Serbia and EEU to begin negotiations about free trade zones

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Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev announced on Friday the beginning of negotiations between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Israel and Serbia on the establishment of free trade zones.

– The plan is for the first round of talks with Israel to take place before the end of the year. Negotiations with Serbia and a number of other countries are to begin as well – Medvedev said at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of the EEU.

This May, the supreme council of the EEU adopted a decision on starting negotiations with Serbia on the unification of the trade regime, the result of which will be the mutual free trade zone established by all EEU member states and Serbia.

Only  three EEU countries have a free trade agreement with Serbia – Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, with certain stipulations differing between the agreements.

According to the Serbian Trade Minister Rasim Ljajic, Serbia will send a list of products offered for export to the EEU on 31st October.

– We already have a good agreement with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in place, which envisions the export of 99% of our goods – Ljajic said for the Vecernje Novosti.

– Nevertheless, the new agreement will enable us to expand the offer, but also to export to Armenia and Kyrgyzstan as well. We will offer, among other things, cars, sugar, wine, poultry, certain types of cheese, and we will see what will the EEU countries go for. This is a large market, as these countries have around 185 million consumers. We haven’t used this market to the extent we could  have so far.

The EEU was established in 2015 following the formation of the customs union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined later. This month, Vietnam officially became the first country outside the region to join this economic union which has been designed to enable the free flow of goods, services, capital and work force between the member-states.

(eKapija, 30.10.2016)

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