HANOI, November 21 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and Vietnam should seriously step up talks on the creation of a free trade zone, Russian First Vice-Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at the meeting with Vietnamese Vice-Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on Monday.
According to the Russian vice-prime minister, who is also co-chairman of the Russian-Vietnamese inter-governmental commission on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation, the agreement on the free trade zone with Vietnam would be an effective instrument for promoting bilateral trade and economic cooperation. “Today Russia is working within the Customs Union format jointly with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Next year this will be the common economic space that is why we can think in order to sign a broader agreement – I mean the agreement on developing free trade with the CES countries and the ASEAN states,” Shuvalov stressed.
Commenting on prospects for economic and investment cooperation with Vietnam, the Russian first vice-prime minister noted that there were promising opportunities in the industry and information technology, including in mobile communication.
Shuvalov said he is hopeful that the Vietnamese government would create favourable conditions for Russian investors. For its part, he said, Russia is ready to listen to Vietnam’s wishes in order to create such conditions to make Vietnamese businessmen to invest in the Russian economy.
Next year trade turnover between the two countries may reach three billion U.S. dollars. “But it is insufficient. We should set more ambitious tasks,” Shuvalov told his Vietnamese colleague.
The inter-governmental commission plays a significant role in the development of bilateral relations and it is an effective instrument for coordinating cooperation in different fields. “We should determine new trends of cooperation and diversify it,” he added.
Russia seeks to maintain interaction in the energy sector, including in the hydropower industry, nuclear power, telecommunications, i.e. mobile communication, investments, the construction of hotels in resorts areas of Vietnam, Shuvalov stressed.