The Hanoitimes – While the UK continues to be a potential market for Vietnam’s key export staples, the latter could be a springboard for British companies to reach a broader market in Southeast Asia.
As the UK and Vietnam markets are highly complementary, trade relations between the two countries would ensure a win-win scenario for all parties involved, according to Vice Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong.
|Overview of the conference. Source: MoIT.|
As of one the world’s hubs of economy, politics, culture and science, the UK remains Vietnam’s priority economic partner, stated Mr. Vuong at a conference discussing opportunities for British and Vietnamese businesses on October 6.
While the UK continues to be a potential market for Vietnam’s key export staples, including agricultural products, footwear, textile, phones and wood, among others, the latter could be a gateway for British companies to access a broader market in ASEAN, added Mr. Vuong.
Over the past years, Vietnam has been pushing for improvements in the business environment towards greater transparency and convenience for businesses, said Mr. Vuong, adding the Vietnamese government puts strong emphasis on fairness and no discrimination among different economic groups.
According to Mr. Vuong, Vietnam would give priority to administrative reform to better meet growing demands from a market-based economy and the process of global economic integration.
|Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong. Source: MoIT.|
In 2019, total FDI commitment to Vietnam stood at US$38.02 billion, up 7.2% year-on-year, while the disbursed amount was estimated at US$20.38 billion, up 6.7%.
Investors have poured money into 19 fields and sectors in 2019, in which manufacturing and processing led the pack with investment capital of over US$24.56 billion, accounting for 64.6% of the total, followed by real estate with US$3.88 billion or 10.2% of the total, and retail and wholesale, science and technology.
In this context, the volume of Vietnam – UK trade exchange reached US$6.2 billion in 2017, a 3.5-fold increase over the course of 10 years. However, growth in trade revenue slowed down in the last two years, reaching US$6.61 billion in 2019, down 1.64% year-on-year.
Under the severe Covid-19 impacts, bilateral trade turnover declined by 19.87% in the first six months of 22 to US$2.57 billion.
As of late August 2020, the UK has 400 licensed projects in Vietnam worth US$3.6 billion, ranking 16 th among countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
The figure, however, is considered modest, given the fact that the UK is among the world’s top five largest investors, Mr. Vuong noted.
At the conference, delegates discussed the prospects of Vietnam – UK trade and economic relations after Brexit, including the possibility of a free trade agreement between the two countries.