Russia wants more foods from Vietnam to cover EU embargo

By TASS, VnExpress International   May 16, 2016 | 07:10 pm PT
Russia wants more foods from Vietnam to cover EU embargo
Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Moscow. Photo by VGP/Quang Hieu
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says Russia is interested in expanding supplies of fish, vegetables and fruits from Vietnam, with transaction made in local currencies.

Russia is interested in expanding supplies of fish, vegetables and fruits from Vietnam and is ready to deliver agricultural products to the country, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a press conference after the talks with Vietnam's new Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, according to TASS.

"We currently find ourselves in a unique situation due to the fact that there are limitations associated with the delivery of a number of European Union products, and products of other countries to the European Union market. Therefore, we are interested in supplies of fish products, seafood, fruits and vegetables from our Vietnamese partners and enterprises to the Russian market. At the same time, we are interested in supplying livestock products to the Vietnamese market," Medvedev said.

Mutual trade in national currencies

According to the Russian prime minister, Russia and Vietnam have agreed to promote mutual trade in national currencies and cooperation between banks of the two countries.

"We have agreed that we will develop cooperation in the banking sector and expand the area of application of the national currencies in bilateral turnover as much as possible," Medvedev said.

Other important areas of cooperation mentioned by Medvedev include mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, mining and agriculture.

According to Medvedev, there are good prospects for cooperation in agriculture and in development of joint investment projects.

"We are interested in joint investments in various industries, not only in energy sector. About 100 projects, which are not related to energy sector, are already being implemented in Vietnam," Medvedev said adding that those projects involve the Russian capital.

Benefits for new energy projects

Medvedev pointed out that the governments of Russia and Vietnam will retain the benefits for new energy projects.

"On the level of governments, we have agreed that we will support these projects. We will maintain the benefits that are needed to bring these projects to the desired level of profitability, so they could give the parties as high revenues as possible," he said.

Medvedev described the relations between the two countries in energy sector as advanced.

"But this does not mean that there is nothing more to do, new projects emerge. I hope they will work and bring good income to the budgets of our countries," he said.

The prime minister said that there are fundamental new directions of cooperation between Russia and Vietnam. As an example, in addition to high-tech, he named agriculture, which is a growing industry in both countries.

State-owned PetroVietnam and Russia’s oil and gas companies on Monday signed a number of cooperation agreements and memoranda to expand their ties in energy sector.

Five of the total of eight deals inked are in oil and gas sector.

Free trade zone to help increase trade turnover

Medvedev has also noted that Russia and Vietnam are going to increase bilateral trade through the implementation of investment projects and the launch of a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union.

"We think it is necessary to make every effort to ensure that the growth of trade is more pronounced. First, it is necessary to implement those investment projects that we have. Second, we should launch a free trade zone, which already legally exists between our countries that means between the Eurasian Union and Vietnam," Medvedev said.

"Russia and Vietnam are close partners, but the scale of interaction is not as great as desired, even with such flagships of cooperation as Gazprom and PetroVietnam," the Prime Minister said.

According to Medvedev, the volume of turnover does not meet the potential of the two countries. Nevertheless, Vietnam accounts for one third of Russia's exports to Southeast Asian countries.

"In spite of some difficulties, this year we have growing turnover and, indeed, last year it achieved nearly $4 billion. This year, the dynamics is still positive," Medvedev said.

The Russian Prime Minister stressed that Vietnam was the first to come up with an initiative on creating a free trade area with the Eurasian Union.

Currently ratification procedures regarding this agreement are underway, he said.

"I hope that these procedures will soon be completed by our partners in the Eurasian Union and the project will work," the head of the Russian government said.

The Eurasian Economic Union was created on the base of the Customs Union and the Common Free Market Zone of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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