During the current COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have been placed on Australian produce entering Vietnam. However, following a meeting last week between Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Tran Tuan Anh, and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham, Vietnam has vowed to remove the obstacles, according to Vietnam Plus. The two ministers agreed on ways to work together to restore supply chains of the major partners.
An agreement was reached regarding the resumption of shipping and airfreight between the two countries, with great effort to be placed on diversifying supply chains so they are less dependent on certain suppliers. Anh said in order to enhance bilateral cooperation, the two countries ought to utilise existing free trade agreements, as well as strengthen trade promotions and partnerships. Vietnam has requested fast-tracked access to the Australian markets for Vietnamese exports of fresh fruits such as passion fruit and dragon fruit.
Despite the obstacles, trade between the partners was up 13.4% in the first three months of 2020, surpassing US$2 billion. Australian exports to Vietnam rose 15% to almost US$1.1 billion, while Vietnam’s exports to Australia rose 11.6% to US$924.4 million.