Vietnam can benefit from Australian resilience: report

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The Australian economy in general and its financial services sector in particular have proved their resilience and strength, emerging virtually unscathed from the global economic crisis, says a new report.

Countries like Vietnam can benefit from the country's experience and expertise, it adds.

The Financial Services Benchmark Report 2010 was released Friday in Ho Chi Minh City by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).

"The Benchmark Report is a key publication for the Australian Trade Commission, which demonstrates the strength, depth and competitiveness of the Australian financial services sector," said Julianne Merriman, the leader of Austrade's ASEAN financial services team.

Austrade chief economist Tim Harcourt, who was in Hanoi Thursday for the launch of the report in Vietnam's capital city, said: "The report shows that Australia's financial sector remains robust, underpinned by a global best practice regulatory system, and that Australia's standing as a financial center in the Asia Pacific region is enhanced after the global financial crisis.

"Financial markets in Australia operate on a large scale with total turnover exceeding A$100 trillion in 2010 and of this, over-the-counter accounted for 66 per cent of total financial market turnover that was almost A$67 trillion. 

He said assets of financial institutions reached almost A$5.2 trillion by the end of March 2011, equivalent to approximately four times the Australian GDP.

"Australia also has the fourth largest pool of contestable funds under management globally and the largest in the region, with A$1.9 trillion in funds under management.

"This is a five-fold increase in the amount of contestable funds under management in Australia since 1995 with a compound annual growth rate of 12 percent," Harcourt said. 

Investment opportunities in Vietnam

With its strong development in economy in general and financial services in particular, Australia has in recent years pushed its investments abroad, Harcourt told a press briefing held ahead of the luncheon at the Park Hyatt.

He said Australian financial organizations have made successful investments in many Asian countries, especially China and Vietnam.

In the Vietnamese market, he noted the strong positions held by ANZ in the banking and financial sector and the RMIT University in the education sector.

"Australia is a "˜lucky country' as it has good relationships with many countries, including Vietnam," he said.

Harcourt also hoped that ties between the two countries will further develop and expand, especially in finance, banking, education and training, technology transfer, agriculture and energy.

Merriman added to Harcourt's observations, saying "There are significant opportunities for both Australian and Vietnamese financial services companies, particularly given the growing two-way trade and investment between the two countries."

She noted that Vietnam was Australia's 17th largest trading partner. In 2010, two-way trade was worth over A$4.6 billion, almost 25 percent more than its value in 2005.

"The Vietnamese financial sector is well placed to take advantage of Australia's strengths in banking, funds management and wealth management, and the products, services and best practice on offer from Australia," she said.

"Austrade looks forward to supporting further trade and investment in the financial services sector between our two countries," she added.

Austrade has a financial services team across the ASEAN region with business development managers in key business centers such as Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok, Manila and Vietnam's Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

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