Vietnam-Russia trade on the upswing

Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (left) shakes hands with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang

Vietnam is experiencing healthy trade ties with Russia, the successor of  the communist Southeast Asian countries long-time ally in the Cold War, the Soviet Union.

Russia’s exports to Vietnam increased by nearly 4 per cent to $1.39 billion in 2012, while it imported $2.27 billion worth of goods fromVietnam, up 32 per cent. 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 currently has 83 foreign direct investment  projects in Vietnam with total capital of $924 million in the sectors of oil and gas, heavy and light industries, transport and fishing.

Vietnam has invested $777 million 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 by 2015.

There will also be negotiations between Vietnam and the Customs Alliance of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan in March 2013 to discuss the establishment of a free trade area between the four countries.