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Vietnam now included in new agreement

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The Australian Government's export credit agency EFIC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have extended their existing participation agreement to include Vietnam. The extension of the agreement is designed to assist emerging economies get the finance they need to trade, and will assist countries like Vietnam in importing Australian goods, including for export production. EFIC will provide guarantees against non-payment under financial instruments issued for the payment of Australian exports to Vietnam. With its Trade Finance Program (TFP), the ADB supports trade by providing guarantees and loans through over 200 partner banks. The TFP supported more than 668 SMEs in 2011. 70 percent of Australia's exports in 2011, totalling $284.1 billion, went to Asia. Australia as a result is a key collaborator with ADB to help reduce poverty and promote growth among its members. Steve Beck, head of trade finance at ADB, said trade is critical to economic growth. "Many developing countries in Asia struggle to get the trade finance they need to fund economic growth and an increase in trade. This expansion in the ADB-EFIC agreement should increase trade between Australia and Vietnam, leading to increased jobs and higher economic growth in both countries," he said. EFIC's director trade, commodity and agribusiness finance agreed that this step would be positive for both countries. "We are very proud to be working with the ADB to hopefully, by our support to the ADB facility, foster growth and assist in the creation of jobs in the region. This is a great opportunity for Australian companies to gain access to markets that years ago were difficult to enter due the lack of trade finance available to them," he said.

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