President welcomes Russian First Deputy Prime Minister

President Truong Tan Sang (right) receives Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam and Russia need to deepen their comprehensive, strategic co-operation partnership, President Truong Tan Sang said yesterday.The President was receiving Russian First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov, who arrived in Viet Nam to attend the 16th session of the Viet Nam-Russia Inter-governmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Co-operation that held earlier yesterday.

He also participated in the first Viet Nam-Russia Economic Forum in the capital the same day.

Shuvalov informed his host that the sub-committees of the two countries had worked closely to ease difficulties barring implementation of several projects and established working groups on employment, migration and infrastructure construction.

Russia is committed to providing credits for atomic energy complex projects and helping Viet Nam attract foreign investment, said Shuvalov.

He noted bilateral economic and trade ties had progressed in recent years, but had yet to meet potential, unlike political ties which had truly blossomed.

Successful negotiation of a free trade agreement between the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and Viet Nam and the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union would help foster economic ties between the two countries and two regions, he said.

Sang agreed with Shuvalov’s view that with their growing trade ties, both countries should increase bilateral investment co-operation in key areas such as oil and gas exploration, shipbuilding and repairs and military technology.

He proposed Viet Nam and Russia re-examine signed agreements for amendments to finalise a legal corridor for stronger investment and business co-operation.

He also proposed relevant agencies of the two countries make careful, detailed plans for President Putin’s upcoming visit to Viet Nam.

Viet Nam-Russia

At the 16th session of the Viet Nam-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Co-operation, the two sides reviewed bilateral co-operation and agreed on measures to strengthen and foster the Viet Nam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in the coming time.

They expressed delight at the implementation of the resolutions of the committee’s 15th session, held in Russia last October, and highlighted strengthened political ties and effective economic and humanitarian co-operation.

While the two sides, headed by Vietnamese Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai and Russian First Deputy PM Igor Shuvalov, acknowledged positive developments in bilateral trade, they noted that it had yet to reach potential given the scale of the two economies.

They stressed the need for breakthrough measures, including the early signing of a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and a decision on priority investment projects within the framework of the high-level joint working group headed by Viet Nam’s Minister of Industry and Trade and Russia’s Minister of Economic Development.

In particular, the two Deputy Prime Ministers emphasised energy co-operation as one of the key co-operation fields of strategic importance to the two countries’ ties as well as each country’s economic development.

The two sides highly valued the close co-operation between the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) and Russia’s Zarubezhneft, Gazprom, Rosneft and Lukoil groups in expanding oil and gas exploration and exploitation activities in Viet Nam’s continental shelf and in Russia.

They agreed that besides existing joint ventures like Vietsovpetro, Rusvietpetro, Gazpromviet and Vietgazprom, the two sides should consider establishing new ones to implement more co-operation projects.

The two sides also affirmed that nuclear energy was one of the priorities of bilateral co-operation and expressed satisfaction at the implementation of the Ninh Thuan 1 nuclear power plant project.

In the time to come, Viet Nam would continue to work on completing a legal foundation for nuclear power development, Hai said.

He asked Russia to help with human resources training in atomic energy so that in the long run, Viet Nam could manage and run a nuclear power plant safely by itself.

The two sides noted that industry, including manufacturing engineering, metallurgy, coal mining, shipbuilding and electricity, was another priority of bilateral co-operation.

They encouraged the establishment of joint shipbuilding ventures that would make use of Viet Nam’s existing shipyards and Russia’s designs, technology and technical equipment.

The leaders agreed the joint working group on light industry should carry out research and propose policies and mechanisms to encourage investment in this field.

The two sides also agreed on measures to bolster ties in finance, banking, agriculture, telecommunications, science-technology and education and training.

The next session of the inter-governmental committee will be held in Moscow in 2014. — VNS