As Vietnamese exports to Australia rapidly expand, domestic exporters are being recommended to focus on long-term benefits by seeking trademark protection overseas and adding more value to their goods and services.

Trade between Vietnam and Australia has surged 46 percent over the past five years from 4.14 billion USD in 2010 to 6.04 billion USD in 2014.

Last year, Vietnam earned 3.99 billion USD from exports to Australia, up 14 percent year on year and 48 percent from 2010, owing to the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) effective since 2010, in which 96 percent of ASEAN goods exports to Australia are tariff-free.

According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, Australia is a very promising market which purchases around 80 billion USD of goods and services overseas annually, presenting many untapped opportunities for Vietnamese exporters.

Statistics by the General Department of Vietnam Customs revealed that Vietnam has seen remarkably high growth rates in farm produce and seafood exports to Australia last year, such as pepper (up 52.5 percent), seafood (20.7 percent) and cashew nuts (12.6 percent) which made up 96 percent of Australian cashew imports.

More than 40 tonnes of Vietnamese lychee have been shipped to Australia this year, mostly Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, paving the way for other domestic fresh fruits to make inroads into Australia, a big buyer with strict quarantine regulations.

The trade office has worked with the Australian chapter of the Vietnam Business Association to host Vietnamese Lychee Day in Australia to promote the fruit locally and give away cookbooks with ideas for lychee dishes and desserts.

It has also published a list of 1,586 export items with their market share in Australia for domestic exporters.

The Vietnam Trade Office recommended local firms focus on developing brand names and adding value to their products and services.

The firms should apply for trademark registrations in import countries to protect their products and services against illegal replicas by competitors and cut middlemen from the exporting process, it said.-VNA