Positive signals in Vietnam - Russia bilateral trade in early 2019

Thursday, 2019-02-28 17:59:25
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A booth introducing coffee by the Trung Nguyen Group at World Food Moscow 2018. (Photo: NDO/Nam Dong)
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NDO – In the first month of 2019, there were positive signs in welcoming the Vietnam Year in Russia and the Russia Year in Vietnam as export-import activities between the two countries were active, resulting in strong growth in the bilateral trade turnover compared to the same period last year.

Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent based in Russia, Nam Dong, quoted data provided by the Vietnamese Trade Office in Russia as stating that trade activities between the two nations last year were very positive. Following that momentum, right from the beginning of 2019, import and export turnover between the two has also increased strongly.

In January 2019, Vietnam's export turnover to Russia reached US$230 million, up 29% compared to the same period last year. The increase is significantly higher than the general export growth rate. According to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s export turnover in January grew by 8.9%, reaching US$22.1 billion. Of which, exports to Asia were recorded at US$11.9 billion, to ASEAN at US$2.4 billion, up 12% and to the EU reached US$3.8 billion, up 7.9%.

Among Vietnam's key exports to the Russian market, there are several items recording impressive growth, including textiles and garments with a turnover of 19%, up 151%; computers, electronics and components US$27 million, up 106%; footwear US$12 million, up 97%; seafood products US$7 million, increased by 53%; and cashew nuts US$7.1 million USD, increased by nearly 60%. Particularly, in January, Vietnam exported a total value of US$24.5 million of coffee to Russia, up 53%. Vietnamese coffee is becoming increasingly favoured by Russian consumers and has experienced continuous growth in the Russian market in recent years.

Regarding imports, the amount of goods that Vietnamese companies imported from Russia reached nearly US$193 million, up 23.4% compared to January last year. Vietnam mainly recorded increases in the imports of raw materials in which Russia has advantages, such as iron and steel, seafood, coal, wood and fertiliser. In January 2019, the volume of seafood imported from Russia increased by nearly 30%. Other imported items with strong growth are iron and steel reaching US$49 million, up nearly 230%, and coal US$24 million USD, up 84%.

According to Commercial Counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Russia, Duong Hoang Minh, since 2018, the imports of Russian seafood products has been higher than the Vietnamese seafood exports to Russia. Russia has a well-developed fishing industry, while Vietnam has a strong seafood processing sector. Therefore, Vietnamese companies are increasing the import of seafood from Russia to process in Vietnam for export around the world.

As for wheat, the volume of Russian wheat exported to Vietnam in the first month of 2019 dropped by nearly 41%, bringing the total bilateral trade turnover between Vietnam and Russia in January this year to US$422.6 million, an increase of nearly 27% compared to January 2018 (at US$334 million).

Minh informed that Vietnamese Ambassador to Russia Ngo Duc Manh has held multiple working sessions with the relevant Russian ministries and sectors to seek ways to further strengthen the trade activities between the two countries.

The two sides have agreed upon establishing a mechanism to regularly meet and work to promote investment projects between Vietnam and Russia, strengthen import-export activities between the two, and collaborate to solve arising problems.

With positive signals in the early days of the new year, combined with the dynamism and positive activities from both sides, it is expected that in the remaining months of 2019, the momentum in bilateral trade turnover between the two countries will be maintained to soon reach US$10 billion by 2020 as a target set by leaders of both sides.