HANOI, August 30 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and Vietnam are developing vigorous trade cooperation, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Andrei Likhachev said after a working visit in Vietnam in an interview with Itar-Tass on Thursday.
“We have been intensifying recently trade and investment cooperation, particularly trade cooperation. We reached the bilateral trade of three billion dollars in the previous year and the trade of 1.7 billion dollars was already reached in the first half of this year,” the deputy minister of economic development said. “We like it, because Vietnam is our strategic partner in the Asian region, and Asia is the closest priority for the development of Russian trade and investment partnership,” he noted.
Meanwhile, all these figures with their dynamics and high growth rates “certainly do not match the current potential,” he said. “The annual bilateral trade should be much higher. Our presidents named the figures, which exceed ten billion dollars and 12 billion dollars as the annual medium-term goal,” Likhachev remarked.
To attain these goals Moscow and Hanoi should continue to build up bilateral cooperation, primarily in the vital sectors for Russia – nuclear power and electric power industries, the development of natural resources, aircraft building and car making. “The priority of our economic ties is the energy sector, this is those projects, which the state-run corporation Rosatom is implementing, as well as our oil companies, including not only the production of energy resources, but also their processing, logistics and sale,” the deputy minister of economic development said.
A strong impetus for further growth of trade and economic relations between Russia and Vietnam in qualitative and quantitative figures will be an agreement on a free trade zone between the Customs Union and the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam. “We begin to work to prepare a free trade zone between Vietnam and the Customs Union, which brings together Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, we and our Vietnamese colleagues agreed to work on an agreement for a free trade zone along with the development of several new bilateral investment projects, which will be the engine for further development of economic partnership between Russia and Vietnam,” Likhachev underlined.