Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev (R) welcomes Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in Kaluga Oblast on September 7 (Photo: VNA)

Kaluga (VNA) – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam’s Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong continued his official visit to Russia on September 7 with a tour of Kaluga Oblast, one of the most economically developed localities in the country.

At a working session with the Vietnamese leader, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Gordeyev affirmed that Vietnam is a friend and long-term partner of Kaluga. The two sides have enjoyed win-win cooperation in economy, trade, investment, social sciences, and humanities.

He noted that the most positive improvement of the two countries’ relations is seen in economy and trade, with the trend continuing this year and proving that the establishment of a free trade area between the Eurasian Economic Union, of which Russia is a member, and Vietnam is a good step forward. He described the Vietnam-based TH Group’s construction of animal farming complexes in Kaluga, and some other localities in Russia, as a bright example of the bilateral partnership.

General Secretary Trong’s current trip to Kaluga demonstrates that locality-to-locality cooperation is an important field in the countries’ connections, Gordeyev added.

Trong said he was happy to visit Kaluga for the first time and witness the dynamic development of this oblast as one of the fastest growing localities of Russia, taking the lead in investment attraction and advanced technology application. He expressed his delight at the enormous successes Kaluga has attained and wished it even stronger development in the future.

He highlighted that in the two countries’ relations, economic, trade, and investment partnerships have played a pivotal role. In their talks and meetings, the Vietnamese and Russian leaders shared the view that the outcomes of their bilateral relations has yet to match their full potential. To promote economic, trade, and investment ties, they need to actively remove obstacles and create favourable conditions for each other’s enterprises to expand investment, production, and business activities.

TH Group is a private Vietnamese firm that has been investing big in Russia, he said, thanking the Russian Government and the administration of Kaluga and asking them to continue their creation of optimal conditions for Vietnamese investors, including TH Group, and thereby contributing to local socio-economic development and the increase of the two countries’ relations.

Introducing local strengths, Kaluga Governor Anatoly Artamonov said dairy farming is a top priority for local agriculture. In 2017, the oblast produced more than 305,000 tonnes of milk and was the biggest milk producer in Russia.

[Vietnam, Russia issue joint statement]

TH Group’s investment into a dairy factory in the Kaluga Special Economic Zone holds special significance in terms of promoting cooperation between Vietnamese and Russian localities, he said, promising that Kaluga will create the best possible conditions for the plant to operate and also boost collaborations with Vietnam in other aspects.

The Governor also said his oblast wants to actively take part in activities as part of the Russian Year in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Year in Russia in 2019. It also hopes to pair with a Vietnamese locality and will encourage Kaluga businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian nation.

General Secretary Trong welcomed his host’s proposals on activities to mark the upcoming important anniversaries of bilateral ties in 2019 and 2020. He added that the Vietnamese side will introduce a locality to pair with Kaluga so as to contribute to the overall expansion of Vietnam-Russia relations.

Also on September 7, the Party chief attended a ceremony to start the construction of TH Group’s dairy factory in the Kaluga Special Economic Zone. The factory is expected to become one of the biggest and most modern of its kind in Russia. Invested with some 150 million USD, it is set to cover 14ha and produce 1,500 tonnes of milk products per day once operational.

TH Group has invested 2.7 billion USD in dairy cow farming and high-tech milk processing complexes, along with some food-related projects, in Russia’s Moscow Oblast, Kaluga Oblast, Primorsky Kray, and the Republic of Bashkortostan.

General Secretary Trong applauded efforts by TH Group, the first private Vietnamese company to have invested in Russian agriculture. He called the factory in Kaluga the beginning of a new trend in the bilateral investment partnership of Vietnamese firms investing in Russia.

He voiced his hope that more Vietnamese businesses will invest in Russia, including Kaluga, to produce high-quality products, create jobs for local people, and contribute to local development. –VNA