Influential Vietnamese businesspeople based in Russia gathered at a seminar in Moscow on October 26 to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing them once Russia joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Trade Counsellor at the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, Pham Quang Niem, talked about the impacts of Russia’s admission to the WTO on the economic and trade cooperation between the country and Vietnam.

He also briefed the guests of the ongoing free trade agreement negotiations between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Uzbekistan and Belarus.

He said Russia’s WTO membership and the FTA will offer Vietnamese firms ample opportunities to gain a foothold in a large, lucrative market of nearly 170 million customers with an average income per capita of more than 16,000 USD.

Issues like taxation, quotas, trade protection and market trends also came up during the discussions.

Compared to other WTO commitments, the Vietnam – Customs Union FTA will contain more incentives, including substantially lower taxes, thus facilitating Vietnam’s exports to Russia and other Customs Union members.

The document is expected to be signed in late 2014 or early 2015.-VNA