Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Source: VNA)

Sydney (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged Australian companies to invest in the potential market of Vietnam at the Vietnam-Australia Business Forum in Sydney on March 16, which was held during the Vietnamese PM’s official visit to Australia.

Australian investors should come to Vietnam now to find their own chances among many available opportunities, the PM said.

As the most important investment promotion event in the framework of PM Phuc’s visit, the event saw the participation of hundreds of enterprises and investors of the two sides.

At the event, PM Phuc and Government officials of the two countries witnessed the exchange of 18 memoranda of understanding on investment cooperation between their enterprises and organisations.

Addressing the business audience, PM Phuc expressed his pleasure to witness the signing of investment cooperation agreements between the two countries’ enterprises at the event, including the plan of low-cost carrier Vietjet Air to open a direct air route linking Vietnam and Australia.

This will make it easier for promoting investment collaboration between Vietnamese and Australian enterprises, he stressed. 

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

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

According to PM Phuc, the bilateral trade turnover of 6.5 billion USD is still modest and many Australian firms named in the world’s 500 largest enterprises have yet to be present in Vietnam.

Therefore, investment promotion agencies of both countries should pay attention to boosting bilateral trade and investment ties, he suggested.

The PM highlighted Vietnam’s economic achievements, one of which was a GDP growth rate at 6.81 percent in 2017 and 7.41 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
In addition, the country’s business and investment environment has been improved continuously, which is reflected through a surge in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow, with nearly 36 billion USD last year, the highest level over the past 10 years.

Phuc also pointed to the large scale of the Vietnamese market with more than 93 million people, adding that at present 54 percent of Vietnam’s population are using the internet, and by 2020, eight out of ten people will use mobile phones, which is a big opportunity for investors to introduce their goods to consumers.

Another advantage is preferential policies, he stated, adding that the country’s corporate income rate is only 20 percent at present and scheduled to decrease to 15 percent following a tax reform roadmap to better serve start-up enterprises.

Furthermore, Vietnam is also offering tax incentives to investors in high technology, supporting industry, hi-tech agriculture and the fields that generate numerous jobs.

Notably, the country is speeding up the equitisation of State-owned enterprises, which creates opportunities for private and foreign investors to hold shares in these enterprises.
 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the  Vietnam-Australia Business Forum (Source: VNA)

The Vietnamese Government leader affirmed that the Vietnamese Government commits to maintaining macro-economic stability, controlling inflation and foreign exchange rate, flexibly using financial and monetary tools to support the economy, improving institution quality, enhancing jurisdiction, and improving state administration to maintain economic growth.

In his remarks at the event, Senator James McGrath, Assistant Minister to the Australian Prime Minister said Vietnam has become a dynamic economy, with a growth rate 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 Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will bring comprehensive benefits to all member nations, and it is also an impetus for the regional economic reform process, he noted.

The senator said it is time for Australian firms to study the Vietnamese market so as not to miss out opportunities in the country.

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

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

Vietnam is now the 15th largest trade partners of Australia, while Australia is the seventh biggest trade partner of Vietnam

Australia companies have so far invested 1.9 billion USD in Vietnam.-VNA