Prime Minister Phuc visits Russia for bilateral talks

May 16, 2016 | 08:00
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Newly-elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will make an official visit to Russia from May 16-20, during which he is expected to work with Russian leaders to assess current co-operation projects and make plans to implement new initiatives.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in addition to discussing new agricultural, oil, and gas projects, Vietnam and Russia will also discuss the implementation of the Ninh Thuan 1 Nuclear Plant, which is expected to begin construction in Vietnam’s south-central province of Ninh Thuan in the next few years.

Phuc will attend a bilateral business forum, as well as the ground-breaking ceremony for a $2.7 billion hi-tech concentrated dairy and fresh milk production project based in Russia’s Moscow and Kaluga oblasts.

Financed by the locally-owned TH Group with consultancy provided by the domestic BAC A BANK, the 140,000-hectare project will be Vietnam’s largest agricultural and foodstuff project in Russia. It will use state-of-the-art technology imported from Israel, Germany, Sweden, and the US.

To expand their investment and trade ties, Vietnam and Russia have advanced a list of collaborative investment projects worth up to $20 billion, ten times the current level of Russian investment in Vietnam.

A bilateral task force in charge of deploying future high-priority investment projects has also been established.

“Within the framework of this task force’s activities, the two sides have agreed on 17 common investment projects worth over $20 billion in the sectors of machinery manufacturing, energy, mineral exploitation, and light industry,” said Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vnukov.

“Still, the sectors on the list and the investment capital may be revised up. Russian ministries will discuss the projects this year,” he said.

Currently, Russia has 114 valid investment projects in Vietnam, with $2 billion registered. Vietnam has 20 valid investment projects in Russia, registered at $2.93 billion.

The two nations currently have four joint-venture companies operating in the oil and gas industry.

Bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Russia hit $2.2 billion last year, and $591 million in this year’s first quarter.

However, co-operation in investment and trade between the countries is expected to rocket upwards in the time to come, fueled by the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement, signed one year ago between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia).

Customs duties will be reduced to 88 per cent of their current levels, with 59 per cent of the duties reduced immediately and 29 per cent gradually, within 5-10 years.

According to Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, Russia-Vietnam bilateral trade is expected to hit $10 billion by 2020.

Prime Minister Phuc’s visit to Russia will be his first overseas, and is “aimed at further strengthening the Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership, and boosting the implementation of major projects between the two countries,” according to the MoFA.

Phuc will hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev, and meet with President Vladimir Putin, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, and Chairman of State Duma Sergei Naryshkin.

Also during his stay in Russia, Phuc will attend the ASEAN-Russia Summit commemorating the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-Russia relations.

By By Thanh Dat

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