Vietnam makes up important part of Russia’s “Look East”: diplomat

Vietnam is an important part in Russia’s “Look East” policy, Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Son told Saigon Giai Phong daily ahead of President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to Russia.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Son (Source: Laodong)
Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Nguyen Thanh Son (Source: Laodong)

The diplomat noted that Vietnam is a reliable and traditional partner of Russia. Vietnam, located in an important maritime route connecting Russia and Asia-Pacific, was also the first to sign a trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) of which Russia is a member.

Vietnam and Russia set up their strategic partnership in 2001 and upgraded it to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012.

The two sides have worked together at multilateral forums such as the United Nations and within ASEAN-Russia cooperation, contributing to maintaining peace, stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

Russia has supported Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC 2017, said the ambassador.

Vietnam and Russia have also supported settling territorial disputes in the East Sea through peaceful means based on international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, aiming to build a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Both sides agreed that members of the UNCLOS must abide by their obligations stated in the document.

At the same time, Vietnam and Russia have developed defence-security and military technology cooperation, said Ambassador Son who added that economic collaboration between the two countries has been strengthened with four key pillars of trade, investment, oil and gas and electricity.

Nearly 60,000 Vietnamese people reside in Russia, along with some 3,000 Vietnamese studying in Russia.

Regarding benefits from the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EAEC, which became effective on October 5, 2016, the diplomatic said that the deal enabled Vietnam to access a 183 million-strong market with total GDP of nearly US$ 2.2 trillion .

Along with favourable conditions created by the agreement, the Russian Government has offered preferential policies to Vietnamese firms, especially in agriculture and consumer goods production.

The deal has pushed two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia to US$ 1.37 billion since October 2016, a rise of 27.2 percent year on year, with a 28.4 percent rise in Vietnam’s exports.

In terms of education, Son asserted that Russia is a good choice for Vietnamese students who wish to study abroad. Russia is Vietnam’s largest scholarship provider and every eyear, the Russian Government increases the number of scholarships for Vietnam.

Ambassador Nguyen Thanh Son said President Tran Dai Quang’s upcoming visit will reinforce mutual trust, marking progress in bilateral cooperation.

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