Seafood processing for exports (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Australia is a choosy but promising market with large consumption capacity, Vice President of Australia-Vietnam Business Council Cann Lee has said.

He noted that penetrating this market is tough, but maintaining a foothold is even more difficult.

Speaking at a recent Australia and Vietnam investment and trade expo in Hanoi, Lee said a delegation of 70 Australian businesses operating in real estate, finance, environment, mineral and hi-tech agriculture have arrived in Vietnam to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese partners.

Vietnam is the second most attractive market in Southeast Asia to Australian firms, only after Indonesia, due to Vietnam’s political stability and dynamic market, he noted.

Notably, the Vietnamese Government has devised incentives to support enterprises seeking business opportunities in the country. 

Bilateral trade has increased in recent years after the two countries joined a free trade agreement signed between Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN in 2009.

In 2016 alone, two-way trade reached 5.26 billion USD, a year-on-year rise of 6.5 percent, according to Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam exported 2.87 billion USD worth of goods to Australia while importing 2.39 billion USD from the market.

As of May 2017, Australia ranked 19th among the total 119 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 404 projects worth nearly 1.9 billion USD.

Andrew Martin, Managing Director at Moelis said the company recognised the huge investment opportunities in real estate and finance in Vietnam due to the sectors’ stable growth.

Despite huge import demand, many Vietnamese staples have struggled to conquer the Australian market, Lee said, with quality of goods the biggest difficulty for Vietnamese firms.

Director of Hoang Lan Co. Ltd. Nguyen Thi Nga said businesses should follow international standards to meet the requirements of consumers and improve competitiveness and improve the quality management system of factories.

She suggested Vietnamese firms invite experts to inspect the quality of products and bring skilled Australian workers to Vietnam to increase the quality of products and popularise Vietnamese goods in the market.

Australian business representatives advised Vietnam to seek partners in Australia to better understand the host’s law and market to enter the market more easily.-VNA