Vietnamese dragon fruits have been exported to Australia. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Two-way trade between Vietnam and Australia surged by 58.9 percent year on year in the first month of 2018 to reach 595 million USD, according to statistics of the Vietnam Customs.

Of the figure, Vietnam’s exports accounted for 305 million USD, up 42.8 percent from one year ago and its imports from Australia were valued at 290 million USD, a strong increase of 80.2 percent.

Australia has always been among the top 20 trade partners of Vietnam for the past several years.

In 2017, bilateral trade stood at 6.45 billion USD, up 22.7 percent from 2016, with Vietnam exporting 3.28 billion USD worth of goods to Australia and importing 3.17 billion USD.

Exports to Australia accounted for 1.5 percent of all Vietnam’s exports last year.

Vietnam has been enjoying a trade surplus with Australia, but the gap is reducing. From 1.84 billion USD in 2014, the surplus dropped to 816 million USD in 2015, 403 million USD in 2016, and 116 million USD in 2017.

Exports of Vietnam to Australia are mostly machinery parts, electronic equipment, footwear, textile-garment and seafood. It is noteworthy that nearly one third (31 percent) of Vietnam’s export value to Australia in 2017, or 1.02 billion USD, came from mobile phones and parts, computers, and electronic goods and parts. Crude oil export to Australia went up 105 percent last year to 262 million USD.

Meanwhile, Vietnam bought from Australia metals (628 million USD), coal (470 million USD), wheat (424 million USD) and cotton (296 million USD).

Australia is now the eighth largest exporter to Vietnam, while Vietnam is the 14th largest exporter to Australia, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

The ministry said there will be good opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to promote the export of goods to the Australian market as Australia will cut 90 percent of import tariff lines in 2018 and 100 percent of them in 2020 under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) roadmap.-VNA