|Viet Nam's main exports to Russia included telephones, computers, electronic accessories, garment and textile, footwear, seafood, coffee, cashew, rice, vegetables and fruits, while it imported petroleum products and gas and iron and steel. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
HCM CITY (VNS) — Efforts to boost trade and investment ties between Viet Nam and Russia were highlighted at a seminar held in HCM City on Tuesday.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Viet Nam and Russia enjoyed good relations in many spheres, including business and tourism.
Trade between the two countries had risen considerably in recent years, reaching nearly US$4 billion last year topping $1 billion in the first quarter of this year.
Viet Nam's main exports to Russia included telephones, computers, electronic accessories, garment and textile, footwear, seafood, coffee, cashew, rice, vegetables and fruits, while it imported petroleum products and gas and iron and steel.
Russian businesses had invested $2 billion in 97 projects in Viet Nam and Vietnamese firms had invested nearly $2.4 billion in Russia.
But despite the healthy trade growth, it remained well below potential, only accounting for 1 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively of the total trade of Viet Nam and Russia.
"With the complementary features of the two economies coupled with efforts made by both sides, trade and investment relations between the two countries are expected to grow strongly in the coming years."
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia Viktor Evtukhov said currently Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan were negotiating a free trade agreement.
Once the FTA is signed, it is expected to open up great opportunities to enhance bilateral investment and trade ties, according to the Russian official. The two governments have set a target of $7 billion worth of trade by 2015 and $10 billion by 2020.
"With a population of 140 million, Russia is a potentially lucrative market for Vietnamese products," Tran Bac Ha, chairman of the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam, said.
To increase exports to that market, Vietnamese firms must be more proactive in studying its demands and open offices or showrooms in Russia, he said.
Vo Tan Thanh, director of the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry's HCM City office, said the 4.9ha Ha Noi-Moscow culture, trading and hotel centre in Moscow, which was opened late last year, would be an ideal place for Vietnamese to start businesses in Russia.
Built by the Ha Noi – Moscow Trade Centre Investment (Incentra) JSC, the centre provided Vietnamese businesses a permanent trading and living space as well as legal assistance, he said.
Vladimir Lebedev, the Moscow Governor's international co-operation consultant, said through the centre businesses could get all the needed services instead of going to various agencies to complete procedures.
Organised by the chamber, bank, the Viet Nam Trade Promotion Agency, and Incentra, the seminar was attended by executives from more than 450 Vietnamese and Russian business. — VNS