Vietnam and the United Kingdom have made a commitment to each up to speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries and government officials have said that expect the agreement to be completed at the end of 2020.
At a recent webinar, “Vietnam’s Trade and Economic Future: Opportunities for British and Vietnamese Businesses”, which was organized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department, the UK-ASEAN Business Council, the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and the UK Embassy in Vietnam, Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam highlighted the importance of the FTA to help boost trade between Vietnam and the UK.
Ambassador Ward expressed his hope that the two sides will gain success in negotiations this year, and said this was very important in the context of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union on January 31, 2021.
Hoang Quoc Vuong, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, spoke during the webinar and said that in recent years, the business and investment environment in Vietnam has improved in a more transparent and convenient manner. He noted that the Vietnamese Government is determined to step up its administrative reform plan so that Vietnam can meet the requirements of the market economy and create a reliable and attractive investment climate for enterprises.
Vuong added that the UK is an important market and always a prioritized cooperation partner of Vietnam and that after the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2010, their two-way trade had increased by 350% and had a value of $6.6 billion USD in 2019.
While the UK is a potential market for Vietnamese products, Vietnam is also a location for UK investment so that companies can access the Vietnamese market, the Mekong market and the greater Southeast Asian market.
According to MoIT data, the UK had 400 valid investment projects in Vietnam as of August 2020, with combined registered capital of $ 2.6 billion USD, ranking the UK 16th out of 137 nations and territories who have invested in Vietnam.