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VietNamNews

Russian food imports ban offers opportunity for Vietnamese firms

Update: August, 21/2014 - 09:50
Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Russia has experienced significant strides in past years, reaching an estimated US$4 billion in 2013 and nearly $1.76 billion in the first half of this year.— Photo thuysan.com.vn
HA NOI  (VNS) — Vietnamese businesses were urged to increase exports to Russia following the country's ban on food imports from the United States and some of its European neighbours.

Russia's ban on the importation of meat, milk and dairy products, as well as fruits and vegetables, from the US and some European countries took effect last August 6.

The Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) quoted the Viet Nam Trade Office in Russia as saying that the country, with a population of 140 million, was now suffering a deficit in the banned food imports and was now actively seeking alternative sources.

This development has opened up huge opportunities for Vietnamese businesses engaged in agricultural production, as well as Vietnamese investors in foreign agricultural enterprises.

Pham Quang Niem, Trade Counsellor to Russia, urged Vietnamese producers to act quickly. He also noted that Russian companies were now paying more attention to the Vietnamese market.

"The Vietnamese Trade Office is working with concerned Russian authorities on measures to increase bilateral co-operation, as well as create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese enterprises in doing business in Russia," Niem told VOV.

Duong Hai An, Vice Chairman of the Vietnamese Entrepreneurs Association in Russia, said Russia's low taxes on agriculture would benefit Vietnamese businesses.

An, also general director of the Volga-Viet Company, said his company has planted 80ha of land in Russia to fruits and vegetables, but production volume has failed to meet market demand. An added that as a result, his company planned to expand its agricultural plantation in Russia.

He noted that the crisis in the relationship between Russia and Western countries would not end overnight, and said that this was the right time for Vietnamese businesses to step in and take advantage of the opportunities the situation offered.

"The most important thing is for the businesses to ensure the timely delivery of quality products that meet the huge demand," An told the online newspaper.

Sharing An's opinion, Pham Van Hau, an entrepreneur in Tambov Province, said he wanted to shift his investment from textiles and garments to agriculture, which he described as a promising and stable sector for Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Russia.

However, market analysts said, the passive Vietnamese response to the opportunities remained the biggest challenge. Also standing in the way are the geographic distance of Russia from Viet Nam, the lack of information about Russian business customs and insufficient support from local authorities.

Domestic businesses need to take the initiative to exploit such a lucrative market rather than wait for orders from their Russian counterparts, Niem said. He stressed the importance of speeding up trade promotion through seminars, fairs, exhibitions and partnerships.

Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Russia has experienced significant strides in past years, reaching an estimated US$4 billion in 2013 and nearly $1.76 billion in the first half of this year.

In term of investment, Russia was Viet Nam's 18th largest foreign investor with 97 projects worth $2 billion. Meanwhile, Viet Nam has pumped $2.4 billion into 17 Russia-based projects.

Analysts predict that a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will soon be signed, and this will open up a new page for bilateral relations between Viet Nam and Russia. — VNS


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