|Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam speaks at the dialogue (Photo: VNA)
In his opening speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Ngo Huong Nam expressed his delights at the two nations’ trade growth, which averaged 12 percent in the past decade, the highest recorded between Australia and an ASEAN member state.
He said 2019 has all needed conditions for the ties to thrive, mentioning the Vietnam – Australia strategic partnership agreement as well as the recently-taking-effect Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific (CPTPP) that both are members.
The diplomat noted the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area
(AANZAFTA) that came into force in 2010, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), whose negotiations are likely to end this year, are driving force to propel the bilateral trade forward.
Nam urged Vietnamese and Australian firms to seize opportunities to turn the two countries’ sound political relations into practical economic benefits.
Bui Van Khanh, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Vietnam’s Hoa Binh province, said local authorities will offer an open business climate and highest preferential tax levels for investors in line with the law.
He introduced Hoa Binh’s sectors most favoured for investment attraction including support industry, clean agriculture, eco- and cultural tourism, and infrastructure development.
Leading Vietnamese companies like TMS group, Dai Nam Son and FPT group took the occasion to showcase their strengths and call for cooperation from their Australian peers in real estate, trade, tourism, education, and IT.
Participating Australian firms said they want to know more about Vietnam’s business climate and investment opportunities.
Byron Patching, cofounder of the Australian-based XAct Solutions, said now is among best times to invest in Vietnam, particularly in real estate, shopping and tourism.
In 2018, Vietnam – Australia trade surpassed 7.7 billion USD, up 19 percent on year. Currently, Vietnam is the 15th biggest trade partner of Australia, while Australia is Vietnam’s 7th largest trade partner.
Australia is directly investing in about 400 projects in Vietnam worth over 2 billion USD. Meanwhile, the number of Vietnamese-funded projects in Australia has so far amounted to some 50, with total value exceeding 500 million USD.