Breakthroughs in Vietnam-UK trade

10:15 | 14/08/2014 Cooperation

(VEN) - In the first six months of 2014, bilateral trade between Vietnam and the UK totaled US$2.13 billion, marking a breakthrough after four months of minus growth.

Vietnam exported US$246.15 million worth of textiles and garments to the UK in the first six months of 2014

Data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs show that in the first half of 2014, trade between Vietnam and the UK reached nearly US$2.13 billion, a rise of 3.98 percent compared with the same period last year, and this included US$1.79 billion worth of Vietnamese exports to the UK, up 2.1 percent, and US$331.35 million worth of Vietnamese imports from the UK, up 15.5 percent.

The Commercial Section of the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and North Ireland said that in the first four months of 2014, continuous minus growth was seen in trade between Vietnam and the UK compared with the same period last year. In May and June, however, bilateral trade grew compared with the same time in 2013.

In the first six months of 2014, Vietnam exported to the UK products such as textiles and garments (US$246.15 million), footwear (US$265.36 million), telephones and components (US$670.34 million), timber and wood products (US$134.30 million). Vietnam imported from the UK machinery, equipment and spare parts (US$110.05 million) and pharmaceuticals (US$60.39 million). The export of Vietnamese wooden furniture, textiles and garments, footwear, plastics, seafood and mobile phones to the UK considerably contributed to the growth of bilateral trade.

However, the Commercial Section of the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and North Ireland said that Vietnam met some difficulties in boosting exports to the UK due to the development gap and differences in terms of business culture between the two countries. The UK is a tightly structured market with specialized distribution networks. Therefore it will take new suppliers time to find their positions in such highly organized supply chains. Moreover, Vietnamese businesses have to fiercely compete with suppliers from Europe, India, China and Brazil.

In a talk with Vietnam Economic News reporters, UK Trade Counselor Piers Craven proved optimistic about trade between Vietnam and the UK in the time to come. He expected new breakthroughs in bilateral trade because the UK government focused their attention on trade in the strategic relationship with Vietnam. Moreover, the two governments have pledged to increase bilateral trade through the UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee. Piers Craven emphasized that the UK has established just a few such joint committees with other countries. Clearly, the UK highly appreciates trade cooperation with Vietnam and pays special attention to boosting cooperation with Vietnam.

In the recent period, the UK government has spent about US$13.6 billion on trade and investment promotion activities focusing on boosting exports to and investment in markets of good prospects, including Vietnam. Last year, the British Embassy in Vietnam arranged for seven business delegations from the UK to visit Vietnam to explore business opportunities. Their visits created favorable conditions for businesses of the two countries to meet and discuss cooperation opportunities.

However, Piers Craven said the two countries must maintain periodical cooperation activities through channels such as the UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee in order to intensify bilateral trade and investment promotion./.

By Hoa Le   

Theo ven.vn