The Vietnamese Government has issued a resolution approving the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and according to Dang Hoang An, Deputy Minister of Trade, the government will complete procedures this month to officially bring it into force on May 1.
Deputy Minister An said that during a recent teleconference with Greg Hands, the UK’s Minister of State for Trade Policy they confirmed the May 1st implementation date and Hands expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Government and especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade for their close coordination in signing and handling procedures to put the deal into force at the earliest possible time.
The United Kingdom has also expressed a desire to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and Hands thanked Vietnam for its support.
Both An and Hands agreed that their governments should hold the next meeting (#12) of the Vietnam - UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in August if conditions allow, and that they should assign technical teams to review the implementation of documents reached at JETCO 11, and offer specific topics for discussion at JETCO 12.
According to recent report by Vietnam’s Customs Bureau, trade between Vietnam and the UK increased by more than 20% in the first two months of this year, when compared to 2021, an immediate effect of the UKVFTA. The value of trade in January and February was $1.024 billion USD and 2021 projections are for trade between the two countries to be more than $6 billion USD.
Economists point to the fact that there are multiple sectors for Vietnam’s exports to the UK to grow, including mobile phones, spare parts, apparel, footwear, aquatic products, wood and wooden furniture, computers and accessories, cashew nuts, coffee, and pepper.