VietNamNet Bridge - Russia's invitation to Vietnam to make investments in its far eastern area has been welcomed by local economists.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev recently had a 2-day working visit to Hanoi, during which he met with the government of Vietnam’s leaders and managers of Vietnam’s largest conglomerates which showed interest in doing business in Russia’s Far East.
“If Vietnamese businesses can conquer the Far Eastern market, Vietnam will become a big partner of Russia, while this will help Vietnam heighten its position in the world,” commented Major General Le Van Cuong, former director of the Institute for Strategic Studies under the Ministry of Public Security when talking about investment opportunities in the country's Far East.
The Russian government, which strives to develop the Far East, is offering big incentives in tax, land and labor force to attract investors.
Russia wants to ‘wake up’ the Far East, with the area of 6.2 million square meters, 6 million people and rich natural resources, but it still doesn’t have necessary resources to do this, especially while under US sanctions.
“Russia will welcome investors from Vietnam,” Cuong said, adding that Vietnamese businesses would exploit the land for mutual benefit, and that Vietnam had no intent to trespass on Russian territory.
Regarding investment opportunities, Cuong thinks Vietnamese businesses can pour money into agriculture, forestry, husbandry, mining and farm produce processing for local consumption, and export to Vietnam and to third countries.
He said that the Vietnam-Russia trade remains modest, while the Russian consumer goods market is vast.
“Vietnam’s footwear and garment companies, for example, have great opportunities in the Far East,” Cuong commented.
“Vietnam has more than 1 million unemployed workers. Why don’t we think of sending them to the Far East?” he asked.
Dinh Trong Thinh, a renowned economist, agrees that Vietnam can exploit big opportunities if it invests in the Far East.
“If Vietnamese businesses can apply high technologies in animal husbandry, cultivation and mining, they would get profits in the Far East, as the Russian government is willing to allocate large land plots to investors,” Thinh said.
However, Thinh warned that Vietnamese businesses would have to compete with other investors, especially Chinese. Currently, 80 percent of goods in the area are from China. Many Chinese have settled down in Russia’s Far East, and are involved in profitable agricultural production.
However, Thinh believes that Vietnamese products are capable of competing with Chinese products, many of which are cheap, low quality and not durable.