Vietnam and Russia have enjoyed strong oil and gas cooperation. Illustrative image. Source: VNA
Five small and medium-sized firms from Russia visited HCM City on September 8 to promote cooperation in innovative technologies, oil and gas, research and development and medicine, besides telecommunications and education.

Organised by the Tomsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the Russia-Vietnam business event was attended by 30 Vietnamese enterprises.

Maxim Golikov, Chief Representative of the Russian Trade Office in Vietnam, said the Tomsk region in southeastern Siberia was the oldest and the leading Russian educational and scientific centre.

Small and medium-sized enterprises employ nearly half of the total working population of the Tomsk region.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told a working session between Russian and Vietnamese businesses in April this year that the Russian Government has always supported bilateral cooperation projects.

He said the two countries have to promote business ties and develop B2B relationships with more investment and trade projects.

In May, Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union concluded a free trade zone agreement. A Vietnamese-Russian agreement on Vietnam providing the most favoured nation status to Russian suppliers and investors was also concluded.

Vietnamese and Russian enterprises are expected to get more opportunities to increase exports from that agreement.

In the middle of this month, a business delegation from HCM City, headed by Deputy Chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee Nguyen Thi Hong, will visit Moscow and Saint Petersburg to seek cooperation opportunities.

In November, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency will organise an exhibition in Moscow to promote Vietnamese exports for the Russian market. Another exhibition, entitled "Zarubezhexpo Vietnam," will be held in Hanoi.

At the same time, business delegates from Omsk province and Moscow city will visit Vietnam.

Golikov said the export of raw materials was no longer a key factor in bilateral trade. Items with added value have become the main export items, accounting for 50 to 60 percent of the total imports and exports.

Russia mainly exports machinery and vehicles to Vietnam, while Vietnam exports electronic products to that market.

Vietnam has invested 2.4 billion USD in 17 projects in Russia, while Russia has invested 1.9 billion USD in more than 100 projects in Vietnam.

Nguyen The Hung, Deputy Head of VCCI in HCM City, said in recent years, there had been a marked intensification of Russia-Vietnam cooperation, especially in the economic sectors.

The bilateral trade between two countries has increased from 400 million USD (2000) to 1.8 billion USD (2010), 2.7 billion USD (2013) and 3.7 billion USD (2014). It is expected to touch 10 billion USD by 2020, he said.

He said trade ties between Vietnam and Russia would see significant growth with the signing by the two countries in April of a cooperation agreement to implement 17 investment and trade projects, worth 20 billion USD.-VNA