Vietnam, Australia work towards balanced, sustainable trade

The Vietnam-Australia trade posted growth in 2021 despite the impact of COVID-19, Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Le Hoang Oanh has said.

She made the remark during the third session of a trade working group within the framework of the Ministerial-level Vietnam-Australia Economic Partnership Meeting, which was recently held via videoconference by the MoIT.

The growth was attributed to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to which the two countries are signatories, she added.

Ridwaan Jadwat, First Assistant Secretary at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade affirmed that Vietnam is an important trade and investment partner of Australia, hoping to tighten the bilateral relations.

Amid the complex developments of COVID-19, the two nations need to bolster cooperation so as to devise suitable strategies to surmount difficulties, he underlined.

Two-way trade surpassed US$8 billion in the first eight months of 2021, posting a year-on-year increase of 50.7%, thereby making Australia among ten leading trade partners of Vietnam.

However, as Vietnam recorded a trade deficit of nearly US$2.5 billion in the period, the two countries need to foster bilateral trade development in a more balanced and sustainable manner.

At present, Vietnam’s shipments of fresh shrimp and fruits to Australia remain stagnant, although the exports of such products have been tabled during the working group’s 2020 session as well as meetings of the countries’ ministers.

Oanh urged the Australian side to speed up procedures to grant permission to Vietnam’s fresh shrimp to enter Australia and provide Vietnam with technical support in terms of disease prevention in shrimp farming.

In addition, Vietnam hopes that Australia will soon complete necessary steps to open its door for passion fruit from the Southeast Asian nation, paving the way for its other fruits like rambutan and star apple.

The Vietnamese side also called on its Australian counterpart to closely work with the former’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to allow the use of alternatives to glyphosate in lilium cultivation before exporting to Australia. 

At the event, the countries agreed to promote investment in mining, as it is viewed as a strategic field of potential and supplementary, especially of charcoal, iron and liquefied natural gas. 

Given numerous firms of Vietnam are keen on investing in Australia in such fields, the Vietnamese side asked to receive information and regulations in mining for foreign investors, which the Australian side agreed.