Trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and the Northern Territory of Australia is opening to full potential if barriers to be lifted.

Chairman of the Vietnam’s Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE) Mr Nguyen Mai and the delegation of VAFIE have just concluded a 7-day visit and work (from 30/5-5/6) in Australia to survey the opportunities for investment cooperation between businesses of the two countries, especially with the Northern Territory.

Ambassador Nguyễn Tất Thành, Prof. Nguyễn Mại, Mr Shaun Drabsch - Chief Executive Officer of NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade and VAFIE’s Delegation at the meetng on 31/05.2022.
Ambassador Nguyễn Tất Thành, Prof. Nguyễn Mại, Mr Shaun Drabsch – Chief Executive Officer of NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade and VAFIE’s Delegation at the meetng on 31/05.2022.

As part of the visit, Prof. PhD. Nguyễn Mại and VAFIE’s delegation accompanied Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia Mr Nguyen Tat Thanh to have meetings with NT Government leaders, authorities and businesses to discuss the potential and opportunities for investment cooperation between the two sides.
At the meetings, both Vietnam and Northern Territory said that the potential for cooperation between the two sides is huge but appears to have not been exploited, and pointed out the barriers that need to be removed to make the potential a reality.
Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh highly appreciated the warm welcome and the thoughtful and practical work program of the NT Government for the Vietnamese delegation. The Ambassador said that many Vietnamese corporations have sufficient potential and are interested in investment cooperation with the Northern Territory, notably Hoa Phat Group and TH are promoting specific investment projects in the field of mining and agriculture.
However, according to the Ambassador, to be successful, it is necessary to have the strong support of NT Government to solve difficulties, especially on the issue of visa for Vietnamese workers and transport connections. Particularly for Hoa Phat Group’s mining project, the Ambassador asked the NT Government to support the settlement of sufficient water supply for production.
For his part, Prof. PhD. Nguyễn Mại said that the Enhanced Economic Engangement Strategy between Australia and Vietnam has been adopted by the Prime Ministers of the two countries with the goal of becoming the top 10 leading trading partners and doubling two-way investment, the successful promotion of Vietnam – NT cooperation will make an important contribution towards that goal.
According to Prof. Nguyễn Mại, the Northern Territory has land area of more than 1 million square kilometers and many advantages in agriculture, minerals, tourism while the population is less than 250,000 people. Vietnam and the Northern Territory have many complementary advantages to work together to develop together on the principle of mutually beneficial equality.
“As an association of foreign enterprises investing in Vietnam and of Vietnamese enterprises investing abroad, we are making efforts to promote Vietnam – Northern Territory of Australia cooperation, especially in the fields of skills training, agriculture, mining, construction and tourism,” Prof. Nguyen Mai said and expressed his wish that Vietnamese skillful workers trained through bilateral cooperation programs will be accepted by the Australian Government to work for Vietnamese enterprises invested in the Northern Territory.
Mr. Andrew Cowan – the Territory Investment Commissioner, Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet welcomed the visit of Ambassador Nguyen Tat Thanh and Vafie’s delegation led by Prof. Nguyen Mai to the Northern Territory.
“We welcome VAFIE and Vietnamese investors to survey in the Territory and in my power, I will create favorable conditions for projects to be successfully implemented; For Hoa Phat’s mining project, the problems will be considered and to be resolved,” said Andrew Cowan. However, according to him, the issue of entry for foreign workers in general and Vietnam in particular falls under the jurisdiction of the central government.
At the meeting with the Northern Territory Government, Mr Shaun Drabsch – Chief Executive Officer – Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade highly appreciated the economic achievements that Vietnam has achieved over the past three decades, and expressed his desire to strengthen economic cooperation between the Northern Territory and Vietnam. He also noted the proposals of the Vietnamese Ambassador to Australia on removing difficulties and obstacles for Vietnamese enterprises’ investment projects in the Territory.
Through a series of meetings with senior officials from the Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet, Department of Industry – Tourism and Trade, and Northern Territory Asociations of Farmers, Livestock Exporters, Cattlemen, Vietnamese Growers, … the Vietnam Delegation has been introduced details of policies, development strategies and potential, investment opportunities in the energy sector, mining, agriculture, tourism, etc.

In addition to working meetings with the leaders of the Northern Australian government, within the framework of the delegation’s visit, there was a seminar on investment connection between businesses of the two sides, organised by the Northern Territory – Vietnam Buiness Council (NTVBC), with the participation of representatives of the Northern Territory Chamber of Commerce and the Territorian businesses. Mr Jason Mark – CEO of NTVBC said that the potential for investment and trade cooperation between the two sides is great and expect that VAFIE with the opening of a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City will be an effective bridge for the Northern Territory businesses to Vietnam and Vietnamese enterprises to invest in the Territory.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc My – Vice Chairman of VAFIE and Chairman of the NTVBC and VABIS Group, based on his research and engangement on the investment and trade cooperation between Vietnam and Northern Territory since 2013, pointed out the potentials and advantages of each party in strengthening investment and trade cooperation. He said Vafie will continue to connect Vietnamese investors with the Northern Territory through various forms such as combining business – golf tours with investment surveys, exchanges between the ethnic minorities of Vietnam and the NT Aborigines to enhance mutual understanding. He also expressed his wish that overseas Vietnamese entrepreneurs who have achieved success in the Territory will join hands to promote the growing Economic Cooperation between the two countries.