THE Australian government aims to strengthen trade opportunities with Vietnam with $2.5 million in funding to 28 small-scale projects.

The funding includes:

  • $99,475 to scale up the technology of organic food production, certification, and trade between Vietnam and Australia,
  • $56,160 to provide 20 female entrepreneurs in Vietnam with invaluable international education and experience to build their capacity as entrepreneurs, and
  • $95,000 to help 300 Australian businesses to grow and diversify their exports and supply chains to Vietnam.

Trade minister Dan Tehan, said the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant (AVEG) pilot program would open doors for Australian industries ranging from agriculture to education, digital technologies to SME supply chains.

“Australia is working with Vietnam to grow our trade relationship, with an aim to become top-10 trade partners and double investment,” Mr Tehan said.

“Strengthening our trade relationship will create jobs and opportunities in both countries. These grants are part of our early harvest activities to support Australian businesses to engage with Vietnam.”

Mr Tehan said over the past 20 years the Vietnam-Australia two-way trade relationship has grown on average by 8.6% each year.

Total two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Vietnam was worth $12.4 billion in 2019-20, according to DFAT.

Imports and exports of merchandise between Australia and Vietnam were roughly split down the middle, in terms of value, with exports to Vietnam worth $6.3 billion, and imports worth $6.2 billion.

By far the main export to Vietnam from Australia was coal, which was worth $2.2 billion in 2019-20. That was followed by iron ore ($765 million), live animals ($586 million) and wheat ($345 million).

Imports from Vietnam over the period were dominated by telecom equipment and parts, which were worth $1.5 billion over the year. These were followed by footwear ($578 million); monitors, projectors and TVs ($421 million); and furniture, mattresses and cushions ($309 million).