Vietnam and Russia are stepping up efforts to conclude negotiations for the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in early 2015.

The efforts were committed at the 17th session of the Vietnam-Russia Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic-Trade and Scientific-Technological Cooperation taken place in Vladivostok on September 5-7.

The strategic cooperation contents of the document is hoped to bring enormous interests to the parties involved and contribute to the elevation of cooperation of mutual benefit to a new height.

Vietnam, in particular, wants to continue her close and effective coordination with Russia in the fields of energy, oil and gas, and mineral mining.

The country is also interested in other realms such as engineering, automobile assembling, shipbuilding, trade, finance-banking, education-training, agriculture, science-technology, telecommunications, aviation, sports, tourism, and outer space for peaceful purposes.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, head of the Vietnamese sub-committee, and his Russian counterpart, Igor Shuvalov, highlighted the sound political ties between the two countries as well as discussed measures to cement bilateral relations in various fields.

They noted that both countries are effectively carrying out activities to promote the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, including annual strategic dialogues on foreign affairs, security and defence.

The two countries have also closely worked together and given mutual support at international forums of the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN)– Russia .

Last year, two-way trade rose 12.6 percent to reach 2.758 billion USD.

Russia had by the end of June of 2014 ran 101 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 2 billion USD, while Vietnam poured 2.5 billion USD into 20 projects in the host, mainly focusing on oil and gas, real estate, food processing, textile, and footwear.

The inter-governmental committee is willing is to create favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to boost investment in the respective market.

The heads of the two sub-committees signed a minute on the outcomes of the session.

The next meeting will be held in Vietnam in 2015.-VNA