|Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh
In a recent interview granted to Vietnam News Agency, Ambassador Manh affirmed that the visit aims to reinforce Vietnam’s foreign policy of attaching importance to and promoting its comprehensive strategic partnership with Russia.
He stressed that the visit is especially significant as relations between Vietnam and Russia have witnessed a fruitful and practical development phase in terms of both Party and State channels, as well as local cooperation and people-to-people exchange.
Vietnam considers Russia one of its most important and trusted partners, Manh said.
Bilateral political relations have been strengthened with high trust through the regular exchange of delegations and meetings at all levels – especially at senior levels and consultation mechanisms and strategic dialogue.
The two sides also cooperated and supported each other in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), and ASEAN.
Economic, trade, and investment cooperation between the two countries continues to develop dynamically. Two-way trade in 2017 reached US$3.55 billion, and increased by 42 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2018 .
Other cooperation areas – such as security and defence, education and training, and science and technology – have also been developing rapidly.
In recent times, collaboration between the two countries’ localities have recorded especially effective progress, particularly in economic and trade ties, cultural and people-to-people exchange, and tourism development.
According to the ambassador, Vietnam and Russia still have a lot of work to do to upgrade relations, especially as the two countries’ high-ranking leaders agreed on a target to reach a bilateral trade turnover of US$10 billion by 2020.
In parallel with comprehensive and effective implementation of cooperation agreements, the ministries, departments, agencies, and enterprises of both nations should actively seek new and feasible methods to bolster cooperation, Manh stressed.
For example, one possibility is to look into the establishment of a joint venture to produce agricultural products for consumption in the Russian market and the Commonwealth of Independent States, he said.
He also underlined the need for the two sides to speed up the implementation of cooperation projects in automobile and tractor assembling, health care, renewable energy, as well as plant seeds, pesticide, and medicinal production.
Reality has demonstrated that Russian consumers are very fond of Vietnamese products like farm produce, coffee, tea, clothes, and footwear, but they have not gained a foothold in Russian supermarkets yet.
In order to remove this bottleneck, besides efforts made by authorised agencies to tackle technical barriers, enthusiastic involvement from enterprises is needed to create a strong push in trade promotion.
The diplomat said that in the forthcoming meeting of the Vietnam-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Economic-Commercial and Scientific-Technological Cooperation, he will point out all existing barriers facing Vietnamese enterprises and ask the Russian side to find suitable solutions.
He said he hopes political credibility will continue to be strengthened, and that bilateral cooperation will be expanded and become more practical.
“I hope that the two countries will see through many successful collaboration projects in the time to come, bringing about benefits for both sides,” he said.