Top Vietnamese and Russian leaders have agreed to accelerate negotiations and the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the customs alliance of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
The FTA will open up big prospects for increasing economic, trade, investment and service cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, said prime minister Dmitry Medvedev and visiting Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in Moscow on July 26.
Both leaders noted with satisfaction the positive development of trade ties between Vietnam and Russia, with the value expected to hit $3 billion in 2012.
However, they said such an FTA is needed to increase two-way trade value which is expected to hit $3 billion in 2012, and agreed to kick-start the FTA negotiations during the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (Apec) summit to be held in Vladivostok, Russia, this September.
Both host and guest shared the view that the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia has developed well, saying bilateral political ties have been further strengthened, while mutually beneficial cooperation in economics, trade, science and technology, security and national defence, education-training, culture and tourism has been expanded substantially.
They acknowledged both sides’ efforts in undertaking strategic cooperation projects, especially those on oil and gas and the on-going construction of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant.
PM Medvedev confirmed that Russia supports energy cooperation projects with Vietnam and creates favourable conditions for the two countries’ joint venture companies to carry out signed contracts and expand oil&gas exploration in Russia.
President Sang welcomed Medvedev’s view and assured his host that the Vietnamese government supports Russian oil&gas companies in carrying out their energy projects in Vietnam.
The two leaders discussed new areas of cooperation and agreed to assist Vietnamese businesses to take part in development projects in Russia’s Far Eastern region, as well as Russian companies to do business in Vietnam.
They valued the results of bilateral cooperation in national defence and military technology, and said Vietnam and Russia should strengthen cooperation in education-training, science-technology, culture and tourism.
They also exchanged views on fostering ties between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the United Russia Party led by Medvedev, including the exchange of high-level visits.
President Sang proposed that the Russian government create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese nationals to integrate well into the local communities.
The same day, President Sang met with Vietnamese embassy staff and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Russia.
President Truong Tan Sang began an official five-day visit to Russia at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin.