Vietnam and Russia are scheduled to sign 15 cooperation documents during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Hanoi on November 12, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Pham Xuan Son.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency prior to Putin’s visit, Son revealed these documents will span across cooperation areas, from economics, energy, science-technology, education, health care, to national defence.

Two-way trade has increased considerably in recent times, reaching nearly US$2.5 billion in the first eight months of 2013, of which US$1.7 billion was sourced from Vietnamese exports. The bilateral trade value figure is expected to amount to US$4 billion by the year’s end.

Russian ships its traditional items to Vietnam, including petroleum products, metals, fertilizers, chemicals, and machinery.

Oil and gas exploration and exploitation is a pillar in Vietnam-Russia cooperation (Photo:vietsovpetro)

Russia has poured nearly US$2 billion into 93 operational projects in Vietnam, ranking it 19th among foreign investors in the Southeast Asian nation. Its projects focus on oil and gas exploitation, heavy and light industries, transportation, post services, and aquaculture.

In turn Vietnam has invested US$2.4 billion in 17 projects in Russia since 2010.

Son said both countries have made great strides in oil and gas cooperation since 2010. Besides Vietnam-based Vietnam-Russia Oil and Gas Joint Venture Enterprise (Vietsovpetro), a similar Russia-Vietnam JV company (Rusvietpetro) was established to exploit oil at the West Khosedayuskoye oil field in Russia’s Yamal-Nenets autonomous district. In 2011 the JV pumped up more than 1.5 million tonnes of crude oil.

During a Moscow visit in May 2013 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Russia’s Rosneft and Vietnam’s PetroVietnam reached key agreements on the exploration, exploitation, processing and sales of oil and gas in Russia, Vietnam and third countries.

Energy is part of their long-term cooperation strategy. In late 2010 Vietnam and Russia signed an energy cooperation programme, identifying seven prioritised areas of cooperation. After negotiations in 2010 and 2011, Russia agreed to grant credits to Vietnam to build two nuclear power plants in Ninh Thuan province.

Russia on November 7 handed over the first of its six modern built submarines to Vietnam to help the country increase its defence capacity and contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, and cooperation in the East Sea.

The ambassador said both countries have huge potential for strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in the future. Vietnam is speeding up national industrialisation and modernisation, while Russia is increasing its growth quality through modernising technology and restructuring its economy towards reducing the ratio of raw materials.

Russia is pooling all resources to develop high-tech industries, offering Vietnam a great chance to penetrate deep into Russia and the two other members of the Customs Union (Belarus and Kazakhstan).

Vietnam and the Customs Union are accelerating their free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, and an early signing of the pact will facilitate commodities, services, trade and investment exchanges between the two sides.

Ambassador Son affirmed Vietnam attaches great importance to developing the comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia, considering it a top priority in its foreign policy. He said bilateral cooperation in economics, trade, investment, science and technology, security and national defence are key pillars in this partnership.

The diplomat expressed his belief President Putin’s upcoming visit will add fresh impetus to the all-round cooperation between the two countries.

Source: Vietnamplus