MARD Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien called on both sides to push ahead with further opening their countries’ markets to each other’s agricultural products and work towards mutual recognition so as to reduce barriers and the time needed to license fisheries and animal farming businesses.

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This is the foundation for Vietnamese and Russian enterprises to continue promoting trade and fully optimize preferential treatment under the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), he said.

The official noted that the countries’ agricultural cooperation is focusing on trade.

Bilateral trade averaged USD 4.5 billion annually between 2018 and 2020, about 18 – 20 percent of which, equivalent USD to 900 million, came from the trading of farm produce – a relatively modest figure compared to the countries’ economic potential and comprehensive strategic partnership.

Vietnam mainly exports coffee, aquatic products, vegetables, and fruit to Russia while mostly importing wheat, aquatic products, wood, rubber, and recently pork from the latter.

Tien held that as agricultural products of Vietnam and Russia do not directly compete with but are complementary to each other, the two sides should capitalize on their own advantages and strong products to achieve the trade target of USD 10 billion in the near future.

With 139 projects worth USD 943.77 million, Russia ranked 25th among the 144 countries and territories investing in Vietnam as of December 2020. Meanwhile, Vietnam had 25 investment projects worth nearly USD 3 billion in Russia.

He asked Russia to work closely with Vietnam to foster partnerships in agricultural investment, as well as in the application of new and advanced technology to agricultural and aquatic processing so as to reduce production cost and enhance competitiveness.

The two sides should also coordinate to organize both online and offline events to promote trade and deal with technical obstacles, the deputy minister added.

Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Sergey Levin said despite numerous difficulties caused by the pandemic’s impacts, the countries have maintained frequent meetings on trade and investment.

He also affirmed the potential and prospect of agricultural cooperation and trade, noting that his country wishes to develop bilateral ties.

Russia will send a representative to its embassy in Vietnam to strengthen trade links in the time to come, he added.

At the event, the Miratorg group of Russia and the Huong Viet company of Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding under which the former will supply meat and wheat products for Vietnam, and the latter aquatic, coffee, cashew, and dried fruit products for Russia.

Source: VNA