The UK, largest import market in EU

14:56 | 07/07/2015 Cooperation

(VEN) - The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has remained the second largest trade partner after Germany and the third largest investor after the Netherlands and France in the EU in terms of relations with Vietnam.

The UK, largest import market in EU

The UK established diplomatic relations with Vietnam on September 11, 1973. When the EU-Vietnam relationship has developed, the UK became a leading country in promoting diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Together with a joint declaration on partnership for development signed by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his British counterpart Gordon Brown in London in March 2008 on the occasion of celebrating 35 years of diplomatic relations, the two governments agreed to officially upgrade the relationship to a strategic partnership in September 2010 focusing on cooperation in politics and diplomacy, regional and global issues, trade and investment, sustainable socioeconomic development, education and training, defense and cultural exchanges.


Thanks to the strategic partnership between the two countries, the UK has become Vietnam’s second largest trade partner and third largest investor in the EU. In particular, the UK has become Vietnam’s biggest import market in the EU for many years.


Vietnamese export turnover to the UK reached US$1.179 billion, while import turnover stood at US$201.3 million in 2006. This figure increased slightly in 2010, reaching US$1.682 billion in export turnover and US$511 million in import turnover. According to the Vietnamese Trade Office in the UK, two-way trade turnover between the two countries totaled around US$4.5 billion in 2014, a slight drop compared to 2013 and an increase of 30 percent compared to 2012.


Of this, export turnover reached around US$3.95 billion through the main exports of garments and textiles, footwear, computers and its components, furniture, tea, coffee, rice, seafood and rubber. Meanwhile, import turnover stood at around US$544 million with the main imports being processing products, industrial equipment, chemicals, telecommunications and cigarettes.


In many disputes, including dumping lawsuits and contaminated seafood problems between the EU and Vietnam, the UK has maintained their support for Vietnam. In particular, the UK has recognized Vietnam as a highly promising market in ASEAN and has put Vietnam on the list of priorities to encourage companies to strengthen trade and investment activities.


Relevant authorities, especially the Vietnamese business community, need to consider and promote cooperation with the UK as this is a potential market for Vietnamese goods and services. These advantages will be added after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is signed bringing big opportunities for businesses in the two countries.  


The UK currently ranks third among the EU countries investing in Vietnam with 163 projects for total registered capital of US$2.69 billion focusing on mining with seven projects and total registered capital of US$715.6 million, manufacturing and processing industry with 55 projects and total registered capital of US$714.4 million, real estate with total registered capital of US$548 million, the banking and financial sector and insurance with the remaining capital.


Bui Duc Khiem