Vietnam, Russia boost agricultural, aquatic trade ties hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development  Tran Thanh Nam speaks at the forum. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Delegates at a forum on November 23 suggested Vietnamese firms further study the Russian market to increase the export of agricultural and aquatic products to the country.

The online forum was jointly held by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development (MARD), the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, the Russian Embassy in Vietnam, and the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia.

According to MARD Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam, Vietnam is holding No. 1 position in trade turnover with Russia in Southeast Asia, and is Russia’s sixth largest trade partner in Asia-Pacific.

Two-way trade reached 4.5 billion USD during the 2018-2020 period, of which farm produce accounted for around 18-20 percent, or 900 million USD each year.

In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery export to Russia stood at 469 million USD, up 32.6 percent year-on-year.

Vietnam mainly shipped aquatic products, coffee, cashew nuts, fruit, tea, wood and rice to Russia, while importing aquatic products, wheat, fertilizers, timber, meat and dairy products.

The two sides should make use of their advantages and turn challenges into opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Nam said.

Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sergey Lvovich Levin said the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Free Trade Agreement has opened up trade opportunities for the two countries.

Vietnam is a dynamic and developed market in the region, the official said, stressing the two countries would promote their agricultural trade to a new level.

Echoing Levin’s views, Vietnamese Trade Counselor in Russia Duong Hoang Minh said thanks to the EAEU, most of Vietnam’s agricultural and aquatic exports to Russia have enjoyed a zero tariff.

He suggested Vietnamese enterprises participate more in major Russian exhibitions to further study the market, thus boosting agricultural and aquatic export to the country.

In addition, they should invest more in the products that have advantages like coffee, aquatic products and processed fruit, he said, explaining that raw material exports bring about low economic values.

To Tuong Lan, Deputy Secretary General of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), suggested agencies of the two countries work to remove difficulties facing their businesses.

She called on the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance to allow more Vietnamese seafood enterprises to enter the Russian market, saying the two sides can promote bilateral payments in local currencies and launch rail services to ease the pressure on the sea route.

Nam expressed his hope that during the upcoming visit to Russia by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the two countries’ competent agencies will continue to review regulations on food safety, and expand the list of exporters./.