MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) — To reach the seven-billion-dollar mark in trade with Vietnam is no limit of possibility. It is essential to set more ambitious tasks and develop bilateral investment projects, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev told the Vietnam News Agency, the Vietnam VTV television, and the Voice of Vietnam Radio in an interview given ahead of his visit to the Republic on November 7.
The Head of the Russian Cabinet of Ministers pointed out that despite partner's relations betwee the two countries and a good development of economic contacts, it would be wrong to say that "the state of things is absolutely fine just as we would like it to be".
One of the problems that worries Medvedev is a low level of reciprocal trade. According to the Premier, goods turnover is, undoubtedly, growing and there is a task to reache out to the seven-billion-dollar mark by 2015. "This is better, of course, than now is the case but this is not quite a great sum of money," Medvedev said. "Frankly speaking, we must admit that the scope of trade-and-economic cooperation between, for example, Vietnam and the People's Republic of China, Japan, or the United States of America is greater than that, much greater".
At present trade with Vietnam accounts for only 0.5 percent of Russia's foreign economic relations. "This is also very little. Therefore, my aim is to promote to the maximum the development of trade-and-economic relations between our two countries," Medvedev emphasized. "We must really attain goals that we set but this is not a limit. The amount of seven billion dollars by 2015 is not what one must strive for as an ultimate goal. This is why we must also set more ambitious tasks to ourselves".
As far as means for attaining the goal are concerned, the Russian Premier's opinion is that they are in "finding new areas of cooperation, and in making good use of what we have had available in recent decades". These are the power industry, engineering products, and technical military cooperation.
Medvedev drew special attention to investment cooperation. Along with the VietSovPetro, the term of operation of which has been extended for a period ending in 2030, "It is essential to contemplate co-production arrangements in other areas -- in the fields of high technologies, engineerng, space technology, communications means, and, of course, humanitarian cooperation," he maintains.
"Considering that we regard Vietnam as a strategic partner, we also examine other projects. You know that such projects have emerged in recent years, among them I shall mention such an interesting gas project as GasPromViet which already applies to Russia's energy assets. We are inviting the resources of Vietnamese partner", Medvedev said. In point of fact, this refers to co-development of a Russian strategic deposit located in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. "Putting it frankly, we practically do not allow any foreign partners to operate in this sector. Am exception has been made for Viernam in view of a special character of our relations and the prospects which we visualize in the development of cooperation with friendly Vietnam," the Russian Premier said in conclusion.