At a joint press conference following their talks on June 29 (local time) in Moscow, State President Tran Dai Quang, who is on an official visit to Russia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed particular interest in strengthening commercial cooperation, agreeing on investing more than $10 billion in both countries, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
President Tran Dai Quang (R) and President Vladimir Putin. Photo: VNAThe two presidents announced that investment will be poured into 20 priority projects, including a joint Vietnamese-Russian oil and gas enterprise, the construction of a light industrial zone in Moscow, and projects carried out by Vietnamese dairy group TH in some Russian localities.
Another $500 million will be spent on projects with high potential in new areas of bilateral cooperation, such as agriculture or medicinal herbs.
The two countries have also set an ambitious target of raising bilateral trade to $10 billion by 2020.
Oil and gas will remain the top priority for cooperation, President Putin said.
Vietsovpetro, a Vietnam-Russia joint venture, accounts for one-third of crude oil extracted in Vietnam.
President Putin said that Russia is committed to providing Vietnam with LPG and other fuels and Russian enterprises are ready to join in modernizing Vietnam’s power plants and help the country build new plants.
The two leaders also agreed to coordinate closely with each other in implementing the Vietnam-Eurasia Economic Union (VN-EAEU) Free Trade Agreement in order to fully exploit its advantages for further cooperation in trade and investment.
The FTA, involving Vietnam, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, was signed in May 2015 and took effect on October 5 last year.
Vietnam and Russia are committed to creating favorable conditions for enterprises to step up trade, including signing agreements on food safety management and promoting payment in Vietnam dong and the Russian rouble, the leaders said.
Joint ventures to assemble and produce cars in Vietnam will soon be set up and cooperation stepped up in energy and infrastructure. The two sides will also consider the possibility for continuing cooperation in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
The two also agreed to tighten coordination in humanitarian endeavors. In 2019, the two countries will celebrate the 25th anniversary of a treaty on basic principles for the bilateral friendship, and will therefore designate 2019 as the Year of Vietnam in Russia and vice-versa.
On the East Sea dispute, the two presidents agreed that any border or territorial dispute should be resolved by peaceful means without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with international law, first of all the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).
They agreed the Declaration of Conduct in the East Sea (DOC) should be implemented fully and effectively, and hoped that a Code of Conduct (COC) will soon be completed.
During their talks, President Putin affirmed that Vietnam will always be a priority partner for Russia in the Asia-Pacific region. He said he believes that President Quang’s visit will provide fresh impetus to the development of bilateral ties in the time to come.
President Quang reiterated that Vietnam has consistently prioritized strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia in order to promote further bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Vietnam appreciates Russia’s role and hopes it will continue making active contributions to the maintenance of peace, security, and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
The same day, the two leaders witnessed signing ceremonies for several cooperation projects, including the building of a nuclear technology and science center in Vietnam between the Ministry of Science and Technology and Russia’s Rosatom Group, a cooperation agreement on anti-money laundering between the State Bank of Vietnam and the Financial Market Relations Regulation Center, and another between the Vietnam News Agency and the Sputnik news agency.
A memorandum on technical cooperation between the two State treasuries was also signed, along with a 2017-2022 cooperation program in aerospace technology between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, and an agreement between the Vietnam Railways Corporation and the Russian Railways Open Joint Stock Company.
During his visit from June 28 to July 1, President Quang also had meetings with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, and other Russian leaders. The two sides discussed bilateral cooperation and specified measures to foster ties in different areas, especially the implementation of the VN-EAEU FTA.
While in Moscow, President Quang also met with a senior leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), Mr. Gennady Zyuganov.
Economic and trade links between Vietnam and Russia have made much progress. Oil and gas projects are being implemented in both countries and bilateral trade is growing, reaching $2.7 billion in 2016, up 25 per cent from 2015. The figure increased 30 per cent to $1.1 billion in the first four months of 2017. The expansion of the partnership in auto assembly and production also shows promise.
Affiliations in defense-security, science-technology, education-training, and culture-tourism have also been tightened. Cultural exchanges have been held regularly. Russia is one of the ten biggest sources of foreign tourists to Vietnam, with more than 430,000 visiting in 2016, up 12.8 per cent year-on-year.
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