VCCI Vice President speaks at the plenary session in the framework of the Vietnam Expo 2018 (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Russia is the guest of honour at the ongoing 28th Vietnam International Trade Fair (Vietnam Expo 2018), one of the biggest trade promotion activities held annually in Vietnam.

“The invitation of Russia as the guest of honour at the Vietnam Expo 2018 is one of the moves to further the strategic partnership with Russia. Russia has a special position in relations between the two Governments,” Doan Duy Khuong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) told the Vietnam News Agency.

Trade a highlight in bilateral cooperation

Over the past nearly two decades, economy and trade have been the highlights in ties between Vietnam and Russia, with robust growth seen in the oil and gas and energy sectors, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh said. 

“Vietnam is the only strategic partner of Russia in the Asia – Pacific region, with the partnership established in 2001. The two countries have enjoyed time-tested and close-knit relations in all fields,” he said.

The Vietnam-EAEU free trade agreement, effective in October 2016, has significantly contributed to boosting Vietnam – Russia economic cooperation, he added.

Russia has poured more than one billion USD in Vietnam, ranking 23rd out of 119 nations and territories investing in the country.

It is Vietnam’s second biggest foreign investment destination, worth nearly 3 billion USD via projects funded by the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), TH True Milk Group and the Hanoi – Moscow Trade Centre.

Two-way trade topped 5.3 billion USD in 2017, representing a year-on-year rise of 35 percent.

In the first two months of this year, the figure reached 657.7 million USD, up 45.3 percent year on year.

The two countries are working to raise the figure to 10 billion USD by 2020.

Potential

Vietnam is encouraging investment in various fields, such as renewable energies, support industry, high and green technology, mechanical manufacturing, chemistry and oil, pharmaceutical chemistry, ICT, health care and tourism, Deputy Minister Khanh said at the April 11 plenary session “Russian-Vietnamese partnership in Trade and Economic Fields: the development strategy,” which formed part of the Vietnam Expo 2018.

Vietnam will continue building policies and creating a favourable environment for foreign investors, “giving special attention to Russian investors,” he said.

VCCI Vice President Khuong spoke about Vietnam’s cheap labour force, abundant natural resources, favourable geographic location and international integration, alongside Russia’s strengths in engineering, science-technology and energy.

“Vietnam has a stable political and socio-economic situation with strong economic growth rate and perspective. Vietnam has full foundation to become an attractive market for Russian enterprises and investors,” Khuong said.

Leading Russian groups are displaying products like machinery, precision mechanics, automation equipment, industrial biotechnology and high-tech electronics at the expo. 

The State Corporation ROSTEC is the largest Russian company in electronics. It is one of the biggest and oldest Russian investors in Vietnam, providing military engineering and technology for Vietnam.

Viktor Kladov, Director of ROSTEC International Cooperation and Regional Policy, told Vietnam News Agency the company was “very positive about Vietnam’s investment environment“.

“We have deeply involved in cooperation with Vietnam in various fields. We are mostly known as Vietnam’s strategic partner in terms of military engineering and defence production. However, ROSTEC is expanding its investment in other civilian fields, including health care, automotive, electronics, aerospace, aviation engines and agriculture technology,” Kladov said.
 
Kladov, Director of ROSTEC International Cooperation and Regional Policy at Russian booth in the Vietnam Expo 2018 (Source: VNA)

“ROSTEC is producing vaccines and pharmaceuticals for Vietnam, using local resources. It is also conducting a technical study to produce and assembly commercial trucks as well as unmanned trucks in Vietnam to support the mining sector,” he elaborated.

He praised the diligence of Vietnamese workers in the group’s rubber plantation, adding that the group provides technology transfer and training package to build the skill of locals working for ROSTEC.

“The Vietnam Helicopter Corporation is a strategic partner of the Russian Helicopters, part of ROSTEC Group. The company uses skilled Vietnamese experts and delivers qualified services and support for the Russian Helicopters,” he said.

Anastasia Ivanova, Director of International Cooperation of the Russia Export Centre, described Vietnam as “Russia’s key investment and export destination in Asia, replacing China” as human resources are cheap and high quality.
 
Anastasia Ivanova, Director of International Cooperation of the Russia Export Centre speaks at the plenary session (Source: VNA)

The Russia Export Centre provides financial assistance, seeks partners and analyses markets for Russian firms that wish to invest in Vietnam.

The centre has launched a Russia Commercial House in HCM City to help importers and exporters of the two countries exchange information and seek partners, according to Ivanova.

She suggested the two nations support each other’s business activities while calling on Vietnamese and Russian business communities to take come up with initiatives and projects to move forward and realise future targets.-VNA