2012 was a successful year for Vietnam-Russia economic, trade and investment cooperation, with bilateral trade hitting 3.66 billion USD, up 20 percent year on year.

Vietnamese Trade Counsellor in Russia Pham Quang Niem made the statement in an interview with Vietnam News Agency after a meeting was held for the two countries’ businesses and media in Moscow on February 28.

According to Niem, Russia’s exports to Vietnam increased by nearly 4 percent to 1.388 billion USD last year, while buying from Vietnam 2.272 billion USD worth of goods, up 32 percent. Vietnam mainly imported petroleum, metals, chemicals, machineries and equipment, fertilisers and paper from Russia, and exported garments and textiles, footwear, seafood, noodles, vegetables, rubber, coffee and rice.

Russia has 83 FDI projects in Vietnam with total capital of 924 million USD in the fields of oil and gas, heavy and light industries, transport and fishing. Vietnam has invested 777 million USD in Russia. Two Russia-Vietnam oil and gas joint ventures, RusVietPetro and GazpromViet, have been operating effectively in Russia .

The two countries also established a high-level working group to promote priority joint projects, which is expected to increase bilateral trade to 7 billion USD by 2015.

Niem said Hanoi will host the first round of negotiations between Vietnam and the Customs Alliance of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in March, and will discuss the establishment of a free trade area between the four countries.-VNA