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Putin expects Vietnam and CU to conclude agreement on FTA

ITAR-TASS News Agency, Russia

Putin expects Vietnam and CU to conclude agreement on FTA

11 November 2013

MOSCOW, November 11 (Itar-Tass) - Russian President Vladimir Putin set a task of doubling goods turnover in trade with Vietnam within six years. This was stated by the Russian Head of State in an article published by Vietnamese media on Monday ahead of Putin’s visit to Hanoi on November 12.

"Last year, bilateral trade turnover grew by 20 percent to run at $3.66 billion. Joint plans are aimed at reaching out to the $7 billion mark by 2015 and subsequently attaining the $10 billion mark by 2020," the President wrote.

His opinion is that "The attainment of this goal would be directly promoted ed by the conclusion of an agreement on a Free Trade Area (FTA) between the member-states of the Customs Union (CU) (the RF, Kazakhstan, and Belarus) and Vietnam. This accords with the logic of a politico-economic integration in Eurasia and in the Asia-Pacific Region".

"Talks on an FTA are already undr way, and we count on their successful copletion," Putin pointed out.

The Head of State believes that "Russo-Vietnamese friendship stood the test of time, enduring many dramatic events of the 20th century, and immense changes coming about in the world and in our two states". "However, the main things — a respectful attitude towards each other and the traditions of trust and mutual assistance — have remained invariable. This signifies the ability to value unselfish assistance from partners that will never betray you.

"In this connection I want to quote the well-known words of President Ho Chi Minh who said ’When you drink water, remember the source’. I regard those words as a spiritual mandate to the present and future generations of the citizens of our countries. It is essential to remember the joint history and what unites us. Herein is an earnest of continuity and stability of the future-oriented relations," the Russian leader is convinced.

Putin wrote that Moscow and Hanoi are brought together by their positions, which are similar in many respects, on matrers that are on the world agenda. "Together we look for responses to the new challenges and threats. We uphold the supremacy of law in international affairs, the lack of alternatives to the politico-diplomatic intruments for settling disputes, and the right of any state independently to choose a way of development," he enumerated.

The Russian leader specially singled out cultural and humanitarian interaction. "It is significant in this respect that it was precisely to Vietnam (counting out CIS countries) that the largest quota was assigned this year for the training of cadres at Russian educational establishments. In all, about 5,000 citizens of the SRV attend studfies in our country, with about 2,000 of them being able to do so through State assistance," Putin emphasized.

Putin’s visit to Hano coincides with the current Days of Russian Culture festival in Vietnam. The President of the RF is confident that a great success is in store for Days of Hanoi festival which is due to begin in Moscow at the end of this month.

"The desire to get to know better the eventful history and culture of the Vietnamese people is also illustrated by the number of people in Russia who visit Vietnam. The number of people travelling there doubled last year and grew by another 66 percent within the first nine months of this year, exceeding the 200,000 mark. I think this tendency will keep on in future as well, considering how successfully the tourist infrastructure gets refined in the SRV," Putin pointed out.