Many Australian firms have tapped into the Vietnamese market due to Vietnam’s strengthened political security, apart from an efficient anti-corruption crackdown, heard a seminar on Vietnam-Australia education, culture, and cuisine promotion in Hanoi on Monday.
The Australian side strongly believes that Vietnam will further improve transparency and the investment climate.
The event, jointly organized by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), Hanoi authorities, and many enterprises, acted as a start for a series of similar seminars to be held in five cities and provinces this year, which marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Australia.
|An Austrade representative delivers a presentation on the performance of the Vietnam-Australia partnership in 2022. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Australia picks Vietnam as an investment destination thanks to political security
Eliza Chui, a representative of Austrade, said that many factors had encouraged Australian firms to do business in Vietnam, including the country’s political security, rapid post-COVID-19 recovery, golden population, anti-corruption efforts, and transparency.
“Vietnam is Southeast Asia’s sixth-largest economy, while the nation is home to 291 industrial parks, making it more attractive to foreign investors,” said Chui.
“After the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese people tend to pay attention to their health, so they are willing to seek high-quality products, smoothing the path for Australian exports.”
Bilateral trade between Vietnam and Australia totaled some 23.5 billion Australian dollars (US$15.6 billion) in 2022, making Australia Vietnam’s seventh-largest trade partner.
Meanwhile, Vietnam became Australia’s 10th-biggest trade partner.
Furthermore, Vietnam is Australia’s fifth-largest education partner, sending 27,000 Vietnamese students to Australia and seeing over 8,000 students pursuing degrees at Australia-invested universities in the Southeast Asian country.
Two-way trade in the agro-forestry-fishery sector reached a new record of six billion Australian dollars (US$3.9 billion) last year.
|Tony Harman, Australian agriculture counselor at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, delivers a speech at the seminar. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Australia set to import Vietnamese grapefruit, passion fruit
Tony Harman, Australian agriculture counselor at the Australian Embassy in Vietnam, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the sidelines of the seminar that the event was not only aimed at introducing Australian products to Vietnamese customers, but also at creating a chance for Australian firms to learn more about and buy Vietnamese farm produce.
Many Vietnamese agricultural products are being shipped to Australia, including dried, frozen, and fresh produce.
The Vietnamese shrimp is a much sought-after product in Australia and has gained a dominant position on the market, said Harman.
“We are working to import grapefruit and passion fruit from Vietnam to diversify fresh fruits on the Australian market and provide Australian customers with Vietnam’s high-quality products,” he revealed.
Australia is focusing on marketing honey products, kangaroo meat, deer meat, peaches, cranberries, and baby formulas to the Vietnamese market. In addition, Australia will make life easier for the import of Vietnamese shrimp, passion fruit, and grapefruit, while issuing certificates to Vietnam’s food irradiation and disinfection facilities.
In response to a topic about the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the two countries last year on sending Vietnamese workers to Australia for work in agriculture, Harman said that both sides were stepping up efforts to implement the memo, and will issue further notice in the near future.
As per the MOU signed in March last year, Australia will issue agricultural visas and receive nearly 1,000 farm workers from Vietnam each year.
However, in September last year, Australia announced the suspension of agricultural visas. Instead, the Australian government shifted to a program with a focus on workers from Pacific island nations and Timor Leste.
|Representatives of Australian firms have a discussion with their partners on the sidelines of the seminar. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been committed to continuing to follow all agreements with Vietnam, while the two countries are in the process of discussing the implementation of these deals.
The series of seminars on Vietnam-Australia education, culture, and cuisine promotion is part of the activities to celebrate 50 years of the two countries’ relations.
After the event in Hanoi, other seminars will kick off in Hue and Da Nang in March, and in Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang, and Can Tho in September.
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