Envoy: Brexit will not affect UK-Vietnam trade

08:38 | 23/04/2019 MUTRAP Corner

(VEN) - UK Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Steph Lysaght assures Vietnam Economic News’ Ca Huong that implementation of Brexit will not affect the long-term policy on Vietnam.

envoy brexit will not affect uk vietnam trade
UK Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam Steph Lysaght

Could you tell us more about trade cooperation between the UK and Vietnam?

Total export-import turnover between the UK and Vietnam currently stands at US$5 billion. This figure is too modest compared to the real potential and the two countries have agreed to increase two-way trade turnover.

The latest data show that UK exports to Vietnam have increased by about nine percent. The figure from the Vietnamese side is similar. In the past 5-10 years, import-export growth rate between the UK and Vietnam has been maintained at over 10 percent. This is the starting point for the great potential of the two countries. We are cooperating and supporting each other to improve the business and investment environment and take advantage of available opportunities. I think the current rate of nine percent is praiseworthy, and this figure will increase in the coming time.

In which areas are British firms operating in Vietnam?

The number of British firms operating in Vietnam is very large, mostly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Many businesses do not have their representative offices in Vietnam, but they have offices in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong (China). British firms operate in many fields in Vietnam, especially in education, finance and banking. Some other fields like real estate, architecture and renewable energy are also getting more and more attention from British firms.

What factors attract investment in Vietnam?

A large-scale British business delegation has come to Vietnam to seek trade and investment opportunities. They have come here for various reasons. However, the main reason that British firms are interested in Vietnam is due to the country’s efforts to promote its integration into the global free trade process. Vietnam’s economy has developed rapidly and dramatically in recent years. The economic growth rate is a steady seven percent per year, reflecting a clear level of stability and bright future prospects. Vietnam is actively implementing international trade standards and regulations, helping foreign companies adapt to business regulations here. Vietnam is an attractive destination for investors, foreign businesses as well as British firms.

envoy brexit will not affect uk vietnam trade
“Business is GREAT” is part of the GREAT campaign, aiming at strengthening trade connections between the two countries

Will Brexit affect trade and investment between the UK and Vietnam?

Brexit is a matter of great concern, but it will not affect the relationship between the two countries. British firms want to promote trade and increase investment in Vietnam. Even if Brexit happens, it will not affect the long-term UK policy on Vietnam. Vietnam is a potential market for British firms and they are planning to open representative offices in Vietnam.

The UK is one of the leading advocates of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. It is one of the important agreements to help Vietnam strengthen export-import activities with EU countries, especially the UK. Currently, the UK is in a process of transition. We are committed to maintaining and developing the relationship with Vietnam.

We have plans in this regard. Currently, we have a group of high-quality personnel specializing in economic cooperation between the UK and Vietnam. We also have teams with more staff in Ho Chi Minh City. They focus on all Southeast Asian countries. We will continue to talk with British firms about changes that Vietnam has made, and share opportunities for investing in Vietnam. We will also continue to bring Vietnamese businesses to the UK and promote trade connection activities. When the relationship between the two countries is tightened, I believe that trade and investment will grow rapidly.

Ca Huong