Eurasian Union to start talks with Egypt over free trade agreement: Minister

State members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) agreed to start negotiations on free trade agreement with Egypt, Egyptian Trade Minister Tarek Qabil announced Monday.

During its meeting on Monday in Russia’s St Petersburg., the union also agreed to start talks on free trade agreements with Iran, India, and Singapore.

The EAEU includes Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Qabil stated that this decision comes as a result of the great efforts exerted by the Egyptian ministry within the last period in coordination with all EAEU state members.

He added that the free trade agreement would make a leap in joint trade and investment ties between Egypt and union’s state members.

After signing the free trade agreement, Egypt’s trade ties with EAEU members would jump from US$3.5 billion to around US$15.7 billion, the minister stated.

Qabil noted that he had discussions with a number of Russian officials during his last visit to Russia in June 2016 in which he emphasised on the importance of starting talks on free trade agreement as soon as possible.

Egyptian trade ministry send a high-profile technical team to Russia that held expanded meetings with EAEU officials so as to discuss benefits of the free trade agreement for Egypt and the union, Qabil pointed out.