Vietnam willing to connect ASEAN and EAEU: Deputy PM hinh anh 1Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)

Moscow (VNA)
– Vietnam stands ready to work as a bridge to help Russia as well as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) expand ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), towards a trade and investment agreement between the two regions, a senior Vietnamese official said on September 4.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said at a discussion within the fifth Eastern Economic Forum in Russia’s Vladivostok city that during the tenure when Vietnam assumes the ASEAN Chairmanship, cooperation and economic, trade and investment links between the ten-member group and Russia, including the Far Eastern region, are expected to experience new development orientations, contributing to peace, stability, development and prosperity in Asia-Pacific.

He reviewed milestones in cooperation between ASEAN and Russia and EAEU, with the latest the signing of a memorandum of understanding on economic collaboration between the grouping and the union on November 14, 2018.

The document has been seen as a dialogue foundation for the two sides to discuss the possibility to expand cooperation across spheres, he said.  

Last year, trade between ASEAN and EAEU reached about 23.15 billion USD, up 15 percent year-on-year. Among ASEAN member countries, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia are the union’s major trade partners.

Trade between Vietnam and EAEU stood at 6.1 billion USD in 2018, a rise of 103 percent as compared with 2016.

To maintain the annual growth pace of trade between ASEAN and EAEU at about 25-30 percent, the Deputy PM suggested Vietnamese and Russian Governments join hands in implementing measure packages to help businesses optimise tax incentives, while signing special agreements to reduce non-tariff barriers relating to technologies and quarantine.

The two countries should utilise their mutual trust and close ties to support the partnership between ASEAN and EAEU, he said, noting that the fruitful implementation of the FTA between Vietnam and EAEU would encourage other countries to develop a similar deal between ASEAN and EAEU.

At the discussion, both Veronika Nikishina, Minister in charge of Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission, and Alexander Shokhin, President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, lauded Vietnam’s pioneer role in the signing of the EAEU-Vietnam FTA.

They suggested concerned sides maximise incentives brought about by the agreement, and deal with issues regarding transport and logistics.-VNA