The delegation of the Republic of Crimea from 4 to 8 April, a working visit to Vietnam to establish economic, trade, educational and cultural ties between the Russian region and a major partner of Russia in Southeast Asia.
About the goals, the outcome of this visit and achieved during it, arrangements TASS said the head of the delegation, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, permanent representative of the Republic of Crimea under the President of Russia Georgy Muradov and the Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation from Crimea, member of the faction “United Russia” Mikhail Sheremet.
— Tell us about the purpose of this visit, what tasks set themselves the Crimean delegation and managed to implement them?
G. M.: In General I would characterize the visit as very productive and fruitful. Signed during the bilateral documents that relate to our intent on cooperation for the future, will allow to establish inter-regional interaction on a number of key areas, including trade, investment, joint production, tourism and education.
One of the main purposes of the visit is to convey the truth of the Vietnamese partners about the situation in our region.
We were able to introduce the Vietnamese community, representatives of political and business life of modern Crimea after he returned Home. We were able to bring to our partners the whole truth about the Crimean events of 2014 and they now have an accurate view but how important it is for Russia, and for the people of Crimea our reunion.
We felt that in Vietnam, as in any other country understand the great event that happened in the life of the people of Crimea and Russia three years ago. Crimea reunited with Russia, and in 1975 he reunited a divided Vietnam. Vietnamese friends, we understand very well. When reunited Vietnam 42 years ago, the Vietnamese people rejoiced and experienced the same feelings that we, Crimeans, and Russians have experienced three years ago.
M. S.: Crimean and Vietnamese are very similar modern history. Vietnamese people also passed a difficult stage of its history, through the hard struggle reuniting North and South Vietnam. Therefore it is easier for them to understand the situation that is now on our Peninsula and the format (reunification with Russia), which was held in full compliance with all regulations and international law.
I want to note that the delegation of the Russian Crimea for the first time visit Vietnam. We had a good dialogue and substantive exchange of views about the possibilities of our interregional cooperation. We can say that the first brick in the Foundation of the further development of our relations has already been laid. We presented our Peninsula, said on its sites, has presented tourist potential, recreational component, education and opportunities of business cooperation.
And in response to received convincing signals that our Vietnamese partners are very interested in establishing and further expanding mutually beneficial cooperation with the Republic of Crimea.
— Any agreement reached following meetings and negotiations with Vietnamese partners?
G. M.: We met with a wide range of representatives of the Vietnamese business community, scientific and educational circles, and visited the leading technology site. These meetings laid the Foundation for our continued purposeful interaction. The Vietnamese partners have developed a tremendous interest in the potential cooperation with the Republic of Crimea.
We signed seven bilateral documents that relate to the various spheres of our cooperation and provide a framework for interregional cooperation of Russia and Vietnam. These agreements define areas of cooperation. In fact, we start our cooperation with a new sheet. Obviously it is impossible with the first step, especially with the Eastern country, immediately to sign multimillion-dollar contracts. However, we were able to discuss all the potential areas of partnership and will now move towards the conclusion of specific agreements and documents that will allow us to implement these intentions.
In particular, we are interested in export of Vietnamese products in the Crimea, and in attracting Vietnamese investments to create joint ventures. This will enable us to produce of equal quality to imported, but more affordable by reducing production and transport costs, the product for the population of Crimea.
For example, Vietnam – a major producer of tea and coffee. We would like the Vietnamese, we have set up production facilities for the processing of tea and coffee, in their packing and packaging, which will allow them to work not only in Crimea but also in all Russian Federation. Association of Industrialists and entrepreneurs of the Crimea have signed a Protocol on cooperation with the Vietnamese partners.
Vietnam – a major producer of tropical fruits. In the Crimea and in Russia they are very popular, very popular juices of tropical fruit. We talked about that with the participation of the Vietnamese capital to create in the Crimea the joint production of fruit juices and nectars, concentrates which will be shipped from Vietnam.
Another possible area of cooperation is due to the fact that the Crimea, and Vietnam sea area. We have an interest in establishing cooperation in the production of seafood and fish. Such negotiations have already been held with the relevant Vietnamese companies.
We had the opportunity to see the Centre for tropical crops in Vietnam. We also have research institutions that are engaged in sub-tropical cultures, so such contact is very important. We regard as a very promising area of cooperation is the cooperation between these structures in the production of oil-bearing crops.
In our country there is a large plant “Crimean Titan”, a city-forming enterprise in the North of the Peninsula and it is constantly in need of raw materials. Such raw material is a natural element – ilmenite, it is the basis for the production of titanium powder used in paints and paint coatings. Vietnam ilmenite is mined in significant amounts, he stocks Vietnam ranks first in the world. We are interested in ilmenite enriched and we would have supplied the necessary raw materials for our titanium mill.
A very interesting and important area for cooperation is light industry. The Vietnamese, as you know, actively working in the garment sector in the Russian market, and our free economic zone provides a preferential regime for creating garment and textile production in the Crimea. Besides the production of garment products, we can start production and other consumer goods with the participation of Vietnamese businesses.
M. S.: We are told and it attracted special attention of our Vietnamese partners that Russia had taken the most important documents relating to the Crimea. I mean the government decree on the establishment in the Crimea free economic zone and the adoption of the Federal target program socially-economic development of Crimea. This is an extremely important documents including that associated with the development of the Crimea for international cooperation.
These two documents along with the desire of the Crimean people to develop relations with Vietnam provide a good basis to achieve real results in the way of trade and economic cooperation and cooperation in education, tourism and science with Vietnam. All these areas of joint work we have managed in the framework of this visit to discuss with our Vietnamese colleagues.
Here we met with a large number of graduates of Soviet and Russian challenge, which now occupy a variety of positions in political, business and social circles of Vietnam. These people understand us on a mental level, dealing with them does not require translators. It was noted that cooperation in education should continue to expand. In this respect, the Crimean land is not new territory: we had many students from Vietnam to the Soviet times. Now we want to see Vietnam again sent students to study with us at the annual quotas allocated to Vietnam by the Russian government to teach Vietnamese students and postgraduates in Russian universities.
In our delegation there were representatives of the Crimean Federal state University (KFHU), one of the largest universities of Russia. They agreed with the Vietnamese colleagues to create opportunities to Vietnamese students came to study in the Crimean universities, particularly in KFHU. Such cooperation will promote strengthening of friendly relations of Russia and Vietnam, at both the interregional and inter-state levels.
Interregional ties at this stage are a key element in the development of international cooperation of our country with foreign countries. Crimea is ready to make a worthy contribution to the development of this cooperation, in the development of a comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and Vietnam. Most importantly, we have seen from our Vietnamese partners the goodwill and willingness to develop comprehensive relations with the Republic of Crimea and to make thereby a contribution to the comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and Vietnam. Now everyone knows that without the Crimea is a comprehensive partnership cannot be.
Tourism is one of the most important items of economy of Crimea. Did you discuss the cooperation in this field with the Vietnamese side?
G. M.: it is important For us is the sharing experience. Not only the mutual supply of products and investments, as well as exchange of experience and, first and foremost, in the sphere of tourism. Vietnam is far away and strode resolutely in the development of the tourism industry, his experience is interesting to us. In recent years, Vietnam formed a circle of strong developers in the field of hotel and resort business, and we are interested to involve Vietnamese partners in their Spa area. We met with major Vietnamese business people, and we have with them mutual agreement about the ways of cooperation. Further development of the infrastructure for tourists is very important for us, as an annual tourist flow in the Crimea is very close to the annual level of 6 million people.
— The effect of Western sanctions on the tourism sector of the Crimea?
G. M.: Western countries banned flights to the us with its aircraft and the ports of the Crimea their ships. But this has not led to a drop in tourist popularity of the Crimea. Now foreign tourists come to us through Russian cities, primarily Moscow and St. Petersburg. Tourists come not only from European countries, although they constitute the major part of foreign countries. From Asia the active interest shown by tourists from China, they are now in first place in the flow of foreign tourists in Russia in General, and a considerable part of them who visit in Russia, shows interest and comes to look at the Crimea.
Very strong ties with foreign countries, which also increases the number of foreign tourists, we have our Crimean Diaspora. A close relationship with their historical homeland, we support the Bulgarians, Greeks and Crimean Germans. Incidentally, the number of visitors to our guests from Germany – the highest of all EU countries. Very interested in Crimea the Italians as they were historically associated with this area. We have Genoese fortress in Sudak, there is an Italian Diaspora in the Crimea, which also formed its national-cultural autonomy. In General, kinship and family relationships is one important element that contributes to the development of tourism, and on the other hand, if we talk about the political aspect, and presenting the truth to the international public about peaceful and harmonious living in Crimea today.
The CIS countries also actively travels to us. This may seem surprising, but the Ukrainians still love the Crimea. In 2016, we will have had approximately 1.5 million Ukrainian tourists out of the total number of 5.6 million. To ban its citizens to go to the car to rest on the black sea coast of Crimea, the current Ukrainian authorities can not, it will cause an explosion of outrage if they will completely block such opportunities for ordinary citizens. Many visitors come from Belarus, from Kazakhstan. In addition, representatives of the Crimean tourist sector, is beginning its participation in international, primarily in the Russian tourism fairs and exhibitions.
— Foreign business circles willing to work with Crimea and all stops West injected a negative background around the Crimean theme?
G. M.: I Think we have been able to break the unilateral aggressive propaganda, which is observed in many Western and not only Western media. The Crimea is now one of the most dynamically developing regions of Russia. Today, more and more foreign partners who want to work with the Crimea, to invest in its development.
Of course, if it’s a large international company that are traded on exchanges, there are certain risks associated with Western sanctions. But we have worked out all the way so these risks are eliminated.
By the way, even the Western press writes about it a lot, noting that the sanctions in relation to only one region of Russia to be inefficient because it is possible through other regions of the Russian Federation can be registered there via subsidiaries and affiliates. All of these ways to counter this illegal policy and the Crimea, and Russia as a whole, we actively use and they are working effectively.
M. S.: In the second half of April, Yalta will host international economic forum, we invited Vietnamese partners and will be glad to see them. This forum is a major event for the Peninsula. Every year it is gaining more and more momentum, gets fame in the world and helps to attract foreign investors willing to invest in the economic component of our Peninsula and work together to build a new Crimea.
G. M.: international Yalta economic forum – one of the four largest international economic forums held by the Federation. We expect visitors from more than forty countries. There will be numerous delegations from European countries. This year we have a special honorary guest of the forum – Italy. Come group, consisting of more than fifty major Italian businessmen. This is another indication that there is no international isolation and blockade of the Crimea of our opponents does not work. Time goes on, goes in a positive direction and no artificial restrictions can’t stop us.