08:48 | 15/11/2019 MUTRAP Corner
(VEN) - The 11th meeting of the UK-Vietnam Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) was held in Ha Long Bay on October 4. Talks focused on deepening the two countries’ trade cooperation in key sectors and overcoming impediments to greater UK investment.
The UK ranked third in Vietnam’s total import and export turnover with EU countries in 2018, with US$6.74 billion, up 9.5 percent compared to the previous year, while Vietnam ranked 38th among the UK’s 241 trading partners and 25th among the 233 countries exporting to the UK. In ASEAN, Vietnam ranked second (after Thailand) in terms of exports to the UK. In the first eight months of 2019, bilateral trade reached US$4.53 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2.09 percent.
By the end of August, the UK had 366 investment projects in Vietnam with total capital of US$3.64 billion, putting it 15th among the 132 countries and territories investing in Vietnam.
At the meeting, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said the Vietnamese government as well as the two business communities has made greater efforts to contribute to the success of JETCO meetings, helping remove trade barriers and create a favorable business environment.
UK Minister of State at the Department for International Trade Conor Burns said Vietnam is a dynamic country with strong economic growth, and the UK will maximize its efforts to support the country so it can overcome the challenges of Industry 4.0.
Burns and Vuong agreed to further collaboration on issues currently preventing UK businesses trading in Vietnam. This includes caps on foreign ownership of companies in Vietnam, which limit opportunities and means that in some sectors only 49 percent of a company can be owned by a foreign business.
The two sides discussed market management and anti-smuggling activities, and cooperation in the fields of education and training, agriculture, renewable energy, finance, health, culture, sports and tourism.
Regarding vocational education and training, the UK will promote English teaching and learning in Vietnam, while considering recognition of certificates issued in Vietnam, as well as developing occupational skills standards, supporting the training and capacity building of Vietnam’s vocational education and training teachers. In the field of agriculture, the UK will consider the export and import of meat products between the two countries. A representative office of Vietnam’s tourism sector will open in London.
“Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest growing markets and our trade talks are making big strides in making it easier
for our two countries to do business,” Conor Burns said.