Russia, Vietnam Should Increase Energy Cooperation – Russian Prime Minister
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia and Vietnam should search for new ways of cooperating in the energy sector.
Vietnam Will Not Stop Russia From Using Cam Rahn Bay Base - Think Tank Head
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and Vietnam should search for new ways of cooperating in the energy sector, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.
"Considering that we have been working together for a long time, it is essential to look for new, promising forms of cooperation," Medvedev said in an interview with Vietnamese media ahead of his two-day visit to the country, starting on April 6.
Among potential areas of cooperation, the prime minister mentioned refining, rather than solely extraction, and incentives to boost joint work both on Vietnam's continental shelf and in Russia.
"We should use various incentivizing mechanisms, including taxes," Medvedev said.
The prime minister noted that the two countries had a good history of collaboration on offshore development, with Russia and Vietnam having produced hundreds of millions of tonnes of oil and billions of cubic meters of gas together.
Such results, according to Medvedev, highlighted the success of the bilateral cooperation, which made it possible for Russia's Zarubezhneft and Vietnam's PetroVietnam to agree to continue their joint work until 2030.
However, Medvedev said the already established ties should not prevent further progress, and that was why Russian energy companies, including such giants as Rosneft and Gazprom, had partners of their own in Vietnam.
In December 2014, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the Asian country was extremely appreciative of the Russian energy companies' work in Vietnam and promised assistance to those businesses willing to enter the Vietnamese market in the future.
Vietnam's potential free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will be the first of its kind, ensuring the Asian country's access to a huge market, Russian Prime Minister said.
The EEU was established in May 2014 by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Armenia joining in October and Kyrgyzstan signing its accession treaty in December of that year.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed on Wednesday a decree to grant Ukraine a gas discount of no more than $100 per 1,000 cubic meters of fuel for the second quarter of 2015.
"[The free trade agreement] will likely be the first such agreement to be signed between the Eurasian Economic Union and an individual country. This would give Vietnam access to a huge market, which includes not only Russia but also its partners," Medvedev said in an interview with Vietnamese media ahead of his visit to the country on April 6-7.
The prime minister said the potential agreement could open new ways for cooperation, with Russia already being in final talks with Vietnam, having made progress on many issues.
"The planned agreement would not only open the Vietnamese market to Russian commodities, but would also give our Vietnamese partners access to the Russian market," Medvedev said.
He added that Russia was ready to create conditions for mutual investment, which would require extra work on the investment aspect of the free trade agreement so that Russian companies could succeed in the Vietnamese market.
In February, an EEU press service representative said the agreement on the establishment of a free trade zone between Vietnam and the EEU could be signed in the first half of 2015.
According to EEU Trade Minister Andrey Slepnev, the creation of a free trade zone between the union and Vietnam could boost the trade between the parties, which currently stands at $4 billion to $10 billion within a few years, once the agreement comes into force.
There are no obstacles for Russia and Vietnam to make settlements in national currencies but there needs to be an economic reason for doing so, Dmitry Medvedev said.
"Using national currencies is only suitable when the volume of mutual trade is high and you need to accumulate resources in rubles or dongs," Medvedev said in an interview with Vietnamese media ahead of his visit to the country on April 6-7.
According to Medvedev, so far the volume of mutual settlements between the two countries accounts only for some 1.5 percent of total bilateral trade, while all other settlements are made in US dollars.
The prime minister said using national currencies would be more profitable and advantageous in trade and investment since the dollar was a foreign currency for both Russia and Vietnam, leaving them open to fluctuations in the exchange rate.
"I think there is a good opportunity to do this also in relations with Vietnam," Medvedev said.
In September 2014, Russia and Vietnam discussed the issues pertaining to the growth of bilateral trade and agreed on the necessity of introducing a mechanism for calculating in national currency.
Total trade between Russia and Vietnam in 2013 amounted to $3.9 billion, up 8.5 percent from the same period in 2012. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the two countries were aiming for their trade to reach $7 billion in 2015 and $10 billion by 2020.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/business/20150405/1020490836.html#ixzz3WRkMcDje