Vietnam-Russia Trade & Tourism Continues to Grow as ASEAN Nations Eye EAEU Free Trade Agreements
Op/Ed by Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân attended a plenary session of the Federation Council of Russia on Wednesday, during which she outlined Vietnam’s trade co-operation with Russia.
Ngan said that economic links had been growing, with bilateral trade hitting a record US$4.5 billion in 2018 and $3.4 billion in the first nine months of 2019. Việt Nam was the first country to sign a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union, of which Russia is a key member. Additionally, bilateral investment had continued to expand with many large projects, including oil and gas, she said.
She added that co-operation in people-to-people exchanges had also been developed, and more young Vietnamese had chosen Russia to study in. Meanwhile, Việt Nam remained a popular destination for Russian tourists with more than 600,000 people from Russia visiting Vietnam in 2018, and 500,000 in the first nine months of this year.
Russian-Vietnamese trade and investment have increased significantly since the EAEU FTA came into effect, with fellow ASEAN members Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand are all involved in FTA negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union, while Singapore agreed to a deal earlier this year.
Free Trade with the Eurasian Economic Union allows countries access to Russia and the Central Asian and Eastern European markets of Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and vice versa.