The Australian Vietnamese Business Council (AVBC), in conjunction with Australia’s New South Wales government’s Department of Trade and Industry, has managed to attract a good number of high-level officials to its upcoming events in Vietnam.
The Conference on Australian Vietnam Investment and Trade Expo is part of a bigger roadshow around Asia, which will take in China, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Two events have been scheduled for Vietnam; a smaller function in Ho Chi Minh City on Jun. 10, with the larger event being held in Hanoi on Jun. 11.
According to Peter Wigley, vice president of the AVBC, the event is important for a number of reasons.
“The purpose of the trade show is to create networking opportunities in the areas of bilateral trade, investment, migration and business matching. We will have the Prime Minister of Vietnam attending the event in Hanoi, along with the Foreign Minister, Minister for Science and Technologies to name just a few.”
AVBC was established in Sydney more than 20 years ago to promote the development of trade, commerce and investment between Australia and Vietnam.
The council provides business and cultural support, and the conference will capitalise on the Australian-Vietnamese relationships that have been built over the last two decades. The council recently opened offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to ramp up activities with key influencers and decision makers at a grass roots level.
Capitalising on Vietnam’s Growth
This conference is all about attracting Vietnamese investment into Australia, and New South Wales in particular, with a major incentive for investors being relaxed migration — usually a sensitive topic when taken in isolation — into the island continent. It seems that Australia is keen to jump on board one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.
And why wouldn’t it? According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam’s trade revenue was estimated to be US$125.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-on year increase of 20.1%.
And with Vietnam’s middle class set to double from 12 million to 33 million by 2020 and with GDP growth of 6.68% as at January of 2017 — compared with Australia’s 1.1% in December 2016 — this conference sets the scene for official support from the Vietnamese authorities.
In a major coup, this support includes the Prime Minister, who will be hosting a lunch for conference delegates in Hanoi.
The Hanoi event will be held at the Vietnam National Convention Center, where around 40 Australian delegates — and counting — will rub shoulders with Vietnamese entrepreneurs and business people, hoping to attract investment partners into Australian industries such as real estate, education, farming and technology. And Australia will respond in kind with an easier process for Vietnamese wanting to migrate to Australia, particularly for education purposes.
“There are now some 250,000 Australians identifying themselves as being of Vietnamese origin,” says Wigley. “Vietnamese students make up the fourth largest group of foreign students in Australia, a number which continues to increase year-on-year.”
And with Trump withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in January of this year, Wigley says there is a real willingness to further enhance two-way trade opportunities between Vietnam and Australia.
“Australia’s trade with Vietnam has grown at a rate of 12% on average over the last five years, making Vietnam Australia’s twelfth-largest trading partner. [This conference] comes at a time when trade between the two countries is blossoming.”
And with the future of Vietnam looking bright, Australia is wise to hitch its wagon to Asia’s rising star.
For more information about the Conference on Australian Vietnam Investment and Trade Expo, go to avbc.org.au