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Jun 30, 2022 / 20:09

Vietnam-UK target US$10-billion trade turnover by 2023

UK trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said the country wants to be a part of Vietnam’s development story in the 21st century, and fostering bilateral trade relations is among its priorities.

Vietnam and the UK should set a trade turnover target of over US$10 billion by 2023, which would be a meaningful step to mark the 50th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations next year.

 Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue (mid) at the forum. Source: VNA

Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh gave the remarks at the Vietnam-UK High-level Forum on Economy and Trade held on June 29.

The event is one of the highlights of a visit to the UK by the high-ranking delegation from the National Assembly of Vietnam led by Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue from June 28-30.

According to Thanh, the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership has progressed strongly over the years and contributed to socio-economic development in each country.

Thanh expected the partnership would continue to reach new heights based on multilateral and bilateral cooperation frameworks, especially the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

With the UK eyeing to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Thanh stressed the country’s accession to the deal would provide huge opportunities for Vietnam and UK moving forward.

In this context, Thanh called on the two governments to further facilitate trade and investment for mutual benefit; support market access for businesses and exports from both sides.

The Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister also took this occasion to reaffirm Vietnam’s stance on realizing its commitments at COP26, calling for the UK Government and businesses to support Vietnam in terms of technologies, finance, and human resources during the transition  from fossil fuels to renewables in industrial sectors.

 Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh. 

"Vietnam is seeking more investments from UK companies in green growth, digitalization, manufacturing, finance, banking, education, innovation and pharmacy," Thanh said, adding that they are among the priority fields receiving investment incentives from the Vietnamese government.

“The Vietnamese Government is committed to creating the most favorable business environment for all participants,” Thanh continued.

The UK to play the part in Vietnam’s development story in the 21st century

UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan noted Vietnam is one of the most dynamic economies in the world as the country is on track to reach a GDP growth of around 6% this year.

Trevelyan added the country is attracting a growing number of foreign investors, including multinationals.

The UK trade minister said that it is not a surprise Vietnam is among the world’s front-runners in the ongoing shift of global investment capital inflow, and a prime example as Southeast Asian countries would be the growth engine for the world economy.

She referred to an analysis that by the end of this decade, Vietnam would be among the top 30 largest economies in the world.

The signing of cooperation agreements between Vietnam and UK partners. 

In this regard, Trevelyan said the UK wants to be a part of Vietnam’s development story in the 21st century, and trade relations with Vietnam are a priority in the UK’s trade policy.

Trevelyan expected UK major energy companies would play a more active role in supporting Vietnam toward a green-growth future, while the UK’s capital market could provide the required funding for Vietnam’s ambitious development goals, she continued.

Another topic mentioned by Trevelyan is the UK’s plan to cooperate with Vietnam in turning Ho Chi Minh City into a financial center via market reform, digital infrastructure development, and education cooperation.

In a broader perspective, Vietnam has been a key factor for the UK to become a dialogue partner of ASEAN and strengthen its cooperation with the region, and make a strong presence in the Indo-Pacific.

In response to the question of how Vietnam could overcome challenges in the 2022-2023 period amid growing global uncertainties, Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue said the country has managed to maintain positive economic growth during the past crises in the 2008-2009 and 2020-2021.

Hue reiterated Vietnam’s goal to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030 and a high-income one by 2045.

“The most valuable lesson is to ensure stable macro-economic conditions at all costs,” Hue said.

“A favorable economic environment would help build trust among domestic and foreign investors. A Government serving as a growth facilitator and the strong confidence of the people in the Government and the National Assembly are fundamentals for Vietnam to overcome difficulties and pursue sustainable development goals,” Hue said.

At the forum, delegates from Vietnam and the UK witnessed the signing ceremony of cooperation agreements between both sides.

Vietnam’s EMG Education signed an agreement for cooperation in training and education with the education group Pearson.

Binh Thuan Province signed an agreement on off-shore wind energy development with Enterprize Energy and a cooperation agreement between Quang Binh Province and the British Royal Caves Association in preserving natural value and promoting tourism.