Vietnamese firms are advised to change themselves towards increased application of high technology and stronger digital transformation to improve their products’ quality and optimise the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, thus better conquering this promising market.
Statistics from the European-American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that despite COVID-19, trade between Vietnam and the UK has risen 15.8% so far this year to US$5.4 billion, with Vietnam’s exports up 14.5%.
A strong rise was seen in the export of many Vietnamese products to the UK, including rubber (85%), fruits and vegetables (73%), rattan products (61%), and steel products and steel of all kinds, 138 and 1,405%, respectively.
Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnamese Trade Councillor in the UK, said that Vietnam has yet to make full use of its advantages in the fourth largest among European and American markets.
The shortage of necessary documents and long delivery duration are among reasons why Vietnamese products have yet to deeply enter the market, he said.
Cuong cited coffee as an example, noting that Vietnam saw a 43.2% decrease in export volume and 38.9% in value in the market in 2020 due to lower demand due to COVID-19 and high logistics costs.
Meanwhile, Tran Thai, Director of T&T Meridian, held that Vietnamese firms should provide more suitable coffee products with better packaging to British consumers, while investing more in marketing.
Justin Cornelius, Director of Coffee Hub Group, one of the largest coffee distributors in the UK, held that the Vietnamese coffee sector should invest more in sustainable development to switch from low to high market segments in the future.
More modern technology should be used to make the quality of coffee products higher and more equal, he advised.
At the same time, Cuong reminded Vietnamese firms to be more vigilant in payment risks in export activities to avoid losses.
Experts from the European-American Market Department suggested that in order to penetrate deeper into the UK market, Vietnamese exporters should explore full information of the market and build a proper production plan to maintain its market share.
Meanwhile, they recommended that domestic firms to invest more in production technology to enhance the added value of their products and build their trademark, while flexibly adapt to the new situation to overcome all barriers in the market.