DUSHANBE, October 2, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- A new trade regime is expected to be introduced within the CIS area in 2013, the CIS Executive Committee reports.

To-date, eight CIS nations, including Tajikistan, have signed an agreement on creating a free trade area and Uzbekistan is expected to sign the agreement in the near future.

According to the CIS Executive Committee Chairman Sergey Lebedev, the issue of Uzbekistan’s entry to the CIS free trade area (CISFTA) was considered at a meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of Government that took place in Yalta, Ukraine on September 28.

Lebedev noted that only Moldova, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Armenia have ratified the document so far and the remaining three CSI nations have promised to ratified the document before the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told journalists after the session of the CIS Council of Heads of Government in Yalta on Friday that there is there is hope that “an absolutely new trade regime will be established between Commonwealth countries next year, opening up new prospects for free trade within this vast space.”  It is important to give a practical agenda to this project, Azarov said.

The Commonwealth of Independent States had been negotiating a CIS free trade area since 1994 and in 2011 eight countries agreed to create a free trade area. These are; Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Moldova. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia form a customs union.