Australia – VN trade set to grow

Wednesday, Jun 06, 2018 08:06

Delegates at the Australia – Viet Nam Trade and Investment Conference in HCM City on June 4. – Photo

Bilateral trade between Viet Nam and Australia is poised to grow thanks to lower tariffs under free trade agreements, according to Vo Tan Thanh, deputy director of Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).

Speaking at a conference on Viet Nam and Australia’s relations on Tuesday, Thanh said that Australia would remove 90 per cent of its import tariffs from ASEAN and New Zealand within 2018, and the remaining 10 per cent in 2020, in accordance with the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.

In addition, the upcoming Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership would help promote trade between Viet Nam and Australia.

Thanh said that the two countries have had a close business partnership for 45 years and have seen great developments in trade, investment and tourism.

Australia is Viet Nam’s eighth biggest trade partner and has invested around 400 projects valued at US$1.8 billion into the country, ranked 19th among 126 countries and territories that invest in Viet Nam.

Vietnamese companies are also investing in several projects in Australia.

Thanh is confident that Australia will rise to be one of the top 10 countries investing in Viet Nam in the future.

Australia is one of Viet Nam’s biggest Official Development Assistance fund contributors, investing around $150 million to Viet Nam annually.

However, according to Le Thanh Tung, director of Tien Thinh International Migration and Investment Consulting, while Viet Nam is Australia’s 15th largest import market, Viet Nam’s export value to Australia only accounts for 1.7 per cent of Australia’s total import turnover.

There would be more opportunity for Vietnamese companies to increase their export volume to Australia, with the help of market research and counselling, he said.

However, he added that Australia had tough requirements for the goods it imports, so Vietnamese firms must ensure that their goods meet Australian requirements.

Gary Dawes, senior trade advisor from Austrade TradeStart and New South Wales Business Chamber, said that exporting Vietnamese goods to Australia could be a good way for Viet Nam to enter other foreign markets as Australia is the 5th most developed economy in the Asia-Pacific region and also exports to other markets such as New Zealand and US.

He also advised Vietnamese firms before investing to carefully research Australia’s demands and make sure they stand out from competitors.

In 2017, bilateral trade was at $6.5 billion. Viet Nam exported $3.3 billion worth of goods to Australia. — VNS

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