HCMC – Officials from Vietnam and Australia have highlighted the significant potential for enhancing bilateral trade and investment, particularly through the free trade agreements (FTA) to which the two nations are signatories.
Sarah Hooper, Australian consul general in HCMC, said that Vietnam and Australia have a strong foundation for business cooperation, built on their long-standing ties and mutual desire to strengthen their partnership.
Her remarks were made during a roundtable discussion on trade and investment promotion between the two countries held in HCMC on September 6.
The event, attended by senior officials and business executives, was aimed to share experiences, deepen understanding of trade and investment opportunities, and enhance awareness of FTAs for companies in both Vietnam and Australia.
Vietnamese government representatives, including To Ngoc Son, deputy director general at the Asia-Africa Market Department, and Ngo Chung Khanh, deputy director general at the Multilateral Trade Policy Department (both under the Ministry of Industry and Trade), also participated in the event.
Officials pointed out that Vietnamese and Australian companies should grasp the benefits provided by the regional FTAs that both countries are part of. These agreements include the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP), the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The FTAs offer various advantages, including improved market access, trade facilitation, and tariff reductions. However, challenges persist, particularly those related to enhancing competitiveness in the market and meeting stringent production and export standards.
Regarding bilateral investment, To Ngoc Son highlighted opportunities for improvement, notably in key sectors such as aquaculture, woodworking and footwear.
Currently, Australia is the 16th largest investor in Vietnam, with 610 projects valued at US$2.02 billion. Vietnamese businesses have also invested a total of US$550 million in Australia, primarily in mining and animal husbandry.
In 2022, Australia was Vietnam’s seventh largest trading partner, while Vietnam ranked tenth among Australia’s leading partners in trade. As of July 2023, two-way trade had reached US$8.1 billion, with an average growth rate of 14% between 2010 and 2022 each year.