28/07/2015 10:17 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam, UK enjoy trade growth

Hanoi, July 27 (VNA) – Vietnam and the UK posted 1.32 billion GBP worth of trade revenue within the first five months of 2015, climbing seven percent from 2014 according to the Vietnam Commercial Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK.

During the period, Vietnam shipped commodities exceeding 1.2 billion GBP to the UK. Major export earners included mobile phones , footwear, garment-textiles, furnishings, machines, plastics, coffee beans, fruit and children’s toys.

The Vietnam-UK bilateral trade revenue has increased three-fold in the last ten years from more than 800 GBP in 2005 to almost 3 billion GBP in 2014, shared Nguyen Thi Hong Thuy, Commercial Counsellor at the embassy while talking with a Vietnam News Agency correspondent.

However, apart from apparel and footwear, British consumers are rarely aware of other made-in-Vietnam products, Thuy noted, recommending that domestic enterprises carry out more regular market research in the European country.

She pointed out recent instances of Vietnamese businesses not fulfilling contracts with their British partners in terms of quantity, quality or schedule.

The Commercial Counsellor said local agricultural produce constitutes a fraction of the UK market. The UK annually spends an average of over 34 billion GBP on livestock and agricultural products, only 230 million GBP of which is channelled into Vietnam.

The low figure is due largely to the low activity of Vietnamese enterprises in the market than in the US and the EU and as such, greater efforts from those businesses to stimulate trade could help, Thuy said.

She continued to underscore the positive contribution of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement slated to be signed in 2015 to trade between Vietnam and the UK through the elimination of several tariff barriers.

UK interest in the Vietnamese market has been shown among local business communities and officials; UK Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to visit Vietnam in July. In September, the UK’s seventh richest billionaire Richard Branson will also make a trip to the Southeast Asian country.