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Negotiations on Vietnam-UK FTA expected to be completed late this year

Vietnam and the United Kingdoms are speeding up negotiations on a new-generation free trade agreement between both sides, which is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

The information was released at a webinar themed “Vietnam’s Trade and Economic Future: Opportunities for British and Vietnamese Businesses”, which was jointly held by the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s European-American Market Department, the UK-ASEAN Business Council, the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and the UK Embassy in Vietnam on October 6.

British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward highlighted the importance of the FTA to help boost trade between Vietnam and the UK.

He expressed his hope that the two sides will gain success in negotiations this year, especially in the context of the UK having left the European Union on January 31.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong said that in recent years, the business and investment environment in Vietnam has improved in a more transparent and convenient manner.

The country’s Government is determined to step up administrative reform to meet requirements of the market economy and create a reliable and attractive investment climate for enterprises.

Of note, amidst the movement of FDI flows, Vietnam’s maintenance of positive growth in disbursed capital is an encouraging result, affirming its attractiveness as an investment destination, Vuong stated.

Regarding bilateral relations, he stressed that the UK is an important market and always a prioritized cooperation partner of Vietnam.

The UK is a potential market for Vietnam’s tropical farm produce, garment and textiles, footwear, wood products and mobile phones, while Vietnam is a gateway market for UK businesses to approach the wider regional market, he added.

Since the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2010, their two-way trade had increased by 3.5 times to hit 6.61 billion USD in 2019.

As of August 2020, the UK had 400 valid investment projects in Vietnam with combined registered capital of 2.6 billion USD, ranking 16th out of 137 nations and territories pouring capital into the Southeast Asian country./