Pagodas in Ho Chi Minh City this week have lit seven lotus-shaped lanterns to celebrate the anniversary of Buddha's birth.
- President commits to favourable conditions for Russian investors
Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the affirmation while answering reporters’ queries regarding the results of President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to Russia.
He said Mr Sang’s official visit to Russia successfully concluded with the release of a joint statement representing the common perception and desire of the leaders and people of the two countries, announcing the level of comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Russia as a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The two sides agreed to increase effective dialogues and maintain meetings between high-ranking leaders, with the determination of deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership and making it practical and sustainable.
They also agreed upon important plans for the development of relations in major pillars including trade, oil and gas, energy and military technique, while expanding cooperation in science and technology, education and training, as well as culture and tourism.
Regarding economics and trade, both sides shared the view that they should seek new opportunities to increase two-way trade and speed up the negotiation and signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union (comprising of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan).
They agreed to soon implement strategic cooperation projects specifically in oil and gas and atomic energy sectors.
Together with building a Centre of Nuclear Science and Technology, Russia pledged to put the first nuclear power plant in Vietnam into operation safely and at the highest quality.
As for the military technical cooperation, Vietnam and Russia affirmed to continue strengthening effective cooperation on the basis of mutual and long-lasting trust.
Both sides agreed to expand cooperation in science and technology, education and training, and consolidate cooperation in humanitarian activities in order to increase mutual understanding between the two peoples and create the social foundation for the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership.
They also reaffirmed to collaborate closely and support each other at international and regional forums.
They held that territorial disputes and other disputes in the Asian-Pacific region should be solved only by peaceful measures without the use of force or the threat to use force, in accordance with international law, particularly the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They supported the full implementation of the 2002 Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the approach to the building of the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
During the visit, the two sides signed a series of documents, agreements and cooperation programs, helping complete the legal foundation for the development of Vietnam-Russia bilateral ties in the future.
FM Minh said energy cooperation, which is the spotlight in the Vietnam-Russia relations, has achieved important goals.
Apart from extending the operation period of the Vietsovpetro joint venture to 2030, the two sides agreed to continue expanding their cooperation in oil and gas exploration and exploitation in Vietnam and Russia, and in third countries.
Cooperation in nuclear power is a breakthrough, Minh stressed, adding that the two countries signed an inter-governmental agreement in October 2010 on the construction of Vietnam’s first nuclear power plant.
Military technical cooperation between the two countries continues to be improved, contributing to strengthening Vietnam’s security and defence in particular, to peace and stability in the region in general, as well as raising Russia’s position and influence in Asia and the Pacific.
On the other hand, economic-trade cooperation and investment between the two countries have seen development, but considerable potential remains untapped.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia accounts for only a modest proportion in each country’s trade value. Bilateral trade reached US$1.98 billion in 2011, an increase of 8.1 percent over the previous year. In the first five months of this year, it reached US$918.8 million.
Investment between the two countries is still modest, the minister said. Russia has a total registered capital of nearly US$1 billion in Vietnam, ranking 23rd among foreign investors in the country.
Education-training are the two countries’ traditional fields of cooperation, which, he said, plays an important role in promoting and enhancing their strategic partnership.
More than 100,000 university degree holders, staff and experts have to date been trained in Russia.
In that context, Sang’s visit from July 26-30 is of considerable significance, affirming that the two countries continue to attach importance to and wish to unceasingly strengthen the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership, Minh affirmed.
This is the first visit to Russia by Sang as the President of Vietnam, and takes place in the context that the Vietnam-Russia strategic partnership is developing in a deep, effective and substantial manner, the minister said.