An UK-Vietnam business forum was held in London on October 16 by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and the West London Chamber of Commerce (WLCC), bringing together businesses from the two countries.
The forum, part of activities of a delegation from the VCCI and northern Hai Duong province in the UK from October 15-18, aims to introduce potential, business and investment opportunities in Vietnam in general and Hai Duong in particular to UK enterprises and connect the business communities of both sides to cooperate more effectively, making the most of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
Addressing the event, Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long said since the two countries established the strategic partnership in 2010, trade between Vietnam and the UK has rose over three times, hitting almost 7 billion USD last year. Together with the implementation of the UKVFTA and the UK’s joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), bilateral trade between Vietnam and the UK could double the figure of 2022 thanks to the growth of trade-service – the sector accounts for 70% of the UK economy, Long added.
The Ambassador said educational cooperation has also grown strongly with more than 100 educational collaboration projects between the universities of the two countries. The number of Vietnamese students studying in the UK increased to 15,000 from 4,000 in 2010.
With a fast-growing economy as well as young and dynamic human resources, Vietnam, including Hai Duong, is a potential destination for British investors, especially in the fields of trade, education, and green growth, he continued.
VCCI Vice President Nguyen Quang Vinh said that despite achieving positive results, bilateral trade is still not commensurate with the development of relations between the two countries.
According to him, businesses of the two countries need to make more efforts to strengthen connections and promote trade, saying that the two sides have many opportunities for cooperation in fields such as green finance, agriculture and technology.
Vinh pledged that VCCI will always act as a bridge supporting British businesses in investing and doing business in Vietnam, and connecting Vietnamese businesses with reputable partners in the UK.
At the forum, Chairman of the Hai Duong People’s Committee Trieu The Hung briefed participants on the advantages of the province which is located in the northern key economic region with a favourable geographical location, convenient traffic connections and abundant human resources.
Currently, Hai Duong counts 518 foreign investment projects from 27 countries and territories with a combined capital of nearly 10 billion USD, including 22 projects from Europe, including the UK, valued at 374.3 million USD.
Hung said the province wants to attract investment, especially from Europe, including the UK, in the fields of processing industry, manufacturing, electrical industry, electronics, and chemical industry, high-tech agriculture and ecotourism, among others.
Alan Rides, CEO of the WLCC, said that their bilateral trade has increased significantly since the signing of UKVFTA, adding that UK exports to Vietnam currently amount to 1 billion GBP (1.22 billion USD) per year while Vietnam is exporting goods worth around 6 billion GBP per year to the UK.
The UK can export pharmaceuticals and educational services, finance, insurance and many other services to Vietnam while Vietnam can export food, seafood and furniture to the UK.
Rides affirmed that, as the second largest chamber of commerce in London, specialising in connecting and promoting trade and business cooperation between the UK and emerging and developing economies, the LWCC is ready to support Vietnamese businesses exploring business opportunities in the UK.
Source: Vietnam Plus