Russian Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Alexey Popov (L) at the press conference on December 26 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The year 2018 has witnessed impressive progress in the Russia-Vietnam cooperation in various fields, and 2019 promises to be an eventful year in the bilateral relations, said Russian Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Alexey Popov on December 26.

At a press conference in HCM City, the diplomat said a number of activities will take place in 2019 as the two countries will mark 25 years since the signing of an agreement on their friendship. Additionally, they will also prepare to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties in 2020.

He expressed his delight at the expansion of bilateral connections in all aspects this year, including oil and gas, electricity, machine manufacturing and agriculture. Notably, frequent meetings between Vietnamese and Russian leaders have created favourable conditions for the two sides’ development cooperation.

Russian investment in the Southeast Asian nation has surpassed 2.6 billion USD, while Vietnamese firms have invested 2.9 billion USD in Russia. 

In the first 10 months of 2018, bilateral trade grew by 23 percent from a year earlier to approximate 4.8 billion USD, and this helps make the trade target of 10 billion USD in 2020 completely feasible, Popov said.

He noted Russian localities are increasingly interested in developing relations with southern localities of Vietnam, adding that meetings between officials of such cities as Saint Petersburg and Moscow and those from provinces and cities in southern Vietnam have been lifted to a new level.

Regarding the cooperation between HCM City and Saint Petersburg, the Consul General revealed that a cultural and business delegation from the Russian city will visit Vietnam in the time ahead.

Meanwhile, youth forums will take place in HCM City in April and in Saint Petersburg in September or October next year. The Russian city is also scheduled to host the HCM City Days from October to November.

In 2019, officials of the southern economic hub of Vietnam and Russia’s Sverdlovsk Oblast will also have meetings, and the Sverdlovsk Cultural Days will be organised in HCM City.

Popov stressed that he is always ready to coordinate to create optimal conditions for Russian and Vietnamese localities to boost cooperation. He is also willing to serve as a bridge linking Russian localities and HCM City, thereby helping to promote the two countries’ relations. –VNA