President Tran Dai Quang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Countries in Asia – Pacific should join hands to ensure security and maintain peace and stability for the region’s growth and world peace and prosperity, President Tran Dai Quang said during a recent interview with Russian news agency TASS.

Vietnam values Russia’s increasing role in Asia – Pacific, which is developing strongly, he said in his first interview with a foreign media outlet since his appointment as President of Vietnam in early April.

According to the President, dozens of new-generation free trade agreements in the region are greatly affecting regional economic development and creating opportunities for strong growth in the region and the globe at large.

The leader said he has confidence in a bright future for Asia – Pacific and the region’s increasing role in economic and political issues and in solving global challenges.

President Tran Dai Quang highlighted the outcomes of 20 years of the ASEAN – Russia dialogue partnership, saying Vietnam supports highly values Russia’s role in building a sustainable regional structure.

He hopes that Russia will continue be a responsible world power through ASEAN – Russia cooperation mechanisms. The East European nation should continue supporting ASEAN to increase its stronger role in regional issues, improve the effectiveness of dialogue mechanisms, and help resolve security challenges in the region.

He told TASS that as an ASEAN member and a comprehensive strategic partner of Russia, Vietnam remains a bridge between ASEAN and Russia. The growth of the ASEAN – Russia partnership will raise the role of Vietnam and Russia in Southeast Asia as well as Asia – Pacific, contributing to peace, stability and development around the globe.

With regard to Vietnamese – Russian relations, President Tran Dai Quang recognised the intensification of cooperation in all areas. The countries’ political relationship is being reinforced, as are collaborations in economics, security, defence, education – training, science – technology and culture.

He admitted economic and trade cooperation has yet to live up to expectations, adding that both sides should devise measures to foster partnerships across the board.

Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) signed a bilateral free trade agreement one year ago, and the deal has been ratified by Vietnam, Russia and Kazakhstan. Once fully implemented, the pact will become a driving force for economic and trade connections between Vietnam and Russia, and the EAEU (which also includes Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan) as a whole.

Energy and defence remain important cooperation areas, the Vietnamese leader said, noting that they should work together in petrochemistry and building gas pipelines. The two countries should also enhance military cooperation.-VNA