Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has suggested Vietnam and Russia accelerate investment projects in high technology, mechanics, machinery, health care and education, which are each side’s strengths.

The Deputy PM was addressing the first Vietnam-Russia Economic Forum co-organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, and the Ministry of Economic Development and the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation of Russia, in Hanoi on October 16.

He briefed Russian businesses and representatives from ministries and local governments on Vietnam’s economic development as well as incentives for foreign investors.

Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Ivannovich Shuvalov said he hopes implementing existing bilateral economic, trade and investment projects will boost the two countries’ economic and trade ties, especially after the signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

The Russian First Deputy PM is in Hanoi for the 16 th session of the Vietnam-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Economic, Commercial, Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which prepares for the upcoming visit to Vietnam by President Vladimir Putin.

At the forum, participants looked at the situation and potential for cooperation between the two countries’ businesses in electricity, and oil and gas.

The Russian side also introduced business opportunities in the country and plans to develop aviation techniques in Vietnam, among many others.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Russia last year hit 3.2 billion USD, representing a year-on-year rise of 19.7 percent.

Of the sum, Vietnam’s export turnover to Russia reached 2.3 billion USD, up 32 percent while its import totaled 1.4 billion USD, up 3.7 percent.

The two countries’ trade is expected to reach 4 billion USD this year.

By August this year, Russia has invested in 92 projects worth nearly 2 billion USD in Vietnam, ranking 19 th among countries and territories investing in the country.

Vietnam has had 17 investment projects worth 2.4 billion USD in Russia.-VNA