December 13, 2023 17:44 WAJ
From December 4th to December 5th, 2023, the Saint Petersburg (Russia) government and business leadership delegation met and discussed with the leadership of Ho Chi Minh City, the Overseas Vietnamese Business Association, and organised the Saint Petersburg-Ho Chi Minh City Business Forum aimed at promoting economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries in the new context.

The comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and Russia is referred to as "systematic cooperation.”

Speaking at the Vietnam-Saint Petersburg Business Forum in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Evgeniy Dmitrievich Grigoriev, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Saint Petersburg, emphasized and affirmed the comprehensive strategic cooperation between Vietnam and Russia, which is consistently preserved, strengthened, and developed across multiple sectors, as President Vladimir Putin refers to as "systematic cooperation." The value of trade between the two countries is increasing. Currently, more than 20 companies in Ho Chi Minh City have received investments and contributions from Saint Petersburg businesses, and over 60 Saint Petersburg businesses are actively engaged in commercial activities with Vietnamese partners.


Mr. Kalganov Viacheslav Genadevich, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Saint Petersburg, gave a speech at the Forum (Photo. BAOOV)

However, none of these factors truly reflect the possibility for reciprocal cooperation. Today, we will explore and strive for collaboration in a variety of sectors, including IT, industries, healthcare, and education. Saint Petersburg now has over 700,000 small and medium-sized businesses operating in a variety of industries. Despite being impacted by sanctions rules, the city continuously meets or exceeds budget criteria until 2023. This information is critical for Vietnamese firms and partners.

The local government is willing to help Vietnamese businesses collaborate with Saint Petersburg businesses.

Mr. Tran Phuoc Anh, Director of the Department of External Relations in Ho Chi Minh City, stated during the event, "Ho Chi Minh City and Saint Petersburg established their cooperative relationship in 2005 and have consistently organised collaborative activities across various channels." Saint Petersburg is one of the twelve priority international cities with whom the city will actively and favourably cooperate in the next years.

Ho Chi Minh City has become an appealing destination and an enticing investment market for both domestic and international enterprises, with a population exceeding 10 million, a strategically advantageous geographical location, political stability, and city leadership's attention to several new specialised mechanisms and increasing purchasing power. “Ho Chi Minh City need the investment and collaboration of international firms in general, and particularly those from Saint Petersburg”. The city continually views enterprise success as vital to city development, which is why it consistently improves the investment environment and works hand in hand with enterprises,' added the speaker.

"New Conditions, Opportunities, and Momentum"

Vietnam and Russia elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2012 and signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2015, which serves as an important legal framework to promote bilateral economic, commercial, and investment cooperation," says Mr. Duong Hoang Minh, Commercial Counsellor of Vietnam in the Russian Federation. Vietnam-Russia commercial turnover will reach $7.2 billion in 2021, nearly doubling from 2016. Following the Covid-19 outbreak and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, trade between the two countries fell, although there are currently signs of recovery. The Russian economy has miraculously revived, with GDP expected to increase by more than 3% this year. Payment methods, transportation, and other obstacles to trade cooperation are gradually being resolved.

What's more, over the last five years, Vietnamese cuisine and agricultural products have been extensively imported and marketed in Russian supermarket chains, with an estimated 1,000 Vietnamese eateries already operating in Russia. In the current global setting, particularly after Russia was sanctioned, attempts to strengthen trade and investment links have reached a new level of commitment and effectiveness. Businesses in both nations have numerous prospects and favorable trade circumstances. The Embassy's Trade Office is prepared to closely coordinate, create circumstances, and exploit opportunities to encourage cooperation between businesses in both countries and localities.


Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Saint Petersburg City at the forum (Photo. BAOOV)

Not just for visiting

On the afternoon of December 4th, Mr. Kalganov Viacheslav Genadevich, Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Saint Petersburg City (Russia), stated: "The Russian delegation is here 'not just for visiting but to sign contracts”. Saint Petersburg brings together 20 enterprises from various fields to participate in this forum, including the food industry, robotics technology, geological survey, smart city initiatives, water treatment technology, information technology, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, shipbuilding and repair, hydropower, high technology, et cetera. We expect that this meeting will set the framework for parties to sign cooperation agreements, thereby strengthening economic partnerships.


BAOOV signs an MOU with the Vietnamese Business Association in Russia (Photo. BAOOV)

Mrs. Goryshina Olga Anatolievna, Deputy Chairperson of Saint Petersburg City's Committee for Industrial Policy, Innovation, and Trade, stated during a working session with the Overseas Vietnamese Business Association: "The city houses approximately 360,000 small and medium-sized enterprises primarily engaged in trade, services, industrial manufacturing, machinery, energy, healthcare, food processing, shipbuilding, and water treatment." The city government continuously creates the best conditions for enterprises, such as subsidies, tax breaks, and financial incentives.

We wish to strengthen investment and commercial cooperation between enterprises from both nations, including Vietnamese businesses in Russia and Vietnamese enterprises in Russia.

"Russia was the first country to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam," says Mr. Peter Hong, Member of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Permanent Vice Chairman, and Secretary-General of the Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese (BAOOV). Russia's government and people have long been close friends and real siblings of Vietnam's government and people. Vietnam and the Russian Federation have continually maintained their solidarity and cordial collaboration during more than 60 years of diplomatic relations.

The Association now has approximately 94,000 Vietnamese firms and members abroad in 40 countries and territories. On this delegation's visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese businesses throughout the world are keen to discuss and explore collaboration with Russian industries.

"During the meeting on December 4, 2023, Prof. Nguyen Thi Hoe, President of Kova Paint Corporation's Board of Directors, mentioned that the corporation's antibacterial paint product was exported to Singapore 20 years ago. “We intend to work with Russia in the future to introduce this paint for sanitising hospitals and schools.”

Dr.Yen Platz, President of ICI International and Deputy Editor-in-Chief/Representative of WAJ at the United Nations in Vienna (Austria), represented the Vietnamese diaspora in Russia, notably in Saint Petersburg. She expressed her appreciation to the Russian government and the city of Saint Petersburg for encouraging and facilitating the Vietnamese population, businesses, and intellectuals to study, live, and work there. Many successful entrepreneurs have made substantial contributions to both countries, acting as real and effective bridges between Vietnam and Russia in a variety of fields. She also thanked the local authorities for allowing the Vietnam Ancestral Global to organise events honouring the Hung Kings anniversary in the city.


Dr. Yen Platz had a speech at the Forum (Photo. BAOOV)

Entrepreneur Duong Chi Kien, CEO of Golden Age Group, expressed his gratitude for receiving the Golden Lion Award for International and Interregional Cooperation (2020) from the Saint Petersburg Foreign Affairs Committee and the Certificate of Merit from the Chairman of the Legislative Council of Saint Petersburg, Russia (October 2023). While Vietnam gave me birth and developed my spirit, Russia supplied the environment for my business success. I am thankful to my nation, its people, and its culture.

I cordially invite and hope that Vietnamese entrepreneurs and their communities in other countries will come to Saint Petersburg to participate in Vietnam Week from May 19th to May 25th, 2024, as Mr. Genadevich and the Vietnamese diaspora community of entrepreneurs in Saint Petersburg have done. This week will feature a number of relevant activities aimed at developing and raising Vietnam-Russia's comprehensive strategic partnership to new heights, commemorating the 134th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's birth (May 19th, 1890–May 19th, 2024).

'The Saint Petersburg-Vietnam Economic Forum is an opportunity for Vietnamese companies in general, and my company in particular, to research, understand, and establish trade and investment cooperation with Saint Petersburg enterprises,' said Ms. Tran Thi Luon, Director of Thien An Food Company Limited. It provides a platform for bringing Vietnamese goods worldwide in compliance with each market partner's individual norms and criteria.

Representatives of the Vietnamese Business Association in Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the BAOOV on December 4 to coordinate bringing Vietnamese enterprises to Saint Petersburg to participate in Vietnam Week, with the goal of promoting bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Saint Petersburg. In addition, five Russian and Vietnamese companies signed deals totaling more than $30 million USD in various areas. This is a key milestone, creating momentum to promote and elevate Vietnam-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperation to new heights.


Delegation of Government Leaders and Businesses from the City of Saint Petersburg taking a photo with BAOOV (Photo. BAOOV)

Hoang Thao Nguyen 

Writer To Hoai is famous for his book De Men Adventure Ky (1941) written for children. Currently, "Crickets" have traveled all over the world. The story has been translated into many languages and published in many countries around the world. He is likened to the Andersen of Vietnam.


At first glance, she doesn't stand out when standing next to her Asian girls, I become more and more in the middle European women. Yet, people like look at you, especially like to peek, every time you say, or every time she laughs. Asian-style face Dong, round black eyes that can talk, the corner of his mouth when also fresh. Long, silky black hair, clear voice, Standard and flexible pronunciation even when I speak the language German and Vietnamese.