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Dec 02, 2021 / 14:13

Vietnam, Russia to raise bilateral trade by 20-fold: State President

A long-standing relationship of over 70 years and high political trust between the two would open up a new chapter for cooperation.

Vietnam and Russia should aim for a 15 to 20-fold increase in bilateral trade turnover from the current US$5 billion, and a triple increase in investment capital in the coming time.

State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed the view during the Vietnam-Russia business summit held on December 1 with the participation of 80 enterprises from both sides.

 State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the summit. Source: VNA

At the summit, Phuc briefed the business community on the agreements reached in his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which opened up new room for cooperation, especially in economy and trade.

As Vietnam is in the process of reopening its economy, Phuc expected the GDP growth to reach 4.5% this year despite the pandemic, while the total trade turnover is set to hit $600 billion with a surplus balance.

Phuc noted Vietnam is currently third in ASEAN in terms of economic size, and also a member of 15 free trade agreements, including new-generation ones of high standards such as the CPTPP, EVFTA, or RCEP.

“Russian companies investing in Vietnam would have opportunities to further penetrate larger markets,” Phuc said.

Given Vietnam’s status as among the top 20 best investment destinations globally, the investment capital from Russia to Vietnam remains below expectation compared to the potential of both countries.

As the pandemic situation has been improved in Vietnam, Phuc called for Russian companies to explore business options in Vietnam, and also their Vietnamese partners to take on the Russian market.

“Vietnam could continue to import wheat, pork from Russia, and also expand farm produce exports to the country,” referring to the fact that Russia’s agricultural exports of a modest of $30 billion per year, and Vietnam's at $45 billion.

According to Phuc, a long-standing relationship of over 70 years and high political trust between the two would open up a new chapter for cooperation.

In this regard, Phuc suggested Russia should soon revise the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and Eurasian Economic Union or AEAU (including Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan) to further create favorable conditions for bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

He stressed the significant role of the inter-governmental committee in promoting trade, economy, science, technology, and expanding cooperation in priority fields of energy, industry, hi-tech farming, finance-banking.

 The signing of business contracts at the summit. 

President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin urged both sides to focus on taking advantage of the EAEU, the first trade deal of the Eurasian Economic Union with another country.

Shokhin welcomed the joint declaration of the two countries, noting the visit of the Vietnamese State President to Russia would lay the foundation for stronger cooperation between the two sides.

He said Russian companies have huge interests in investing in Vietnam given the EAEU currently in place.

For his part, Phuc said Vietnam would continue to ensure a predictable and transparent legal environment for foreign businesses to commit long-term in the country.

“Vietnam considers Russian companies not only investors but also sincere friends, and your successes would also be our desire and pride,” Phuc said.

Signing major contracts

On this occasion, Phuc said Vietnam’s budget carrier Vietjet announced it would launch a new flight route between Vietnam and Russia from December 2.

During the summit, HDBank from Vietnam signed an agreement with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) and the Vietnam Chess Federation (VCF) on sponsoring an international chess championship in 10 years, from 2022 to 2031.

Vietnam Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Chernyshenko witnessed the signing of VABIOTECH, SOVICO Group, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in producing the Sputnik V vaccine in Vietnam.

VABIOTECH President Do Tuan Dat noted the company has so far produced over 1 million doses of Sputnik V vaccines, expecting the move would be key for Vietnam to become independent in vaccine manufacturing and address risks from new Covid-19 variants such as Delta or Omicron.