Vietnam ready to act as a bridge between Russia and ASEAN: Minister

8/9/2021| 21:25

As an active member of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and a reliable partner of Russia, Vietnam is ready to serve as a bridge connecting Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) with ASEAN nations, Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien said.

Vietnam ready to act as a bridge between Russia and ASEAN: Minister 

The minister made the remarks via video at a recent dialogue session between Russia and ASEAN held within the framework of the Eastern Economic Forum which is currently being held in Vladivostok, Russia.

He suggested that steps be taken to implement the free trade agreement between ASEAN and the EAEU which serves as a basis for boosting cooperation between ASEAN and Russia in particular and inter-regional collaboration between ASEAN and the EAEU in general.

After nearly 55 years of establishment and development, ASEAN is increasingly asserting itself as one of the most successful regional cooperation organisations and plays an increasingly important role in regional and international relations, Dien said.

The minister said that at the special ASEAN-Russia Foreign Ministers' Meeting held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN-Russia relations in July, the countries agreed on the necessity to create a new impetus in the relationship and further strengthening the strategic partnership. 

Vietnam and other ASEAN countries had pledged to work closely with Russia to promote trade and investment, maintain regional supply chains, intensify cooperation between the EAEU and ASEAN, and make contributions to promote regional trade and linkages, he said.

Ivan Polyakov,  Chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council Ivan Polyakov, who chaired the dialogue, said ASEAN is a region with strong economic development and still has great development potential.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, Sergey Katyrin said Russia has a lot of mechanisms and tools to cooperate with ASEAN.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-ASEAN trade turnover increased by 20% in the first six months of this year, he said, adding that with this growth rate, bilateral trade turnover is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year.

He also noted the cooperation in developing a green economy in the context of more natural disasters would occur in the world due to the impact of climate change.

At the dialogue, speaker Do Quoc Viet - a member of the Vietnam Entrepreneurs Association in Russia - said that transport infrastructure and logistics activities always play an important role in economic cooperation and development between the two countries.

He cited a lack of containers and congestion at seaports as reasons for an increase in transportation fees for the route from Vietnam to Vladivostok. It has increased from US$1,000 per container in October last year to US$10,000. The shipping time has also risen, sometimes up to 2-3 months.

Viet suggested that Russia build a larger port which is corresponding with the transport capacity from ports in Southeast Asia to solve the problem.

The most important issue on the agenda between Russia and ASEAN as well as the between the EAEU and ASEAN is to fully tap the potential of the two sides, Ivan Polyakov, the Chairman of the Russia-ASEAN Business Council, told Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Moscow after the dialogue.

Polyakov said he hoped that Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries are increasingly interested in strengthening cooperation with Russia in the widest range, not only in business, trade, or investment but also in culture and tourism and mutual understanding.