|Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell (left) and Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng at the meeting on Monday in Hà Nội. —VNA/VNS Photo Tuấn Đức|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and Australia aim to double the scale of two-way investment and become each other’s top 10 trading partners in the future.
Australian investors are operating 593 projects in Việt Nam with a total registered capital of approximately US$2 billion while Vietnamese businesses have invested $500 million in Australia.
Speaking at the third ministerial-level Việt Nam-Australia Economic Partnership Meeting, held on Monday in Hà Nội, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell said the Australia-Việt Nam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) with the goal of boosting trade and investment is ambitious.
Especially, for investment, the goal is to double the current figure, he said.
The field of cooperation is not only economic investment but also investment in other fields, such as education and training, development cooperation, tourism and agriculture, he said.
In terms of development cooperation, Australia is one of the major non-refundable Official Development Assistance (ODA) donors for Việt Nam. According to the announcement of the Australian Embassy, in 2022-23, Australia has increased ODA for Việt Nam by 18 per cent, from AUD78.9 million ($52.9 million) to AUD92.8 million ($62.2 million).
The Australian Government's ODA for Việt Nam focuses mainly on innovation; supporting the development and effective use of a highly skilled workforce; strengthening the economic empowerment of women, including ethnic minorities; responding to the COVID-19 pandemic; creating favourable conditions for and attracting the participation of the private sector in socio-economic development.
At the meeting, Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that after 50 years of establishing diplomatic relations, Việt Nam and Australia have become important leading economic partners of each other in many fields, from trade, investment, development cooperation, and agriculture, as well as education and training.
Australia is ranked 20th out of 143 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam, focusing on the fields of processing industry, manufacturing, accommodation and catering services, agriculture, forestry and fishery, he said.
Besides, Vietnamese enterprises have now invested $500 million in Australia, he said.
Data revealed at the meeting showed that the trade scale between the two countries reached $15.7 billion by the end of 2022, about 26.9 per cent higher than the figure of 2021.
Australia is Việt Nam's 7th largest trading partner.
Specifically, by the end of last year, Việt Nam's export turnover to Australia reached $5.6 billion while Việt Nam's import turnover from Australia reached $10.1 billion, a year on year increase of 26.2 per cent and 27.3 per cent, respectively.
Việt Nam's export products to Australia include mainly machinery, equipment, footwear, textiles, seafood, iron and steel.
Australia is an important supplier of raw materials for Việt Nam’s production such as coal, cotton, ores and minerals, and wheat.
In terms of education and training, according to statistics from the Australian Department of Education, Việt Nam ranked fifth among countries and territories sending their students to Australia. As of December 2022, there are more than 22,000 Vietnamese students studying and researching at Australian educational institutions.
Minister Dũng called for more investment from Australia and suggested that the Australian side coordinate with Việt Nam to develop the bilateral relations in a more balance manner, and support Việt Nam in trade promotion activities and introducing more products, especially agro-fisheries products in Australia.
The two sides should work closer in new cooperation areas such as innovation, green and renewable energy, circular and high-tech agriculture as well as culture and tourism, he said.
For his part, Farrell affirmed that cooperation between Australia and Việt Nam has been fruitful in all fields, especially trade, investment, education and training. He said he believes that the meeting will open up new development orientations for the Việt Nam-Australia partnership.
At the meeting, the two sides discussed and proposed measures to strongly promote Việt Nam-Australia economic relations and assessed the implementation of the strategy and the results of the meetings of the two sides’ Working Groups on ODA, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade.
The two sides also listened to the comments and recommendations of Vietnamese and Australian businesses to promote the business environment.
In addition, they discussed co-operation between the two countries in multilateral and regional forums of Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), World Trade Organisation (WTO), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), and Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).
The meeting was organised while the two countries are holding many activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Australia (1973-2023).
Participants agreed to organise the fourth Việt Nam-Australia Economic Partnership Meeting in Australia in a convenient time. — VNS