HÀ NỘI — After the UK-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) took effect on December 31, 2020, both sides saw impressive growth in their two-way trade though exports faced formidable challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Statistics from the General Department of Việt Nam Customs showed that total trade in goods between the two nations topped US$657.35 million in January, a year-on-year hike of 78.57 per cent. The Ministry of Industry and Trade described it as an impressive growth, particularly in the context of COVID-19.
Notably, Việt Nam's shipments to the European country hit $598.07 million, or 84.61 per cent higher than the same time last year, and 56.51 per cent higher than December 2020. Exports of agricultural products maintained stable growth in the month, with export revenue of seafood surging 18.1 per cent to $19.72 million, and fruits and vegetables rising 148.6 per cent to $1.04 million.
Under the UK trade deal, tariffs levied on Vietnamese shrimp materials is reduced from 10-20 per cent to zero per cent, while more than 94 per cent of 547 tariff lines on Vietnamese fruits and vegetables will be cut to zero per cent.
Experts said a wide range of Vietnamese fruits like lychee, longan, dragon fruit, pineapple and rambutan will hold more advantages to access the UK market over those from Brazil, Thailand and Malaysia who have not clinched an FTA with the European country.
Việt Nam also saw strong increase in its shipments of telephone and parts (up 371.6 per cent to $252.59 million); machines, equipment and parts (up 109.9 per cent to US$74.58 million); computers and parts (up 91 per cent to $31.82 million), among others.
Meanwhile, Việt Nam spent $59.297 million on imports from the UK, up 34.3 per cent year-on-year.
Last year, total trade value between the two nations reached $5.64 billion, with Việt Nam posting positive trade balance of $4.27 billion. The UK continued to be the 3rd largest trade partner of Việt Nam in Europe, following Germany and the Netherlands.
As of December 2020, the UK registered $3.84 billion in 411 projects in Việt Nam, becoming the 15th biggest investor among 139 countries and territories landing investment in the nation. Most of the UK's projects were in finance, banking, oil and renewable energy.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade affirmed that the trade pact will boost trade growth between the two nations in the future thanks to its commitment to erasing 65 per cent of the total tariffs immediately after the pact took effect, and 99 per cent of the tariffs in six or seven years. — VNS
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