Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Australia is poised to grow thanks to lower tariffs under free trade agreements, according to Vo Tan Thanh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).
Speaking at a conference on Vietnam-Australia relations on June 5, Thanh said that Australia would remove 90 percent of its import tariffs from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and New Zealand within 2018, and the remaining 10 percent 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 (CPTPP) would help promote trade between Vietnam 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 Vietnam’s eighth biggest trade partner and has invested around 400 projects valued at 1.8 billion USD into the country, ranking 19th among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. 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 Vietnam in the future.
Australia is one of Vietnam’s biggest official development assistance (ODA) providers, pouring around 150 million USD into Vietnam annually.
However, according to Le Thanh Tung, Director of Tien Thinh International Migration and Investment Consulting, while Vietnam is Australia’s 15th largest import market, Vietnam’s export value to Australia only accounts for 1.7 percent 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 Vietnam 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 the 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 USD. Vietnam exported 3.3 billion USD worth of goods to Australia- Vietnamnet.
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