14:36 18.03.2014

The Customs Union, bringing together Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia,
and Israel have launched the work of a joint research group to study
the prospects for the creation of a free trade zone, the Eurasian
Economic Commission (EEC) reported on Tuesday.

The joint group is comprised of experts of the EEC, ministries and
departments of the Customs Union and the State of Israel, the Voice
of Russia reports.

According to EEC Trade Minister Andrei Slepnyov, "the task of the
research group is to conduct a deep system-oriented analysis of
the prospects for the creation of a free trade zone between the
countries." "The group is to determine which questions such an
agreement might cover and outline possible approaches to the mutually
advantageous settlement of sensitive issues for specific sectors,"
Slepnyov said.

On the results of their study, the experts will present a special
report and recommendations on the basis of which a decision may be
taken to launch negotiations on a free trade zone between the Customs
Union member countries and the State of Israel.

The EEC said that modern free trade agreements are aimed at creating
favourable conditions for the further development of trade-economic
co-operation. In addition to the classical issues of liberalization of
trade in goods through the reduction of customs duties, such agreements
often include other disciplines, for example, issues related to trade
in services and other measures of easing mutual investment activity,
the development of cross-border trade in services, ensuring the
necessary protection and encouragement of capital investment.

From: A. Papazian