HA NOI — An investment promotion seminar in Sydney on Monday presented trade and investment opportunities in Viet Nam's agricultural sector to Australian investors.
|Tomato sauce is packaged by the Vifoco Import Export Co for export. Australian and US firms are eyeing investment opportunities in Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Tran Viet
The event coincided with the July 20-31 working visit to Australia and New Zealand by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan.
At the seminar, Tan said that Australia had advantages in agricultural production, processing and exports.
There was great potential for co-operation between the two countries, especially in light of the framework created by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area and ongoing negotiations towards a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, he said.
Viet Nam offered investment incentives in the agricultural sector to create a more favourable environment for foreign investors, yet the sector had attracted limited levels of foreign investment, Tan said.
So far, only 480 foreign-invested projects worth a combined US$3.1 billion have materialised, a mere fraction of the nation's total foreign direct investment.
Australian businesses suggest Viet Nam arrange training courses in order to gain experiences from Australian experts.
They suggested Viet Nam create more favourable conditions for farmers to approach new technologies in agriculture and rural development and in marketing farm produce.
Province seeks investors
Also on Monday, representatives from the northern province of Vinh Phuc held a seminar in Washington, DC, to promote US investment. According to Viet-namese Ambassador to the US Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Vinh Phuc was one of provinces with the highest economic growth rates in Viet Nam, seeing a yearly average growth of 17 per cent. Yet the province has attracted few US investors, he said.
Provincial Party Committee secretary Pham Van Vong said the province would provide support to foreign investors and consider them as "citizens".
Participants at the seminar, including representatives of US businesses, trade and investment agencies, and research institutions, heard presentations on the province's advantages in terms of location, infrastructure, administrative procedures and tax incentives.
Sherman Katz, senior advisor of the Centre for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, suggested the province send more business delegations abroad to seek partners.
It should also collect opinions on the investment environment in Vinh Phuc from foreign investors already operating there, he said.
Frances Zwenig, President of the US-ASEAN Business Council, said Viet Nam also needed to pay greater attention to goods distribution chains.
The province was near an international airport so it should gather experiences from some US localities with similar advantages to make full use of its near-the-airport position, said Exserco Services director Jeff Dilley.
In the first half of this year, Vinh Phuc attracted $26 million in foreign direct investment, according to the provincial planning and investment department. — VNS