A Vietnam-Russia business forum was held in Hanoi on October 20 to help the two countries’ businesses seek investment cooperation opportunities.

The forum drew the participation of representatives from more than 40 Russian businesses operating in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, energy, machinery, oil and gas, metallurgy, mining and transport.

Speaking at the forum, Nikolay Kapustkin, Deputy Chief Representative of the Russia Trade Office in Vietnam , said that two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia reached 2.45 billion USD in 2010, quadrupling the figure of ten years ago.

The two countries see great opportunities to boost bilateral trade and investment cooperation as they aim for 3 billion USD in two-way trade by 2012, he noted.

At present, Russia is home to nearly 20 Vietnamese projects with a total investment of 1.7 billion USD, he added.

According to Pham Thi Thu Hang, General Secretary of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), despite continuous increases over the past years, two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia still fails to match the two countries’ potential and demand.

During the forum, a cooperative agreement between VCCI and Moscow Business Association was signed.

On the same day, a seminar aimed at boosting trade and investment exchanges between Vietnam and Russia was held in Ho Chi Minh City , coinciding with a visit by a business delegation from Russia ’s Tomsk region.

The delegation includes representatives from 18 companies operating in information technology, software production, medical equipment, pharmaceutical, chemical and garment sectors.

The Russian businesses expressed a wish to establish long-term business cooperation with Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam .

Also on October 20, VCCI hosted a discussion with a delegation from Japan ’s Kochi prefecture Chamber of Commerce./.