Medvedev’s visit to further VN-Russia partnership

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Vietnam on November 7, will once again underline the determination of both countries’ leaders and peoples to strengthen their traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s official visit to Vietnam on November 7, will once again underline the determination of both countries’ leaders and peoples to strengthen their traditional friendship and comprehensive strategic partnership.

As it takes place on the 95 th anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution (November 7, 1917-2012), the visit offers an important opportunity for the two countries to discuss measures and ways to enhance their comprehensive cooperation in every aspect, especially economics, trade and investment, as well as speeding up major joint projects.

On the agenda will be the early start of negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will be the foundation for increasing trade between Vietnam and the Russia -Kazakhstan- Belarus customs alliance.

On January 30, 1950, Vietnam and Russia officially set up diplomatic ties. On June 16, 1994, the two countries signed a treaty on the basic principles for Vietnam and Russia ’s friendship, as a legal framework for bilateral relations during the new period of development.

Both countries signed a joint statement on their strategic partnership on March 1, 2001 and issued a joint statement on strengthening their comprehensive strategic partnership on July 27, 2012.

Political relations between Vietnam and Russia have been continuously consolidated with the regular exchange of senior-level delegations, including visits to Russia by Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh in October 2002 and July 2010, President Tran Duc Luong in May 2004, President Nguyen Minh Triet in August 2008 and May 2010, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in September 2007 and December 2009, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Van An in January 2003, NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong in April 2009 and President Truong Tan Sang in July 2012.

Visits to Vietnam were made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in March 2001 and November 2006; President Medvedev in October 2010; Prime Minister M. Fradkov in February 2006, and Chairman of the Federal Council of the Russian Federation X. Mironov in January 2005.

Both countries share the same views on many global and regional issues as well as work closely and support each other at international forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), while stepping up cooperation within the ASEAN-Russia framework.

The second ASEAN-Russia Summit was successfully held in Hanoi in October 2010 where Vietnam actively backed Russia in its bid to join the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in October 2010 and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in 2011.

Economic and trade cooperation has also constantly risen with two-way trade reaching 1.98 billion USD in 2011, up 8.1 percent against the previous year. The figure reached nearly 1.77 billion USD in the first nine months of this year.

Vietnam mainly exports telephones, garments, agricultural products and seafood to Russia while importing petrol, steel, fertiliser and machinery from the country.

By the end of August, Russia had 84 projects in Vietnam , with a total investment of 924 million USD. Russian investment has rapidly increased over recent years, focusing on mining, the processing industries and manufacturing. It is now expanding to new areas such as banking and telecommunications, with some large projects like the Vietnam-Russia Bank (VRB) currently underway.

Meanwhile, Vietnam ’s investment in Russia rose from almost 100 million USD in 2008 to the current figure of 776 million USD, concentrating on oil and gas, banking and trade. Its major projects include the Rusvietpetro and Gazpromviet oil and gas joint ventures, and the Hanoi Trade Centre in Moscow .

Energy is a traditional strategic and effective area of cooperation between Vietnam and Russia , bringing significant sources of income to both budgets. In addition to the Vietsovpetro joint venture, both countries have set up other joint ventures, including Rusvietpetro, Vietgazprom and Gazpromviet to expand cooperation in exploring and exploiting oil and gas in Vietnam , Russia and third countries.

Ruzvietpetro tapped into its first commercial flow of oil from Russia ’s North Khosedai field in September 2010 and its Visovoi field in July 2011.

The two countries have reached an agreement to continue cooperating in building and upgrading energy projects in Vietnam .

In the past, the Soviet Union helped to train close to 40,000 Vietnamese officials and specialists in a range of sectors. At present, Russia continues to assist Vietnam in training human resources. The country provided Vietnamese students with 345 graduate and post-graduate scholarships in 2011 and 476 in 2012. Russia is now home to more than 5,000 Vietnamese students.

Both countries have also agreed to set up a Vietnam-Russia University of Technology in Vietnam .

Vietnam and Russia have also regularly organised cultural exchange activities, helping strengthen the friendship and understanding between the two peoples. In November 2010, several ‘Russian Cultural Days’ were held in Vietnam and ‘Vietnamese Cultural Days’ took place in Russia . Vietnam has also become an extremely popular destination with Russia tourists.

Both countries have carried out nearly 60 joint research and technology transfer projects. Their scientific research cooperation within the framework of the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre has brought about more positive results.

Local cooperation has been maintained and strengthened by exchanging delegations and signing cooperation agreements. Many Vietnamese and Russian localities have also set up close ties, especially Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Moscow and Saint Petersburg .

Russia has always attached a great deal of importance to cooperating with Vietnam . Since 1991, both countries have signed more than 60 cooperation agreements in the fields of oil and gas, nuclear power, economics-trade, education-training, and culture-science./.

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