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14 Apr 2017

EAEU urged to step up effort to establish free trade zones with third countries

BISHKEK, 14 April (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko called on the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to step up their work to establish free trade zones with third countries as he spoke at the extended meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Bishkek on 14 April, BelTA has learned.

“Although we place major emphasis on improving the relations within the union, we also remember about expanding the boundaries. In this regard, I can say frankly that signing preferential agreements on free trade is in the interests of Belarus. I am confident that it also meets the interests of the other states. With this in mind, I call for stepping up the effort to diversify trade and investment relations with our partners, strengthening the industrial and agricultural cooperation,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian leader also pointed out that the Eurasian Economic Union is gradually expanding its geography. “The work to create a single economic space and the objectives laid down in the EAEU Treaty find support from other countries of the region,” Alexander Lukashenko noted. Moldova’s move to get observer status with the EAEU and the eagerness of many countries to establish a free economic zone with the union attest to this.

“However, it is one thing to consolidate reasonable ideas in a document, and quite another to implement them. In this respect, the union has a number of unresolved problems. In 2016, we did not manage to stop the decline in mutual trade and eliminate its causes. I am not talking about other issues. This is the main problem since we have an economic union,” the Belarusian head of state stressed.

Alexander Lukashenko supported Kyrgyzstan’s call for focusing on the effort to settle internal issues of the EAEU.

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