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Room to move Vietnam-Russia trade forward: chamber head

There was plenty of room for bilateral relations between Vietnam and Russia to develop further when several barriers are overcome, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Vu Tien Loc told a conference in Hanoi on Saturday.

Loc outlined the barriers as administrative procedures, ineffective distribution channels, inconvenient payment proceedings, lack of market information and harsh competition from other countries.

He said the forum was an opportunity to get a clearer overview of the Russian market.

Two-way trade between the two nations has grown 17 percent annually during the past 11 years — from US$400 million in 2000 to about US$2 billion last year.

Of these figures, Vietnamese exports contributed US$122 million and US$1.28 billion respectively, recording an annual growth rate of 25 percent.

During the first six months of this year, trade rose by 30 percent against the same period last year to US$1.1 billion. And US$682 million of this came from Vietnamese exports, up 34 percent year-on-year.

As of July 17, Russia ranked twenty third among 95 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Russian companies have pumped US$920 million into 80 projects, mostly in mining, construction, processing and real estate.

However, the figure still lagged behind the potential, Loc said, adding that many Vietnamese exporters faced challenges in penetrating the Russian market.

The chief representative of the Russian Trade Office in Vietnam, Golikov Urievic, said Russia had been speeding up administrative reforms, focusing on customs and licensing, to make it easier for overseas enterprises.

He encouraged Vietnamese firms to push exports of food, agricultural and seafood products which were in great demand in Russia.

Vietnamese companies at the conference said they were concerned about payment methods, technical transfers and preferential credits for Vietnamese enterprises that wanted to export to Russia.

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