Role of localities in Vietnam-Russia relations

14:38 | 29/03/2017 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Chairperson of the Federal Council of Russia, Valentina Ivanova, told a recent seminar in Vietnam that cooperation at a local level plays an important role in bilateral trade and investment.  

Addressing the seminar on measures to promote ties between Vietnamese and Russian localities, the visiting lawmaker said the strategic partnership between the two countries continues to expand. However, bilateral trade remains incommensurate with its potential, reaching US$3.8 billion in 2016. Ivanova believes additional measures are required to achieve the US$10 billion bilateral trade target set for 2020.

The traditional relationship between Vietnam and Russia, and the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union are expected to facilitate further penetration into each other’s markets. But local cooperation has also been identified as an important part of bilateral relations.

Ivanova said that Russia would continue boosting cooperation at a local level with Vietnam in order to accelerate the implementation of projects which have been signed.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nguyen Thanh Son, praised the results of cooperation between Vietnamese and Russian localities in recent years, such as Hanoi and Moscow, Da Nang and Yaroslavl, Ho Chi Minh City and Saint Petersburg, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Nenetski. The cooperation between these localities derives from the traditional friendship between the Vietnamese and Russian people, as well as their willingness to assist each other in mutual development. A number of effective cooperation projects between localities have been developed. Examples include the Hanoi-Moscow Cultural, Trading and Hotel Center, and the dairy cattle breeding and milk production complex on the outskirts of Moscow. Russian businesses have also conducted successful tourism and hotel projects in Quang Ninh, Khanh Hoa and Vung Tau.

Despite these successful results, localities have encountered some difficulties in the cooperation process, needing support from the two governments to overcome. Businesses from Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Quang Nam complained that the absence of direct flights and limited information about the Russian market have hindered their efforts to seek partners from Russia.

“Promoting cooperation between localities is an important part of Vietnam’s external relations policy with Russia. Vietnam encourages Russian investment projects in Vietnam, especially in industry, high-tech agriculture, tourism and infrastructure construction,” Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Son affirmed.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is willing to provide support and consultancy to local authorities in both countries

in order to promote cooperation between them.

Hoa Quynh