Vietnam - UK: Take Advantages of FTAs to Increase FDI Attraction
FTAs - the driving force to promote two-way trade turnover
Late November, the European - American Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) organized "Vietnam - UK Business Forum 2023".
"Vietnam - UK Business Forum 2023" continues to be one of many exciting and substantive activities in the series of events organized by the Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation between Vietnam and the UK (JETCO) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties (1973-2023).
The dual impulse from new-generation FTAs will create more incentives for many groups of UK goods and services in the Vietnamese market, as well as increase the attraction of investment in each other's areas.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the head of the European-American Market Department Ta Hoang Linh said that the event was held after the 13th meeting of the Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation between the two countries ( JETCO13) which was very successful under the chairmanship of Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Phan Thi Thang and the UK Minister of State at the Department for Business, Nigel Huddleston.
Over the past 50 years, good cooperative relations between the two countries have been formed, built, and developed in many fields and levels. In particular, economic and trade cooperation has stood out as a bright spot. Currently, the UK is the 9th largest export market in the world and the 4th largest export market of Vietnam in Europe and America. The trusting relationship and cooperation between the two countries is becoming deeper and more substantive.
Since Vietnam and the UK established their strategic partnership in 2010, according to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs, trade exchange between the two countries has grown more than three times, reaching USD 6.84 billion in 2022.
Ta Hoang Linh said that the driving force for strong growth in import-export activities between Vietnam and the UK comes from the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the two countries (UKVFTA) officially took effect on May 1, 2021, and most recently, the UK signed an agreement to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in July 2023.
"These advantages continue to be the driving force for further development of two-way economic - trade - investment relations in the coming time", he emphasized. Specific evidence is that bilateral trade between the two countries in the first 10 months of 2023 reached 5.87 billion USD, showing a 1.6 percent increase year on year.
Several Vietnam’s key export items from Vietnam showed positive growth, including rubber products at 66 percent, electrical wires, and cables at 5.5 percent, phones, and components at 21 percent, and machinery and equipment at 15.5 percent... Vietnam also increased its imports from the UK, particularly pharmaceuticals and machinery, equipment, tools, and spare parts for production.
|At the event.
Vietnam - a reliable and sustainable investment destination
As a dynamic country with political stability and an attractive business environment in Asia-Pacific, Vietnam has become a reliable and sustainable investment destination for the UK. As of October 20, 2023, the UK has 550 direct investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of about USD 4.28 billion, ranking 15th out of 143 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
In the first 8 months of this year, the UK has a total of 43 new investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of USD 58.6 million. The UK's investment projects in Vietnam are quite diverse, in the fields of processing, manufacturing, renewable energy, industry, environmental management, banking and finance, real estate, retail, education, healthcare... Meanwhile, Vietnam currently has 14 investment projects in the European nation with a total investment capital of USD 17.3 million.
"These numbers are still very modest compared to the potential and aspirations of both countries" - Linh assessed and said that the UK's recent official signing to join CPTPP opens up great opportunities for businesses of the two countries to take advantage of this Agreement in the coming time. This is an important milestone, marking the process of expanding the CPTPP with a new member, and reaffirming the attraction, role, and position of the Agreement - a high-standard and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement.
“In the context that the UK is always ranked in the list of the 5 largest import markets in the world, with an attractive level of commitment, along with the existing bilateral FTA Agreement, trust in trade exchange activities, investment between the two countries will increasingly grow in the coming time, especially creating conditions for Vietnamese exports to access the market with an annual import turnover of Pounds 900 billion”, Linh added.
Sharing the same opinion, David Johnstone - head of FTA Utilization at the UK Department for Business and Trade also said that, in addition to the obvious benefits in terms of tariffs, many additional attractive incentives will be added compared to the existing bilateral Agreement, CPTPP also creates great benefits for both countries in integrating deeper into each other's supply chains. At the same time, it will facilitate the business process of both sides' businesses and create breakthrough growth potential with the prospect of expanding the Agreement in the future.
At the Forum, many speakers said both nations continue to demonstrate huge cooperation potential in the energy transition in Vietnam. This is especially the case following the approval of the National Power Development Master Plan for the 2021-30 period, with a vision to 2050 (Master Plan VIII) which allocates a large space for renewable energy. Both countries are also taking specific steps to realize the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).
Within the framework of the Forum, two discussion sessions on the topics of energy and trade gathered numerous speakers who are experts, policymakers, researchers, and outstanding businesses of both countries. They shared many new perspectives, and valuable experiences, as well as in-depth analysis to explore new cooperative opportunities based on ongoing projects.
head of the European-American Market Department Ta Hoang Linh affirmed that the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to offer favorable conditions for businesses and investors, including those from the UK. The aim is to help them realize ideas and efficient operations in Vietnam, contributing to making bilateral economic ties more substantive and effective.
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