President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
We have just ended our talks with President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang.
This is not the first time our guest today has visited Russia, but it is his first visit as head of state. Today, along with government officials and heads of major companies, we had a detailed discussion on current issues on the bilateral agenda.
We concentrated particularly on trade and economic relations. We saw a slight decrease in bilateral trade in 2016, but trade increased by 16.5 percent over the first four months of this year.
We put this increase down to the fact that the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union came into force in October 2016. Vietnamese companies are the first to gain privileged access to the Russian and other EAEU markets.
Reciprocal investment is growing. Russian investment in Vietnam’s economy comes to $2 billion, and Vietnamese investment in the Russian economy comes to $2.5 billion.
The Intergovernmental Commission and High-Level Working Group for Priority Investment Projects are working actively. Agreement has been reached on more than 20 big joint investment programmes worth a total of around $10 billion.
We note too that the Russian-Vietnamese Investment Fund plans to invest up to $500 million in promising non-commodities projects, above all in \ pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
The oil and gas sector remains a priority cooperation area. The joint venture Vietsovpetro accounts for around a third of oil production in Vietnam. The number of actors taking part in this cooperation continues to grow.
Russian companies Rosneft and Gazprom have started working on developing Vietnam’s continental shelf. In Russia, our companies are working with their Vietnamese colleagues to develop fields in the Nenets Autonomous Area, on the Yamal Peninsula, and in the Orenburg Region.
We have agreed to continue deepening our cooperation in oil refining, petrochemicals, and production and sale of gas engine fuel on the Vietnamese market. We will also supply liquefied natural gas to the Vietnamese market.
There are broad possibilities for cooperation in the electricity sector. A Russian company, Siloviye Mashiny, is already building the Long Phu 1 thermal power plant in Vietnam. Our companies are ready to take part in modernising facilities built during the Soviet period and to build new facilities.
We will continue our work on building the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre in Vietnam. We discussed cooperation in transport machine building, including projects to assemble Russian GAZ, KAMAZ and UAZ vehicles in Vietnam.
Mosmetrostroy and Russian Railways are ready to take part in building metro systems in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and in modernising Vietnam’s railway network.
We invited our partners to take part in the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September, and agreed on more active work together in Russia’s Far East.
Our bilateral cooperation is very strong in the humanitarian sphere too. The Days of Vietnamese Culture were successfully held in Russia a year ago, and the Days of Russian Culture will take place in Vietnam in October this year.
In 2019, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the founding agreement on friendship, and we will mark this event by holding reciprocal Year of Russia in Vietnam and Year of Vietnam in Russia events.
Vietnam is one of the leaders in terms of the number of students studying in Russia. More than 3,000 Vietnamese students study in Russian universities.
Vietnamese holiday resorts are becoming ever more popular destinations for Russian tourists and the number of our tourists visiting Vietnam has increased 22 percent and reached around 400,000 people.
Issues on the international and regional agendas were a major focus at the talks. We have very close or common positions on most of these issues. We reiterated our willingness to work together productively within the framework of the main integration bodies.
Russia highly values Vietnam’s activity as the country holding the presidency in APEC this year. We will work actively to facilitate successful organisation of the APEC summit in Vietnam in November.
Overall, the exchange of views took place in a friendly and very constructive atmosphere. I am sure that the agreements reached will further strengthen our time-tested partnership and friendship.
President Tran Dai Quang is flying to St Petersburg tomorrow and I wish him and all of our Vietnamese friends an interesting and memorable trip.
President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam Tran Dai Quang (retranslated): Mr President of Russia Vladimir Putin, ladies and gentlemen,
Let me express my thanks to President Putin and the Russian government and people for such a warm and hospitable welcome.
It is a pleasure to visit the Russian Federation for the first time as President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Russia has long held a special place in my heart and in the heart of many Vietnamese. We have seen for ourselves the great transformations in the capital, Moscow, and throughout Russia. I want to congratulate you on these great successes.
Vietnam follows a consistent policy of placing great importance on stepping up the comprehensive strategic partnership between our countries so as to work together effectively, in solid and substantive fashion in all areas for the benefit of our peoples.
President Putin and I just had very effective, fruitful and substantive talks. We gave our assessment of the state of cooperation and reached agreement in various areas on activating ties in the nearest future.
Our relations are based on a high level of trust. Our regular high-level contacts and good cooperation mechanisms show that we make a great and active contribution to developing our countries and building a stable world.
I am sure that effective implementation of the free trade zone agreement between Vietnam and the EAEU will mark a breakthrough in trade, economic and investment cooperation between Vietnam and Russia in particular and between Vietnam and the other EAEU countries in general. This will enable us to bring out trade turnover up to $10 billion by 2020.
We made a review of progress in key investment and other projects. We also examined opportunities for new projects and agreed on bolstering our ties in various areas.
These projects include assembly and production of cars, energy, oil and gas, and construction of infrastructure facilities. We expressed our readiness to support the oil and gas sector joint ventures to ensure their smooth work in both countries.
We gave a high assessment of military-technical cooperation. We also agreed to expand cooperation in fields such as science and technology, education, human resources training, culture, sport and tourism. Vietnam and Russia will continue to build the Nuclear Science and Technology Centre in Vietnam.
We reaffirmed our continued cooperation within the ASEAN-Russia forum in order to build a strong and solid ASEAN community and raise the level of our ties with Russia.
We have also agreed on working together in APEC this year, with Vietnam holding the APEC presidency. We will prepare actively for President Putin’s official visit to Vietnam and his participation in the APEC summit.
We discussed the need for greater efforts to preserve peace and stability and ensure safe shipping and air traffic. In the name of cooperation and development, we agree too on the need to resolve disputes in the Asia-Pacific region through peaceful means.
Vietnam highly values Russia’s role and hopes that Russia will continue to play an important part in and make an active contribution to preserving peace, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Let me take this opportunity to express my thanks to the Russian authorities for giving the Vietnamese diaspora here good conditions and ensuring that they can live and work in Russia in stable and lawful fashion.
We hope for your continued support so that our people can work in accordance with Russian law, enjoy stability, and be able to integrate into Russian society. In this way, they can become a bridge between our peoples.