Australian Embassy


The Hon Simon Crean MP - Minister for Trade
Date: 27 February 2009

Market Economy Status for Vietnam

The Minister for Trade, Simon Crean, has signed a letter with his Vietnamese counterpart, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Mr Vu Huy Hoang, confirming Australia’s agreement to recognise Vietnam’s Market Economy Status.

Mr Crean is in Hua Hin, Thailand, for the signing of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA).

“Vietnam has made substantial market access commitments under AANZFTA and I urge Australian business to take advantage of the significant market opportunities in Vietnam’s increasingly open economy,” Mr Crean said.

“Vietnam has come a long way since the introduction of the doi moi economic reforms in 1986, highlighted by its accession to the Word Trade Organization in 2007. I look forward to working with Vietnam to maximise trade and investment opportunities arising from Vietnam’s ongoing implementation of its WTO - and now AANZFTA - commitments.”

The decision to grant Market Economy Status was made in the context of the AANZFTA negotiations.

Mr Crean said recognition of Vietnam’s Market Economy Status meant that, in any future anti-dumping investigations by Australia in relation to imports from Vietnam, Vietnam will be subject to the same assessment process as other WTO members.

Two-way trade with Vietnam grew an average of 22 per cent a year over the last five years, reaching $8 billion in 2007-08.

Mr Crean said the new tariff arrangements between Australia and Vietnam under AANZFTA would open up new opportunities for Australian exporters.

“Almost 90 per of tariff lines covering 96 per cent of our trade with Vietnam will be tariff-free by 2020 under this agreement,” he said.

“The 10 per cent tariff on Australian milk powder will be eliminated in 2016, the 30 per cent tariff on yoghurt will be phased out and the 50 per cent tariff on Australian ice cream entering Vietnam will be phased out by 2018,” Mr Crean said.

Australia’s total exports to Vietnam rose 17 per cent to $2.3 billion in 2007-08. Vietnam was Australia’s 18th largest export market for goods, with major exports of gold, copper, wheat and aluminium.

Services exports to Vietnam rose by 43 per cent over the same period to reach $481 million, driven by rapidly growing demand for Australian education services.