Australia, NZ to cut tariff for most Vietnamese exports
Australia and New Zealand will cut their import tariff on Vietnam’s products by 85 percent and 96.4 percent, respectively, by 2010 before granting the Southeast Asian country a complete tariff exemption by 2020, reported Vietnam’s online news vendor Vietnam NetBridge.
The commitments are part of the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ FTA) signed at the Asean Summit in Hua Hin, Thailand, on February 27.
“Vietnam has a lot to gain in terms of access to the Australian and New Zealand markets,” Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Allaster Cox said on the sidelines of a press briefing on the agreement in Hanoi on April 8.
From 2010, Australia and New Zealand will give tariff exemption for such Vietnamese exports as fish, fresh and dried nuts and fruit, sugar, pulp and paper, wood and wooden furniture, as well as a majority of minerals, fibres, textile and apparel products imported from Vietnam by that year.
The Australian Ambassador stated that this agreement reflects the growing bilateral ties between Australia and Vietnam.
He noted that it not only enhances trade and investment by providing reduction and even elimination of tariffs on goods, but also improves administrative procedure and regulations relating to entry and travel towards giving more favour to businesspeople of both countries.
Currently, Vietnam is Australia’s sixth largest trade partner in Asean with two-way trade amounting to $8 billion in 2007-08, representing 10 percent of Australia’s trade value with Asean. The two countries’ trade has been growing at an annual rate of 22 percent over the past five years.
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