Vietnam a reliable partner of Russia: State Duma Chairman hinh anh 1An overview of the meeting (Photo: VNA)

Moscow (VNA) – Vietnam is a reliable partner of Russia, affirmed Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vycheslav Volodin while co-chairing the first meeting of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committeetogether with Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in Moscow on December 11.

Speaking at the event, Vycheslav Volodin noted that Russia and Vietnam shared a traditional friendship as well as a trustworthy and close partnership.

Noting that leaders from both sides have maintained regular meetings, he held that along with government channel, other cooperation models are available to boost bilateral collaboration.

He underlined the need to promote their economic partnership as the two sides have yet to reach the goal of 10 billion USD in two-way trade. In 2018, the figure was 6 billion USD, and is likely to be lower in 2019.

He suggested that participants at the meeting seek ways to remove obstacles to facilitate bilateral trade ties, including the speeding up of investment projects in each country.

Members of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee should review the outcomes of collaboration between the two countries and seek measures for stronger ties, while focusing more on cooperation in the digital economy and other specific economic areas, along with education-training and culture, he said.

He noted that Vietnam ranks third among countries sending students to Russia, while the Southeast Asian country is becoming increasingly attractive to Russian tourists. In 2019 and 2020, the two countries have organised the Vietnam Year in Russia and Russia Year in Vietnam.

Russian firms hope to engage deeper in efforts to  developbilateral economic relations, he said.

The leader of the Russian State Duma expressed his hope that during the meeting, the two sides will discuss measures to remove obstacles hindering the implementation of joint projects and create an optimal business environment for enterprises from both sides.

He also stressed the need for the two legislative bodies to bolster cooperation.

For her part, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that the establishment of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee in December 2018 during her visit to Russia was an important milestone in the partnership between the Vietnamese NA and the State Duma of Russia.

So far, the two sides have conducted various activities to exchange experience and coordinate at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums, especially Asia-Europe cooperation mechanisms as well as the implementation of international conventions of which both countries are signature parties.

The first meeting of the committee is a chance for parliamentarians of Vietnam and Russia to review the outcomes of their cooperation over the years, evaluate the role of the two parliaments in fostering Vietnam-Russia ties in all fields, and discuss future cooperation orientations.She proposed that Vietnam will host the next meeting of the committee.

The top legislator agreed with Volodin’s idea that at the next meeting, the two sides will form working groups for discussion of different issues.

She expressed her pleasure at the fruitful partnership between Vietnam and Russia over the past 70 years, but pointed out that two-way trade has yet to meet their target. She stressed the need to expand bilateral trade ties to match the potential of both sides.

Currently, Russia ranks 24th out of 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 129 valid projects. Meanwhile, Vietnam is running 15 projects in Russia with total investment of 2.83 billion USD, making Russia the second biggest destination for Vietnamese investors abroad.

Bilaterally, the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee is the highest parliamentary cooperation mechanism and the first that Vietnam has set up with another country.

Ngan said she believes that the meeting will help complete a legal corridor to boost the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership./.