Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Ambassador of Vietnam to Russia Ngo Duc Manh has said Vietnam and Russia have vast potential for their trade to grow robustly.

The two countries set up their strategic partnership in 2001 and elevated it to comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012 and since then their diplomatic and economic ties have been unceasingly growing.

In recent years, the two countries’ two-way trade posted a 30 percent growth a year, especially after the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union took effect from November 2016. Trade value hit a record 5.2 billion USD in 2017.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Russia was the 19th largest trader of Vietnam in the first seven months of this year.

In the reviewed period, Vietnam exported commodities worth 1.47 billion USD to Russia, up by 21 percent year on year, and imported goods worth 1.2 billion USD, surging by 55 percent year on year.

Trade promotion programmes have increased the number of Vietnamese businesses to conduct import-export activities with Russian partners, with 2,200 in 2017 and 2,042 in the first seven months of this year.

Wheat ranks first in the commodities imported by Vietnam, followed by black coal, steel, fertilizer, machinery and equipment, and petroleum. They all together accounted for 75 percent of Vietnam’s imports from Russia.

Russia imported mainly from Vietnam telephones, apparel, farm and seafood products.

At present, Russia ranks 23rd among investors in Vietnam with 116 projects worth 990 million USD, involving mainly in oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, transport, telecommunications, and aquaculture.

Vietnam has invested in 22 projects with nearly 3 billion USD in Russia.

Energy is the traditional strategic cooperation field which brings good incomes for the two countries. Besides Vietsovpetro, the two countries have established other joint ventures, namely Rusvietpetro, Vietgazprom, and Gazpromviet to expand their oil and gas cooperation in their countries and in the third country.

As trade is still coping with challenges, like payment method and transportation, so the two countries need to seek new cooperative ways which are feasible and mutually beneficial to achieve their trade turnover goal of 10 billion USD by 2020, said Ambassador Ngo Duc Manh.

They also need to seek measures to effectively carry out Russia’s projects in Vietnam, he said.-VNA