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Udmurtia keen on boosting bilateral trade with Vietnam

First Deputy Prime Minister of the Udmurt Republic of the Russian Federation Konstantin Suntsov has expressed his belief that its bilateral relations and trade with Vietnam will be enhanced in the coming time.

Talking with a Moscow-based Vietnam News Agency reporter, Suntsov said that two-way trade hit 165 million USD in 2019, which was estimated at 200 million USD last year despite impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that Udmurtia is running a trade surplus with Vietnam, with its exports accounting for up to 70 percent of the total value, mostly metal and forestry products, cellulose and papers. Meanwhile, Vietnam has mainly shipped consumer goods to Udmurtia.

While expressing his interest in Vietnamese coffee, Suntsov said Udmurtia’s Tasty Coffee company accounts for about one-third of Russia’s coffee market share.

According to the official, Udmurtia already exported military technical products, metal and wooden products and medical equipment to Vietnam, and plans to ship more farm produce, light chemical industry products and IT services.

At an online trade promotion forum held in late 2020, Udmurtia introduced unmanned aerial vehicles, medical equipment, food colouring products, bleaches used in agriculture and farm produce to Vietnamese partners.

Mentioning important points in the Russia-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership, he said the two nations already signed a free trade agreement, thereby raising two-way trade to 6 billion USD in 2018.

He also praised Vietnam for its natural, art and cultural beauty which he felt during his visits to Hanoi, Sa Pa and Ha Long Bay in 2015.

On its capacity as rotating ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam well performed its role in assisting other regional member states in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, Suntsov said.

In his opinion, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, signed in 2020, will become a bridge between Russia and Southeast Asia.

As Vietnam is really a bridge between Russia and ASEAN, Udmurtia will also take advantage of that, he said.

Udmurtia is a federal subject of the Russian Federation within the Volga Federal District. Industry now accounts for over 45 percent of Udmurtia’s economic structure. Its enterprises also manufacture equipment for nuclear power plants, medical and oil-gas equipment, metal and plastic products. Agriculture is also an important priority of its development.