2023 is shaping up to have a major focus on trade for WoolProducers, with a number of exciting announcements and activities underway. WoolProducers President, Steve Harrison and I are about to embark on a trip to India to participate in the inaugural Joint India Australia Wool Working Group, while one of our recent ‘Raising the Baa’ Leadership participants, Skye Ward is returning from France after being selected to attend as part of broader agricultural trade delegation representing wool. Keep an eye out for future newsletters for trip reports and trade insights gleaned from these delegations.
In other trade related news, WoolProducers, along with two other industry groups, Wine Australia and Summerfruit Australia, were announced as a recipient of funding through AusHub Vietnam (AusHub) for an in-country resource to assist with trade development in Vietnam.
We are so pleased to secure this resource on behalf of all Australian wool growers, and intend to use the AusHub wool industry representative to build on the recommendations and opportunities identified in the “Ensuring a sustainable future for Australia’s wool supply chain” report conducted by Deloitte Access Economics (DAE), which was released in November 2022. The dedicated wool representative will assist with the identification of pathways to expand trade opportunities for Australian wool to Vietnam.
Vietnam has strong economic growth prospects with a forecast 7% growth in GDP in the coming year. Complementing the growing textile sector within Vietnam, imports of carded/combed wool have been growing in recent years. More recently, a major global wool spinning operation has established a facility in Vietnam.
The DAE report identified Vietnam as a country worthy of further assessment for the establishment of early-stage wool processing as an avenue for market expansion. This, combined with the outlook for economic growth in Vietnam, particularly within their textile sector, presents an ideal opportunity for both countries.
While market development activities have taken place in Vietnam in the past, the partnership with AusHub is seeking to identify strategic opportunities for new and vastly expanded early and intermediate-stage wool processing. It is our intention that the AusHub wool industry representative will work closely with current Australian Wool Innovation market development activities in Vietnam.
The Australian Industry Hub (AusHub) is an initiative between the Australian Chamber of Commerce Vietnam (AusCham) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to facilitate access to markets in Vietnam for Australian Industry Groups in Food Fibre and Forestry.
The resource was secured after a competitive application process and WoolProducers are proud to have shown leadership in this space and appreciate the opportunity presented by the AusCham and DFAT through the AusHub industry representatives.
This announcement coincides with the 50th Anniversary of Australian and Vietnamese diplomatic relations. The slogan for the year is ‘People, Partnership, Prosperity’, which we hope is apt description of what we can achieve in Vietnam through this representative for the betterment of the Australian wool industry.