AusCham’s President, Ms Chau Ta, speaks to the Vietnam Investment Review dated 15-21 May 2017 regarding the economic reforms in Vietnam.

The article is reproduced below.

Vietnam-Australia relations are growing strongly and our members are both contributing to and benefitting from that growth.

Our members are largely optimistic about their existing activities here and many predict that they will expand their operations. This shows confidence in Vietnam’s strong macroeconomic performance and the broad efforts being made by the government to improve the business environment in the private sector.

While the TPP has not moved forward as hoped, Australian and Vietnamese businesses benefit from the existing ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and Vietnam’s commitment to further improving trade and investment opportunities by participating in new international trade agreements.

On the domestic front, AusCham recently signed an MOU with Vietnam’s Department of Foreign Affairs of the Provinces which gives our members greater access to all of Vietnam’s 63 provinces.

We see tremendous potential for Australian investors in sectors such as agriculture, energy, financial services, education, tourism and health.

Of course there are always challenges and AusCham aims to be a constructive partner in helping to address them.  Initiatives such as the prime minister’s dialogue are important as they enable the government and private sector to work together to identify and address barriers to growth.  The reality is that even when everyone is pushing in the same direction on the ‘big picture’, businesses often get stuck dealing with practical day-to-day problems, particularly regarding the implementation of laws, which can have a very significant impact on the bottom line. This needs to be addressed just as assiduously as macroeconomic policy and forums like the prime minister’s dialogue and the Vietnam Business Forum (VBF) are important for this reason.

Furthermore, while we greatly appreciate the focus on expanding the private sector’s role in a healthy economy, we are also particularly interested to see reform of the state-owned enterprise sector, so it was pleasing to see that as a key focus of the recent Vietnam Party Central Committee’s fifth plenary meeting. Vietnam has a great opportunity to act decisively to achieve its vision of a well-balanced economy with strong institutions that can grow sustainably.

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