Scene at the meeting  between Chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long and Governor of Irkutsk Sergey Levchenko (Photo: VOV)

Moscow (VNA) – Leaders of the northern province of Quang Ninh and the Russian province of Irkutsk have signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of their relations.

The signing took place between Chairman of the Quang Ninh People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Long and Governor of Irkutsk Sergey Levchenko, as part of the former’s visit to the Russian province from June 2 to 6.

Both sides agreed to carry out regular delegation exchanges to increase mutual understanding and promote cooperation in tourism, economics, health, culture, education and agriculture.

Levchenko said the two localities hold potential for ties in health, education and tourism.

After Quang Ninh puts Van Don international airport into operation, bilateral connectivity will be improved significantly, the official stressed.

Saying this is the first visit made by a Quang Ninh leader to Irkutsk, Long expected the sides will set up a long-term and effective partnership.

He introduced his province’s advantages in mining and tourism and transport. Quang Ninh houses the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. The local Ha Long – Van Don and Ha Long – Hai Phong highways are set to be completed this year, cutting travel time from Hanoi to Quang Ninh to one hour and 30 minutes.

Long suggested both sides consider a direct air route between Irkutsk and Van Don, with flight duration estimated at about six hours.

With a population of about 2.5 million, Irkutsk lies east of Siberia and spans 767,000 sq. km. It has strengths in oil processing, mining, metallurgy and wood processing.-VNA