VN-Russia trade booms, but there’s room to grow

Friday, Sep 07, 2018 11:36

Vietnam-Russia Joint Venture (Vietsovpetro) oil rigs under PetroVietnam at Bach Ho (White Tiger) field. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung

Viet Nam and Russia have enjoyed booming bilateral trade, but more efforts are needed to match potential.

According to the General Department of Viet Nam Customs’ data, Viet Nam has recorded a trade surplus each year with Russia since 2011. Two-way trade turnover has risen and hit a record US$5.23 billion in 2017, up 36 per cent on-year.

In the first seven months of this year, the trade surplus reached $265 million, down 39 per cent against the same period last year.

The decline was thanks to stronger growth in imports compared to exports.

Ending July, Viet Nam sold goods worth almost $1.47 billion to Russia while spending $1.2 billion on imports from the country. These figures represented growth of 21 per cent in exports and 55 per cent in imports year-on-year.

Russia was the 19th largest trading partner of Viet Nam in the first seven months.


It is a key market for Viet Nam’s key export products such as telephones and components ($710 million, up 15.6 per cent), computers and electronic devices ($120.6 million, up 81 per cent) and coffee ($113 million, up 64 per cent).

On the opposite side, wheat was Viet Nam’s top import product with value of $358.4 million, 32 times more than the same period of last year and accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the total import value.

In the first seven months, Viet Nam imported coal from Russia for the first time with value of $145 million, being the second highest import value item. Besides, iron and steel, fertiliser, machinery and spare parts and petroleum were among the main import items.

These six products accounted for 75 per cent of the total value of Viet Nam’s imports from this market.

According to Vladimir Buianov, chairman of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association, the two countries still have a lot of co-operation potential.

“The current results are clearly too low. I think the $10 billion trade value target will be achieved within 2-3 years, with just one kick,” Buianov told Vietnam News Agency.

More discussion and agreements have been made by the two countries but they still need to be put into action, he said, suggesting co-operation expansion among small and medium enterprises.

Russia currently ranks 23rd among countries and territories investing in Viet Nam with total registered capital of $931.6 million (including projects valid as of August 20), according to the Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Russia’s projects are mostly in oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, transport, telecommunications and aquaculture and fishing.

Meanwhile, Viet Nam has invested in 18 projects in Russia, with combined registered and added capital of $2.4 billion by the end of March 2018.

Most of the investment comes from projects invested by Rusvietpetro joint venture, Hanoi-Moscow Trade Centre Investment JSC and a dairy cow breeding and milk processing in Moscow of TH Group.

To date, 17 projects are among Viet Nam-Russia prioritised projects, which were approved at the 20th session of the Viet Nam-Russia Intergovernmental Committee for Economic-Commercial and Scientific-Technological Cooperation in September 2017.

These projects are in oil and gas, transport, agriculture, electricity, construction, industry and high technology. The two sides are working on a plan to implement the projects. — VNS

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