HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam and Russia hope to achieve US$7 billion in bilateral trade value by 2015 through expansion of different trade channels, especially in energy, according to Vo Tan Thanh, director of HCM City branch's Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
|Workers at Hoang Hau Co in the central Binh Thuan Province clean and package dragonfruit for export, mainly to Russia, Singpaore and China. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuan
Thanh spoke at a seminar held yesterday in HCM City and organised by VCCI in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Russian Trade Office in Viet Nam.
Thanh said that trade in the sectors of science-technology, education and training, and tourism would also be strengthened.
In 1994, the two countries signed a treaty on bilateral friendship. Bilateral trade turnover reached $1.98 billion last year, an increase of 8.1 per cent compared to 2010.
In the first nine months of the year, two-way trade turnover reached $1.77 billion, of which Vietnamese exports totalled more than $1.13 billion and imports $640 million.
However, the current level of trade does not match the potential of the two countries, according to Thanh.
The main Vietnamese exports to Russia are textiles and garments and agricultural and fishery products. Russia exports petrol, steel, fertiliser and machinery to Viet Nam.
As of September, Russia had 78 foreign-invested projects in Viet Nam with total registered capital of $919 million. It is ranked 23rd among countries that invest in Viet Nam. Most of the investment is in the fields of mining, processing, manufacturing, banking and telecommunications.
Viet Nam's investment in Russia in recent years has risen from more than $100 million in 2008 to $776 million this year.
Kardo Sysoev Alexander, a representative of the Russian Trade Office in Viet Nam, said Russia was a highly attractive investment environment, with current GDP growth of 4.4 per cent compared to last year and an inflation rate of 3.5 per cent this year.
In the next three to four years, Russia will lower import taxes on Vietnamese agricultural products by 30-50 per cent under Russia's trade commitments that it made when it became a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Import taxes on clothes, leather items and seafood will also fall.
Moreover, tariffs could fall to zero on other goods if Viet Nam and the customs unions of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan sign a Free Trade Agreement.
Thanh said Vietnamese businesses and Russia should work together to develop further trade in the EU market.
Last year, two-way trade turnover reached $17.75 billion. In the eight months of this year, the bilateral trade turnover rose to $18 billion, an increase of 23.12 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Duong Hoang Minh, deputy director of the European Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that Vietnamese exports to the EU accounted for nearly 80 per cent of total exports. — VNS