|Illustrative image (Photo: internationalaffairs.org.au)
In his article published by the Australian Institute of International Affairs on August 25, Wilson said Vietnam has complementary economic needs, a stable business environment, and a high-growing economy driven by youthful demographics and rapid urbanisation and industrialisation.
However, Vietnam presently accounts for only 1.7% of Australia’s two-way trade, indicating there is considerable room for growth.
According to Wilson, Indonesia, Vietnam, and India present themselves as attractive partners for Australia to diversify its economic relationships.
The Australian economy now faces the most adverse external economic environment in over a generation. Trade and investment flows – two of the key drivers of Australia’s economic performance– will fall dramatically in 2020 and 2021. However, the effects of these external shocks are amplified by the lack of diversity in Australia’s trade and investment ties.
Fortunately, the Australian government has many policies in place to develop new trade and investment relationships. The recent trade agreement with Indonesia, and economic engagement strategies aimed at India, Vietnam, and ASEAN, are leading examples. As COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief the risks associated with a lack of diversity, they should now be accorded as much higher priority than in previous times.
As Australia begins thinking about its economic recovery, it also needs to think about what kind of connections it wants with international partners. Despite its many challenges, the crisis offers a historic opportunity to build more diversity and resilience into Australia’s economic relationships as it build a post-COVID-19 future, he said.