FTAs unlock opportunities for Australian investment increase: workshop hinh anh 1The workshop on improving Australia's FDI in Vietnam is held virtually. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Australia’s investment in Vietnam would grow further in the coming time thanks to free trade agreements (FTAs), heard a workshop held virtually in Hanoi on December 22.

The Australian investment in the Southeast Asian nation now remains modest, said Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)'s Centre for WTO and Economic Integration, citing statistics by the Foreign Investment Agency at the Ministry of Planning and Investment as showing that by November 2021, Australia had run 545 projects worth 1.94 billion USD in Vietnam.

The capital accounts for only 0.5 percent of the total FDI poured into Vietnam, making Australia rank 19th among countries and territories investing in Vietnam, she added.

However, Trang said, the two countries share three FTAs, including two new-generation ones, namely the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The three deals, together with 12 others to which Vietnam is a signatory, would help to unlock opportunities to attract more Australian investors, she stressed.

Australian Ambassador Charles Thursby-Pelham said Vietnam and Australia have officially announced their enhanced economic engagement strategy, with the aim of doubling investment and becoming top ten trading partners.

To make use of the opportunities, Vietnam should study and address problems hindering Australian businesses to land their investments in the country, he said.

He also suggested Vietnam comprehensively reform the public sector, regularly review local legal regulations, and fulfill international commitments to investment and creating a fair, transparent business environment for foreign investors, including those from Australia.

Nguyen Anh Duong, Director of the Department for General Economic Issues and Integration Studies at the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said Vietnam should learn from international experience in foreign investment attraction.

For example, Vietnam can call for more investments in health care and digital technology, and push ahead with digital transformation in investment promotion amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued.

Phung Thi Lan Phuong, from the Centre for WTO and Economic Integration, emphasised the need to boost connectivity between Australia’s FDI firms and their Vietnamese partners, saying the Vietnamese Government and localities should play a more active role in this regard./.