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Russian Trade Chamber Hopes for Rapid Free Trade Zone Talks With ASEAN

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the photo bankThe Sochi Congress Center, pictured, will be a venue of the ASEAN-Russia Summit
The Sochi Congress Center, pictured, will be a venue of the ASEAN-Russia Summit - Sputnik International
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The Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hopes for free trade zone negotiations between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to proceed at a faster pace than previous negotiations, the chamber's President Sergey Katyrin said Friday.

SOCHI (Sputnik) — The Russian resort city of Sochi is hosting the Russia-ASEAN summit on May 19-20. The summit is attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of ASEAN member states, including Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Laos.

"I very much hope for these talks to be shorter. In the case of Vietnam, they took six years. I think that they will be shorter now, given the experience of negotiation with Vietnam," Katyrin said.

The Sochi Congress Centre, pictured, will be a venue of the ASEAN-Russia Summit - Sputnik International
Putin: Russia Interested in Closer Business Cooperation With ASEAN
Leaders of EEU member states, including Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia and Belarus, signed a free trade zone agreement with Vietnam in May 2015. The deal is expected to start operating at full capacity in June 2016.

"I expect the range of countries that have such agreements to include all ASEAN members, in time," Katyrin stated.

During the ongoing summit, Putin mentioned the possibility of creating a free trade zone between the EEU and ASEAN, while Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that Malaysia considers it important to study the possibility of establishing a free trade zone with the EEU.

The EEU is an international organization that encourages regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services, and people within the union. It came into being on January 1, 2015.

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