Australia-Vietnam enhance economic engagement strategy

November 03, 2021 | 17:23
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh have announced a dynamic Strategic Partnership based on strong economic, security, and people-to-people ties on the margins of the COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow on November 1.
Australia-Vietnam sharpen focus on economic cooperation and climate action at COP26
PM Pham Minh Chinh and PM Scott Morrison speaking about cooperation at COP26

The two leaders shared a commitment to trade and investment, liberalisation, and economic connectivity between the two countries. This marks a new chapter, with a joint statement on the Commitment to Practical Climate Action and the launch of Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy (EEES) 2021-2025.

Previously in August 2019, PM Morrison and then-PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc committed to developing an Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy to support their joint ambition of becoming top 10 trading partners and doubling two-way investment.

The strategy will bring together, for the first time, a holistic picture that recognises the enormous potential of the economic relationship, by identifying opportunities and key sectors in which Australia and Vietnam have particular strengths to further deepen the trade and investment relationship.

Australia-Vietnam sharpen focus on economic cooperation and climate action at COP26
Minister Tehan showed MPI Minister Dung the Australian produce available in Vietnam in July 2021

Earlier in October, the second Australia-Vietnam Economic Partnership Meeting was held virtually under the co-chairing of Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung and Australian Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism Dan Tehan. The meeting also targeted in the EEES and discussed the Strategic Action Plan for the period of 2021-2025, and announce business champions in the EEES.

As stated by Minister Dung, the Vietnam-Australia EEES has played an important role in the country Strategic Action Plan for 2021-2025. According to the orientation by 2025, Vietnam will have a modernity-oriented industry, surpass the lower-middle-income level, and improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the economy. At the same time, the country will synchronise solutions to effectively overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and speed up economic recovery and development.

Accordingly, several early Strategy initiatives are well underway to be delivered by government and industry to support its objectives. As a part of it, both countries have appointed business champions, industry leaders who will promote trade and investment opportunities to business communities in Australia and Vietnam as well as to make report annually to governments on industry's view on progress of the strategy's implementation and further ideas for increasing two-way trade and investment.

According to the strategy, which will be released in the coming weeks, the top 10 trading partners and two-way investment focuses on education, skills and training; resources and energy; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; manufacturing; tourism; science, technology and innovation; digital economy; and other services sectors.

At the meeting, PM Morrison stressed: “I was also delighted to finalise the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy by signing respective forewords with Prime Minister Chinh. The strategy is a commitment under our Strategic Partnership and sets out a detailed roadmap to deliver our joint ambition to become top 10 trading partners and double two-way investment.”

Meanwhile, PM Chinh stressed that Vietnam attaches great importance to its relations with Australia and suggested Australia increase the import of farm produce and other products from Vietnam, and continue assisting the country in traffic infrastructure, response to climate change, digital transformation, and renewable energy.

Accordingly, Australia and Vietnam will accelerate trade and investment in the 2021-2025 period through a new economic strategy bringing the two countries' burgeoning commercial ties into sharp focus. An accompanying Implementation Plan for the Strategy has been agreed by both governments, providing a roadmap, outlining a series of mutually beneficial, practical initiatives to deepen trade and investment links in the key sectors, over the four year period. Both documents will be made available online in the coming weeks.

Furthermore, the strategy will help both countries take advantage of emerging market opportunities, including in agriculture, energy, services and the digital economy, as the two economies recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said the strategy will help guide the two countries towards an inclusive and sustainable growth path.

Australia-Vietnam sharpen focus on economic cooperation and climate action at COP26
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam visiting Austal in 2020

“Our economies are highly complementary. Australia is a reliable supplier of the services and raw materials that Vietnam’s exporters require, and our consumers enjoy Vietnam’s high-quality products in their homes and workplaces. There is enormous potential to take this relationship even further as we emerge from COVID-19.”

“This strategy is the strongest reflection yet of our confidence in our shared economic future, bringing us closer to becoming top 10 trade partners and doubling investment. Through this strategy we can recover our economies and prosper together, ” Ambassador Mudie added.

The development of the strategy represents close collaboration and considerable work by both countries, including economic analysis, cross government consultation, and recommendations put forward by business stakeholders.

By Hoang Dan

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