photo: VNA)

St. Petersburg (VNA) - Vietnam, as an active ASEAN member and the first nation to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), is willing to work as a bridge to help the EAEU and Russia to expand trade and investment ties with the ASEAN, a Vietnamese trade official said.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong made the statement at the EAEU-ASEAN Business Dialogue which was held on June 8 as part of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) running from June 6-8.

In his speech, Vuong briefed participants on the history and development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community, Vietnam’s role in the bloc, and relations between Vietnam and the EAEU as well as between the ASEAN and EAEU.

He said the EAEU-Vietnam FTA has enabled Vietnam and the ASEAN nations to approach the EAEU market, which groups five countries with a combined GDP of 2.2 trillion USD.

Since the pact took effect in 2016, trade between Vietnam and the EAEU grew 103 percent to hit nearly 6.1 billion USD in 2018.

Sharing a traditional relationship, Vietnam and Russia have been trustworthy partners that have supported each other in boosting international economic integration and improving positions in multilateral and regional forums, Vuong said.

At the dialogue, delegates praised Vietnam’s improved role and position in the region, particularly its pioneer role in strengthening relations between the ASEAN and EAEU. They hoped to learn from Vietnam’s experience in the matter.

Discussions at the dialogue focused on advantages and opportunities of the EAEU in attracting investment from the ASEAN member nations, prospects and potential for cooperation between the two sides, as well as challenges facing their business and trade ties.-VNA