The introduction of the free trade zone between the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam is expected to help develop investment cooperation between Moscow and the Asia-Pacific region, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

Vietnam became the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the EEU in May 2015.

“We expect that the removal of barriers will expand investment cooperation between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region and, above all, Vietnam,” Medvedev said.

The EEU, comprising Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, is an international organization that encourages regional economic integration through the free movements of goods, services, and people within the union.

More than 40 countries and international organizations, including China, Indonesia, Israel and Iran have expressed interest in creating a free trade area with the bloc.