The Strategy - Section 5

Promoting free and open trade internationally

Australia and Vietnam recognise the rules-based global trading system as the basis for open international trade based on market principles, in accordance with their World Trade Organization commitments and regional FTAs.

Their membership of regional FTAs will lead to most goods traded between Vietnam and Australia attracting very low tariff rates of only 0-5%.

Vietnam and Australia work closely in multilateral frameworks, especially the United Nations and ASEAN-led mechanisms. Australia continues to assert a positive voice, supporting ASEAN's central role and efforts in maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, including ensuring maritime and airway security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, promoting the right of states to engage in lawful maritime resource exploitation activities and supporting the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. These are the basic conditions to ensure the promotion of free and open trade in the Indo-Pacific region. The two countries agree to work with partners to address economic challenges and coercive economic practices.

Strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system

Vietnam and Australia are WTO Members ⎯ Australia since the WTO’s creation in January 1995 and Vietnam since January 2007. Australia was an active supporter of Vietnam’s WTO accession, including through technical assistance to Vietnam’s implementation of its WTO accession obligations.

Australia and Vietnam collaborate in the Cairns Group, which Australia coordinates in the WTO, advocating for ongoing agricultural trade liberalisation.

Australia and Vietnam were both supporters of the 2017 Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade which seeks to remove barriers to, and foster women’s economic empowerment, through increasing their participation in trade.

Australia has engaged with ASEAN Members, including Vietnam, and New Zealand in efforts to strengthen regional support for WTO reform. Such dialogue may assist Australia and Vietnam to identify areas of common interest in WTO multilateral negotiations, plurilateral initiatives, and reform.

Implementing Free Trade Agreements and Regional Organisations to which Australia and Vietnam are members

ASEAN-Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA)

The Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) is an agreement between ASEAN Member States (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), Australia and New Zealand. It delivers extensive tariff reduction and greater certainty for services suppliers and investors. AANZFTA entered into force in January 2010 for both Australia and Vietnam. An upgrade of AANZFTA is currently being negotiated to ensure it remains a modern, high quality agreement that is relevant to business, strengthens regional supply chains, and supports long-term post-pandemic economic recovery.

Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a FTA between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam. The CPTPP entered into force on 30 December 2018 for Australia and 14 January 2019 for Vietnam.

Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP)

RCEP is a regional free trade agreement that will complement and build upon Australia’s and Vietnam’s existing free trade agreements with 13 other Indo-Pacific countries. It is a modern and comprehensive free trade agreement that covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, economic and technical cooperation, and creates new rules for electronic commerce, intellectual property, government procurement, competition, and small and medium sized enterprises.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Australia was a founding member of APEC in 1989 and Vietnam joined in 1998. Australia and Vietnam work together across APEC’s many work-streams in line with the supportive economic relationship built through AANZFTA, CPTPP, RCEP and our bilateral trade and development work.

Supporting business to take advantage of opportunities from free trade agreements

Businesses in Australia and Vietnam are encouraged to effectively leverage these existing free trade agreements. With the support of the Government of Australia, Vietnam launched the Vietnam Free Trade Agreement Portal in December 2020, for businesses to make the most of Vietnam’s network of free trade agreements:

Australian businesses are able to discover new trade opportunities through the Australian Government’s Free Trade Agreement Portal:

Promoting free and open trade and investment

Australia and Vietnam recognise the rules-based global trading system as the basis for open international trade.

View Implementation Plan