VOV.VN - With the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) being in force for over a year, the deal helped to promote positive two-way trade growth of US$6.6 billion in 2021, an annual increase of 17.2%, despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Dang Hoang An and British Minister of State at Department for International Trade (DIT) Penny Mordaunt co-hosted the 12th meeting of the Vietnam - UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO 12) on May 25.
During his speech at the event, Deputy Minister An affirmed that through the previous 11 sessions, the joint economic and trade co-operation mechanism has made sustainable development steps as a means of solving problems for the UK. Businesses are therefore building a more favourable environment for firms from both nations.
During the course of the meeting, the two sides held substantive discussions and agreed on a range of practical co-operation issues, namely diplomacy, COP26, renewable energy, agricultural products, food and beverages, technology and financial technology, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, education, industry, market management, and trade remedies.
Regarding diplomacy, the two sides agreed to co-ordinate in a bid to promote the exchange of delegations at all levels moving towards the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both sides which began in 1973. Concerning energy, both sides will co-ordinate to organise conferences and seminars on measures which can support the country to gradually shift energy towards the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
The British side have actively shared their experience, capital, investment co-operation, and technology transfer with the nation, particularly in the implementation of renewable energy and offshore wind power projects.
In the field of agricultural products, the two sides agreed to ramp up co-operation and research on technology in disease prevention for livestock and opening export markets for pork and poultry.
The Vietnamese side also proposed promoting co-operation between enterprises in investment and the application of high technology for agricultural production, processing, preservation, and distribution of agricultural products and food. With regard to technology and financial technology (Fintech), they agreed to work together in researching and applying Fintech in the stock market and removing difficulties faced in the management and operation of the Vietnamese stock market.
In the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals, the two sides discussed the possibility of UK support for the training and improving the overall capacity of the country in the field of pharmaceutical inspection. This is in addition to encouraging British businesses to invest in producing pharmaceutical products and technology transfer within the Vietnamese market.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Mordaunt affirmed that the issues discussed at JETCO 12 were both practical and specific. The two sides will therefore closely co-ordinate and make every effort to thoroughly and effectively resolve the issues discussed at this meeting as a means of bringing the relationship between the two countries to new heights.
The same day saw the Vietnam – UK Business Forum held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the UK Department of International Trade (DIT) in London.
As part of his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said the Vietnamese side strongly desires to see greater investment from the UK in hi-tech agriculture, from cultivation to processing, preservation, and distribution of farm produce and foods.
The forum discussed several proposals relating to trade and investment between the two countries’ enterprises in agriculture, education, renewable energy, and others. It also provided a platform for the nation to introduce its market potential to British investors and for firms from both sides to share information whilst seeking partnerships to make the most of the UKVTFA.
The UK remains a major and trusted partner of the nation and its agriculture industry, Deputy Minister Tien said, noting that agricultural co-operation between the two sides has made significant progress over recent years.
He therefore anticipates that British companies will form close and trusted joint ventures and partnerships with Vietnamese agribusinesses and farmers.
The country represents the most dynamic market in the Indo-Pacific region and mutual relations are growing strong, said Minister Mordaunt. Indeed, bilateral trade has doubled over the last decade and the UKVFTA has brought tremendous benefits to sectors and enterprises from both countries, she added.
She further emphasised that Vietnam and the UK hold massive potential in trade, meaning the two sides should co-operate to fully unleash it.
Thai Tran, director of TT Meridian, suggested that in order to boost bilateral business ties, it is crucial for the nation and the UK to provide their companies with better understanding of each other’s market, for example, standards, consumer habits, business culture, and trade barriers.