Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia are interested in conducting trade agreements with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Mikhnevich said on May 25.
The Belarusian news agency, BELTA, reported that Mikhnevich was speaking to a committee of the House of Representatives about the EEU progress and the trade deal with Vietnam, when he said that “the signing of the (free trade) agreement with Vietnam was followed by similar proposals from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia.”
“Cambodia even sent us an official request for information on how to become an EEU member,” the official added.
Mikhnevich also said that the EEU Member States (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia) are examining whether trade agreements with other Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), besides Vietnam, will benefit them or not.
“We will decide on further steps as soon as we get an opinion from expert groups,” the Deputy Minister said.
On 20 May, a Russia–ASEAN business forum took place in Sochi, Russia and it was said that Thailand is also interested in signing a trade agreement with the EEU. The ASEAN Member States are Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
At the forum, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said that Moscow wants to establish an “integrated network” of free trade zones with ASEAN nations. Moreover, the head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergei Katyrin, said in a press conference that he believes that “all ASEAN countries will eventually sign such agreements,” meaning the trade agreement between Vietnam and the EEU.