Despite the devastating impact of the global economic crisis, economic and trade ties between Vietnam and the UK have remained steady, even growing in 2009, and look likely to continue healthily in 2010.
In its latest report, the UK Department of Trade and Investment (UKTI) regards Vietnam as one of the 17 major markets to be approached by UK businesspeople.
The UKTI also surveyed the markets that UK businesses will invest in the future and Vietnam was named among the top 15.
According to the UK Statistics Authority, by the end of October this year the UK had imported 893 million GBP worth of commodities from Vietnam, a year on year rise of 7.4 percent while it exported goods worth 171 million GBP to Vietnam, a year on year increase of 12 percent.
With an average monthly trade value of 120 million GBP recorded over the last few months, two way-trade turnover between Vietnam and the UK is likely to meet this year’s target of 1.8 billion USD (over 1.1 billion GBP). This was confirmed by Vietnam’s trade counselor in the UK An The Dung.
Dung also said that UK investments in Vietnam have currently reached two billion USD in 126 projects, making the country one of the largest European investors in the Southeast Asian country.
Globally famous companies such as BP, Shell, BAT, GlaxoSmithKline, Tate & Lyle, Prudential, HSBC, and Standard Chartered Bank have been established in Vietnam for a long time now while other companies are planning to expand their operations in the country.
The Vietnamese trade official predicted that bilateral trade would become brisker in 2010 as the UK’s economy has shown signs of recovery and economic analysts have said its darkest period was over.
Dung attributed the improved image of Vietnamese products and businesses in the world and UK market to trade promotions conducted by businesses themselves and by Vietnamese State agencies. In 2009, almost 60 Vietnamese delegations traveled to the UK for trade promotions.
He said that the exporters of farm products and foodstuffs to the UK should maintain their export rate in 2010 but need to take part in trade fairs for agricultural products, food and beverages in the UK to explore future potential deals.
Dung forecast that purchases of footwear and garments will rise in the UK, two of Vietnam’s main exports to the UK.
The counselor also gave a positive projection for Vietnamese plastic products as the demand in the UK market has risen to 69kg per person a year.
Shrugging off 2009’s economic challenges, the UK’s economy will start to grow again in 2010, which will create a “win-win situation” for both the UK and Vietnam.