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Vietnam Today

Vietnam & Russia pledge to further bilateral ties

Released at: 09:44, 23/05/2019

Vietnam & Russia pledge to further bilateral ties

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) meets with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on May 22 (Photo: VNA)

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc on official visit to Russia from May 20 to 23.

by Long Van

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his spouse are in Russia for an official visit from May 20 to 23 at the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

According to a report from the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), during their talks in Moscow on May 22 the two prime ministers discussed measures to enhance bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Medvedev affirmed that Russia always wishes to strengthen the countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership. In return, Prime Minister Phuc reiterated that Vietnam treasures the traditional cooperation and friendship with Russia.

The two leaders noted with satisfaction that as a result of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union that came into effect in 2016, Vietnam-Russia trade and investment have made strong progress.

To further tap into their trade partnership potential, the two sides said they will continue working together to create conditions for their businesses and goods to enter each other’s markets.

The two affirmed that energy is one of the most important pillars of Vietnam-Russia cooperation. They agreed to promote business cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation on Vietnam’s continental shelf and in Russian territory.

They shared the view that despite the many projects proposed and carried out, much potential remains in investment partnerships between the countries. They also welcomed Vietnamese and Russian firms’ attention to collaborating in developing urban transport and railway infrastructure in Vietnam.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and PM Dmitri Medvedev before their talks in Moscow on May 22 (Photo: VNA)

The two leaders also agreed to accelerate the construction of a research center for nuclear science and technology in Vietnam.

Valuing the fruitful cooperation in security and defense, Prime Minister Phuc and Prime Minister Medvedev said it has helped to enhance the two countries’ strategic mutual trust. They agreed to continue expanding ties in other potential spheres such as science and technology, education and training, and culture, sports, and tourism.

They also voiced their support for direct relations between Vietnamese and Russian localities, which would help diversify all-round cooperation. Some measures were also devised to bolster labor cooperation - an area of potential that meets demand on both sides.

Prime Minister Phuc took the occasion to thank Russian leaders and relevant agencies for creating the conditions for Vietnamese people to live, do business, and study in the country.

Following the talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation documents in such fields as nuclear energy, oil and gas, construction, tourism, justice, and locality-to-locality ties.

Earlier on the same day, speaking at the Vietnam-Russia Business Forum in Moscow, Prime Minister Phuc affirmed that Vietnam always welcomes and is willing to create favorable conditions for Russian enterprises to do business and invest in the country.

He said the forum aimed to seek better and more effective and timely measures to ensure that bilateral cooperation matches the sound relations between Vietnam and Russia.

He briefed participants on Vietnam’s socioeconomic achievements after more than 30 years of renewal. Last year, the country’s GDP growth rate reached an eleven-year record of 7.1 per cent, while trade turnover was nearly $500 billion. Inflation was curbed at under 4 per cent, and the macroeconomy remained stable.

Vietnam has 28,000 FDI projects from 131 countries and territories, with total capital of over $350 billion. It welcomed 15.5 million foreign tourists last year, an increase of 20 per cent against 2017.

Prime Minister Phuc attributed these positive results to improvements in Vietnam’s business environment and its efforts to integrate into the global economy by signing eleven free trade agreements (FTA) and preparing to sign of an FTA with the EU.

He underlined the positive impacts of the Eurasia Economic Union-Vietnam FTA on Vietnam’s trade and investment, contributing to a year-on-year increase of 28.6 per cent in its trade turnover with Russia, hitting $4.57 billion in 2018.

Vietnam is now Russia’s 23rd-largest trade partner and is conducting 20 projects worth $3 billion in the country, while Russia has 123 projects (excluding those related to oil and gas) totaling $1 billion in Vietnam.

However, Prime Minister Phuc said that these results have failed to match potential.

He expressed a hope that two-way trade could reach $10 billion by 2020 after non-tariff barriers on major commodities are removed and a bilateral payment channel using local currencies is launched.

For his part, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov noted at the forum that economic and trade cooperation between Russia and Vietnam has been built on a firm foundation of the time-honored bilateral friendship.

Vietnam has affirmed itself as a key partner of Russia in Southeast Asia, as it accounts for one-third of Russia’s imports from the region, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

He suggested that both sides intensify collaboration in high technology, affirming that Russia is willing to support Vietnam in the fields of digital government and smart city building, as well as cybersecurity.

Later on the day, Prime Minister Phuc met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


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