Viet Nam, Russia seek greater bilateral trade co-operation

Friday, Nov 13, 2015 14:28

Vietnamese Ambassador in Russia Nguyen Thanh Son and other delegates check products at Bat Trang pottery product booth at the month-long fair in Moscow. — Photo Quang Vinh

HA NOI (Biz Hub) – A forum on promoting trade co-operation and bilateral payments between Viet Nam and Russia opened in Moscow on November 12.

The event, organised by Viet Nam's Industry and Trade Ministry (MoIT), the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, Russia's Ministry of Economic Development and the Bank for Investment and Development of Viet Nam (BIDV), besides the Russia Foreign Trade Bank (VTB), was attended by representatives of the state offices of Viet Nam and Russia, 150 Russian enterprises and 300 Vietnamese enterprises.

The forum aimed to connect import and export enterprises of the two countries, create business opportunities for them and introduce to them challenges and advantages in trade activities after the free-trade agreement (FTA) between Viet Nam and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), including Russia, comes into effect.

It also introduced bilateral payment channels between Viet Nam and Russia, including those via the BIDV and the VTB.

BIDV Chairman Tran Bac Ha said when the FTA comes into effect, the value of trade between Viet Nam and Russia was expected to grow annually at 50 per cent by 2018, but trade between the two countries still faced many problems in terms of payment and customs and tax policies.

Now, 90 per cent of the payments for goods exported from Viet Nam to Russia are made by telegraphic transfer (TT), which is riskier than the traditional payment method in the form of letters of credit.

At the forum, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang on August 19 ratified the FTA between Viet Nam and the EEU.

He said the MoIT would give support to enterprises of the two countries, such as in the development of payment systems in the local currency, and would encourage these enterprises to join trade promotion programmes.

Meanwhile, Russia's Minister of Economic Development Alexey Likhachev said an inter-government meeting on November 25 in Ha Noi would discuss many issues, including support from the two governments for trade and investment activities between the two countries.

During the forum, the MoIT's Trade Promotion Agency and Russia's Department for Development of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises signed a co-operation agreement.

The Viet Nam National Financial Switching Joint Stock Company (Banknetvn) and Russia's National Card Payment System (NSPK) also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to connect their card switching systems to help card owners in the two countries.

Under the MoU, the two sides would increase convenient card payment services in the fields of work, tourism, business and health, besides transnational money transfer between the Russian and the Vietnamese people.

The two sides expect to complete the connection of card switching systems and to begin providing services in the last quarter of 2016. The BIDV and the VTB will be the first members of the system to provide those services.

With the trade value between Viet Nam and Russia expected to reach US$10 billion by 2020 and the number of Russian tourists coming to Viet Nam expected to grow at 70 per cent annually, the development of card switching systems will bring tangible benefits for Russian and Vietnamese citizens and promote bilateral trade activities. — VNS

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