BISHKEK (TCA) — The government of Chile is ready to start negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), an international organization comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, which encourages regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services, and people within the union, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reports.
Paulina Nazal Aranda, the Chilean Trade Vice Minister and head of the Chilean Foreign Ministry’s General Directorate for International Economic Relations, told Sputnik on July 27 that the country should first create a working group which would evaluate the opportunities to negotiate the deal. Then, according to the vice minister, the two sides would assess the potential benefits of signing the agreement, which could take up to two years.
“We are ready… to start negotiations with the union,” Aranda said.
In late June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists that almost 50 countries expressed their interest in cooperation with the EEU.
Vietnam is the first country that signed a free trade agreement with the EEU in May 2015, while several other countries, including Iran, Singapore, Egypt and India, are currently negotiating on the agreements. The South American trade bloc Mercosur and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have also expressed their interest in discussing possible economic and trade cooperation with the union.