China is optimistic about creating free trade zone with EEU - Ministry of Commerce

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China is very optimistic about the possibility of establishing a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Director of the Department of Eurasian Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce Ling Ji said at the meeting with Russian journalists on Friday.

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, which came into force on January 1, 2015. Armenia joined the union this year; Kyrgyzstan is expected to become the EEU member in May. Earlier, the Russian ambassador to China said in the interview with RIA Novosti that China offered the EEU to create a free trade zone.

"Our neighbors are already turning into a single customs territory. We should pursue a new policy of trade and economic relations with them. We are very optimistic about the possibility to negotiate for a free trade zone of China and the EEU, and we believe that it will offer new opportunities for cooperation," said Lin Ji.

According to him, the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) are holding quite intensive negotiations, and China "hopes for constructive results." However, he stressed that the parties should "respect the rules and mutual competition."

Commenting on the possible threat that the Chinese goods will flood the EEU market, Ji Lin underlined that the free trade zone opens markets for all the involved parties.

"It's a balance of interests. The free trade zone gives mutual access to the markets. Experts should address these concerns. The creation of a free trade zone is a natural process. I do not think that mutual access to markets is a negative factor for the economy of this or that country," said Lin Ji.

Text and pictures by IA Novosti-Kazakhstan