Strengthening Vietnam-Australia economic cooperation
Updated at Sunday, 02 Apr 2017, 09:49
The Hanoitimes - The Vietnamese and Australia governments yesterday held their High-Level Consultations on Development Co-operation to discuss results of their long-term development co-operation and the importance of its transformation into an economic partnership.
The biennial High Level Consultations were led by Philip Green, First Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Mainland and Regional Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia), and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong.
Accordingly, the two countries gained key achievements for the 2015-17 development co-operation, including due completion of the Cao Lanh Bridge late this year, encouraging progress in developing three new initiatives - Aus4Reform, Aus4Transport and Aus4Water - to develop a strong and competitive private sector in Vietnam.
They also noted the effective commencement of the new Aus4Skills initiative in 2016, which will continue to deliver the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships as well as a new range of flexible human resource development support packages and support for women’s economic empowerment, including preparation for the new Aus4Equality and Investing in Women initiatives.
Deputy Minister Nguyen The Phuong (right) and First Assistant Secretary Philip Green sign a record of the transcript of the meeting
“Vietnam has been an important partner of Australia in the region for a long time, and our commitment to development cooperation with Vietnam is ongoing,” Green said. Given Vietnam’s tremendous achievements in socio-economic development, it is now time to transform the relationship into an economic partnership, based on mutual benefit and shared challenges,” he added.
The economic partnership is expected to be built on the principles of commitment to pursuing shared economic interests as outlined in the Plan of Action 2016-2019, encouraging a dynamic private sector, fostering greater business and market access opportunities, empowering women in the economy and promoting environmentally sustainable growth.
The opportunities for Vietnam to tap the Australian market are huge if businesses create competitive products up to international standards. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam and Australia enjoy favourable conditions to boost economic and trade ties.
Two-way trade reached 5.26 billion USD in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 6.5 percent. The Vietnamese trade office in Australia said Vietnam posted a trade surplus of about 480 million USD in 2016. Growth was seen in camera and spare parts, iron and steel products, apparel and footwear materials, computers, electronic products and components, and interior decoration.
Australia has demand for Vietnamese staples such as garment-textile, footwear, seafood, and timber products. It also imports Vietnamese lychees, which have enjoyed a surge in export turnover over the past two years.
The most urgent thing to do is popularise Vietnamese products and connect businesses with the market. Australian importers do not accept products which fail to meet their quality standards and they attach great importance to long-term business partnerships.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade will entrust its Import-Export Department to address difficulties via a hotline and simplify administrative procedures as well as promulgate documents to highlight opportunities and challenges from free trade agreements for businesses to help them boost exports, he said.
Since Vietnam and Australia normalised relations in 1973, bilateral ties have been reinforced by external affairs, trade, and economy. Bilateral rapport has developed since the two nations set up a comprehensive partnership in 2009, especially in economy and trade.
By Anh Kiet