Vietnam-Russia: Promising Relations
In the context of Russia-ASEAN relations, Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership is even more promising with significant developments.
Comprehensive strategic partnership
In 2012, Vietnam-Russia trade value increased 20 percent posting at US$3.66 billion with Russian export worth US$1,388 million (up nearly 4 percent) and Vietnam export of US$2,272 million (up by 32 percent).
The comprehensive strategic partnership has been further strengthened with the Decree on foreign policy signed by President V. Putin on his assumption of office (May 7, 2012) and the visit of President Truong Tan Sang (July 2012) to Russia.
Like other ASEAN members, energy sector is a backbone of the cooperation. Vietsovpetro (established in 1980) is not only a symbol of long-term cooperation but also of economic efficiency. Over 30 years of operation, the joint venture contributed nearly 200 million tonnes of crude oil, nearly 60 percent of the total oil output, nearly 100 percent of Vietnamese gas output. Vietsovpetro is the standard bearer of Vietnam oil and gas industry, and among Top Ten of world oil and gas companies, contributing US$8 billion to Russian annual budget.
With those successes, Vietnam and Russia have expanded the cooperation in oil and gas industry in Vietnam, Russia and eventually third countries. In Vietnam, besides Gaxprom and Zarubezhneft, Russian oil companies such as Lukoil and TNK-BP have started their projects in Vietnamese continental self. In Russia, Rusvietpetro joint venture got its first oil flows in North Khosedaiu (September 2010), Visovoi (July 2011) and West Khosedaiu (July 2012). In 2012, the oil output of Rusvietpetro increased to over 2 million tonnes and will reach 5 – 5.5 million tonnes a year in 2018.
Cooperation in nuclear energy recorded a breakthrough with the signing by the two governments on the building of the first Vietnamese nuclear power station (October, 2010). Russian side will provide Vietnam a credit of US$10 billion with US$8 billion for the building of the nuclear power plant.
Making Vietnam-Russia relations ever meaningful
Vietnam maintains traditional relationship with Russia and ever increasing cooperation with ASEAN. Therefore in each step improving the relations with ASEAN, Russia considered Vietnam a bridge meeting its interests in security, economic and maritime cooperation. Vietnam becomes a lever, a catalyst for Russian cooperation in the region.
Vietnam-Russia cooperation has both similarities and differences with Russia-ASEAN relations. Vietnam and Russia have developed a favourable legal framework with 60 agreements, treaties and legal documents in various fields. The two countries continue to deepen the cooperation in all fields including national security, defence and energy. Consequently, Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership founded on Russia-ASEAN cooperation will be ever expanding in the interests each country and the whole region.
According to VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong, greater efforts should be made to upgrade bilateral cooperation especially in energy and SME sectors, (SME access to credits, job training and labour cooperation). In the years to come, Vietnam can make greater efforts for the integration between Russia and ASEAN.
Russia-ASEAN Business Forum 2013
Russia-ASEAN Business Forum (RABF) 2013 took place in St. Petersburg on June 21-23, 2013. VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong participated in it and met with Russian partners.
RABF 2013 was participated by several ASEAN members. ASEAN Deputy Secretary General also attended and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. Vietnam was represented by officials of Ministry of Industry and Trade and VCCI Vice President Doan Duy Khuong. Representing Russian side were Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (CCI of the Russian Federation) and Minister in charge of investment in Moscow region. Other activities include exhibition, business meetings and seminars. The topics focus on upgrading Russia-ASEAN cooperation and investments in energy potentials, sustainable development and urban development.
Participants share the views that Russia-ASEAN cooperation should be upgraded in the interests of each country, the region and sustainable development of mankind.