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PM encourages Australian companies to come to Vietnam

Released at: 14:21, 17/03/2018

PM encourages Australian companies to come to Vietnam

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the Vietnam-Australia Business Forum in Sydney on March 16 (Photo: VNA)

Eighteen MoUs on investment cooperation exchanged at Vietnam-Australia Business Forum on March 16, attended by PM.

by Long Van

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc encouraged Australian companies to invest in Vietnam at the Vietnam-Australia Business Forum held in Sydney on March 16 during his official visit to Australia, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

As the most important investment promotion event during the Prime Minister’s visit, the event was attended by hundreds of enterprises and investors from the two countries.

Eighteen memoranda of understanding on investment cooperation between Vietnamese and Australian enterprises and organizations were signed at the forum.

Prime Minister Phuc told the audience it was his pleasure to witness the signing of investment cooperation agreements between the two countries’ enterprises, including a plan from low-cost carrier Vietjet Air to open a direct route linking Vietnam and Australia. This would make it easier to promote investment collaboration, he said.

He also said the upgrade of bilateral ties to a Strategic Partnership and the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), of which both Vietnam and Australia are members, provide favorable foundations for opening up a new chapter in bilateral relations.

He noted that Australian firms still have difficulties accessing information about Vietnam and asked Vietnam’s ministries, sectors and localities to intensify promotions and information exchanges and reduce procedures to bring into full play the two countries’ cooperation potential.

Bilateral trade turnover of $6.5 billion remains modest, he believes, and many Australian firms named among the world’s 500 largest enterprises are yet to have a presence in Vietnam.

Investment promotion agencies from both countries should therefore pay attention to boosting bilateral trade and investment ties, he suggested.

The Prime Minister highlighted Vietnam’s economic achievements, one of which was GDP growth of 6.81 per cent in 2017 and 7.41 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

The country’s business and investment environment have been constantly improved, he went on, reflected by a surge in foreign direct investment (FDI), at nearly $36 billion last year; the highest level for a decade.

He also pointed to the large size of the Vietnamese market, with more than 93 million people, and added that 54 per cent of Vietnam’s population use the internet and, by 2020, eight out of ten will use mobile phones, which present major opportunities for investors to introduce their goods to consumers.

Another advantage is Vietnam’s preferential policies, with the country’s corporate income rate at only 20 per cent and scheduled to fall to 15 per cent under a tax reform roadmap to better serve startups.

Vietnam also offers tax incentives to investors in high technology, support industries, high-tech agriculture, and the fields that generate numerous jobs.

Notably, the country is speeding up the equitization of State-owned enterprises, which creates opportunities for private and foreign investors to secure shares in these enterprises.

The Prime Minister affirmed that his government commits to maintaining macroeconomic stability, controlling inflation and foreign exchange rates, flexibly using financial and monetary tools to support the economy, improving institutional quality, and improving State administration to maintain economic growth.

Addressing the forum, Senator James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Australian Prime Minister, said Vietnam has become a dynamic economy with a growth rate that is among the highest in the world.

He expressed his belief that with Vietnam’s improved investment climate, trade between the two countries is likely to continue increasing in the coming years.

The newly-signed CPTPP will bring comprehensive benefits to all member nations and will also drive regional economic reform, he noted.

It is time for Australian firms to study the Vietnamese market, he added, so as not to miss out on opportunities in the country.

He also noted the role played by 300,000 Vietnamese expats living in Australia in promoting connections between the two sides’ enterprises.

Australia hopes to welcome more Vietnamese investors in the time head, he said.

Vietnam is now Australia’s 15th-largest trade partner while Australia is Vietnam’s seventh-largest.

Australian companies have so far invested $1.9 billion in Vietnam.

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