11:09 | 08/03/2018 Cooperation
(VEN) - A number of events will take place in 2018 to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia relations, with a view to increasing bilateral trade.
According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, trade between Vietnam and Australia has grown strongly in recent years and reached US$6.46 billion in 2017, up 22.1 percent compared with 2016. This included US$3.3 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to Australia, up 15.1 percent, and US$3.1 billion worth of imports from this market, up 30.5 percent.
The strong growth in Vietnamese exports to Australia in 2017 included such goods as cameras, video cameras and components, up 329.4 percent; crude oil, 69 percent; transport means and spare parts, 62 percent; steel and iron, 61.7 percent. Also in 2017, Australian companies were licensed to import Vietnamese dragon fruit for the first time, promising further increases in agricultural exports to this market.
Vietnamese imports from Australia also grew strongly in 2017, with liquefied petroleum gas up 3,068.6 percent; scrap metals, 180.2 percent; ores and other minerals, 147.9 percent; cotton, 64.3 percent; and coal, 45.3 percent.
At a ceremony held in mid-January to kick off events marking the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic relations, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick said Vietnam is one of Australia’s most important partners in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The bilateral partnership is expanding in a wide range of fields, including political exchanges, economic development, security cooperation and innovation. In November 2017, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a strategic partnership. This will enable the two countries to tighten cooperation, especially in trade and investment.
According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in Australia, the 2018 ASEAN-Australia Special Summit will take place in Sydney this March. This will be the first time Australia hosts a summit with ASEAN, which is expected to open opportunities for it to increase multifaceted cooperation with the organization’s ten member states, including Vietnam, especially in the field of trade.
In the framework of the summit, a business summit will he held on March 16 in Sydney, gathering the leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises from Australia and ASEAN countries. These events are expected to help strengthen Australia’s diplomatic relations with ASEAN, in general, and with Vietnam, in particular.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade believes market information is one of the most important factors helping Vietnamese goods penetrate the Australian market. The ministry noted that Australian consumers are particular about the quality, design, price and brand of the goods they buy. Therefore, along with promoting their products through business and trade conferences, as well as the ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), Vietnamese businesses should create international-standard products that can meet the requirements of Australian consumers and compete with products of other countries.