That is a part of the story told by Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Dr. Nguyen Thanh Son in a meeting with leaders of HCMC Party Committee’s Propaganda and Education Board and press agencies during their business trip to Russia last June.
Any one who used to work and study in the former Soviet Union or Russia now memorizes adage “An old friend is better than two new ones” showing the character of Russian of being honest, generous and faithful.
Experiencing the history’s ups and downs, Russia has treated Vietnam just like the adage.
Early November 2017, while Vietnam was busy to overcome consequences of Typhoon Damrey and prepare for receiving leaders of 21 APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) member economies, Russia was the first nation sending relief including 40 tons of goods and US$5 billion to Vietnam in a direct flight to Cam Ranh Port, Khanh Hoa province--the hardest hit province in the storm.
Answering the question about changes in Russia-China relations and the position of Vietnam in these changes at a press conference on May 13, 2015, Russian Ambassador to Vietnam Konstantin Vasilievich Vnukov affirmed that Vietnam is the only comprehensive strategic partnership of Russia in Asia-Pacific.
“Our relationship is at the highest level and one of the main missions of the two sides is to expand the foundation of the partnership in fields such as commerce, investment, cooperation and joint venture,” he said.
In the 70th anniversary ceremony of Victory Day with the participation of 40 heads of states, President Vladimir Putin’s schedule was very stressful on May 9 and 10, 2015. He just had private meetings with head of states if they were very important. Among few meetings was the one with then Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang.
The two sides agreed not to waste time and need to continue fortifying and developing the cooperation relationship not only in traditional fields such as energy, atom, oil and gas and military techniques but also in new potential fields such as telecom and manufacturing, told the Russian ambassador.
While meeting head of states in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) such as Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, the President prompted to reach a free trade agreement (FTA) with Vietnam.
In fact Vietnam-EAEU FTA was signed in May 2015 and Vietnam has become the first partner signing the agreement with the union.
Incentives only for Vietnam
Besides advantageous conditions from the FTA with EAEU, ambassador Nguyen Thanh Son said that the Russian Government has given Vietnamese firms significant incentives.
Firstly, all level governments always pay special attention to Vietnamese businesses, positively assist them and efficiently coordinate with authorized agencies to provide them with legal information and investment policies in a timely manner.
Vietnamese investors have also been supported in transport, customs and administrative procedures. Specifically, the Russian side has facilitated stable operation of Hanoi-Moscow Multifunctional Center and a light industrial park in Moscow.
Secondly, Vietnamese companies have enjoyed assistance policies in agriculture and consumer product prodution fields. Russia has committed to providing special incentives for Vietnamese firms investing in agriculture and light industry while contacting leaders of localities such as the Republic of Bashkortostan, Primosky Krai. The incentives comprise land lease without bidding at low rent, assistance in construction of infrastructures such as electricity, water and gas.
Mr. Son said that Russia has provided Vietnamese students 900 full scholarships since 2016.
Talking to Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper, director general of TH True Milk Russia Ngo Thanh Hoan said that the company has got lot of incentives from the Russian Government.
Russia has supported the group to implement the breeding and milk processing complex project in Moscow and Kaluga on schedule by allocating land without bidding, providing low interest loans and 30 percent investment cost assistance, building farms, completing legal procedures and giving additional quotas for Vietnamese workers.
In a meeting with President Putin in September 2017 during Eastern Economic Forum, chairwoman of TH Group Thai Huong said that the group’s investment in Russia was to show its gratitude to kind-hearted Russia and Russians.
Previously she sent a letter to the president in 2015. After repeating the gratitude to the Soviet Union for their great aid to Vietnam in the Resistance War against American Empire to save the nation, reunify the country, she expressed the wish of assisting Russia that has faced western sanctions by investing in dairy cow breeding.
The president had a positive response to the proposal and gave suitable instructions to the Russian agriculture industry. In May the same year, an investment contract was signed in Moscow with the witness of the two countries’ leaders.
Besides the farm in Moscow, TH True Milk has been building another in Kaluga, considered investment in Tyumen province, the Republic of Bashkortostan and prepared for a dairy cow project in the Far East.
Before the visit to Vietnam in 2013, President Putin sent an article published in prestigious Vietnamese newspapers, including Sai Gon Giai Phong Newspaper, with the wish to directly communicate with the Vietnamese people.
“The friendship between Russia and Vietnam has steadily overcome challenges of many sorrowful events in the 20th century as well as gigantic changes in the world and in the two countries. However a simple thing never changing is the relationship of mutual respect, the tradition of mutual trust and help and the respect to impartial and disinterested help of partners who never betray each other”, the President wrote in the article.