Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang speaks at the forum (Photo: VNA)
Sydney (VNA) – Vietnamese and Australian businesses explored trade and investment opportunities that will be created by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement during a forum held in Sydney on February 1.

Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang said the TPP plays a crucial role in trade relations between Vietnam and Australia as it will supplement the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) and open doors for Vietnamese products to enter the two markets.

Within the TPP framework, Australia has pledged to apply zero percent tariffs for 94 percent of Vietnamese products. In return, Vietnam’s commitments to opening its market for Australian products under the TPP are higher than that of AANZFTA, Hoang said, adding that once the TPP is signed and comes into effect, the investment opportunities in the respective countries will increase, especially in fields of their strengths.

He cited mining, oil and gas, coal and services as Australia’s strengths, while Vietnam has potential in garment-textile, footwear, farm produce and seafood.

The Minister said Vietnam hopes to receive more support from the Australian Government and businesses in the fields of thermal coal and liquid natural gas.

He asked Australian agencies to facilitate exports of Vietnamese products, especially when it comes to agriculture and seafood.

According to CEO of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) Bruce Gospe, Vietnam and Australia are forging close economic links and the TPP will create more opportunities for the two countries to increase their relations via realising commitments outlined in the pact.

The two nations will have the opportunity to exchange goods and services as well as support other members of the TPP for effective global economic integration.

Regular delegation exchanges as well as over 28,000 Vietnamese students studtying in Australia are considered important bridges for the two countries to increase their mutual understanding, he said.

He added that Australia is willing to support Vietnam in human resources training so that the Southeast Asian country can make the best use of TPP opportunities.

At the forum, businesses discussed a number of mutual concerns such as the domestic and foreign investment climate along with investment experience and opportunities in their respective societies.

Most Australian firms said they hope the Vietnamese Government will have stable and long-term policy to enable them to do business in the country.

At the forum, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the Australia Vietnam Business Council and Vietnam Business Association in Australia .

The Vietnamese delegation is scheduled to visit New Zealand on February 2.-VNA