HCMC – Vietnam’s total exports to the United Kingdom last year increased 15.6% year-on-year to reach US$5.24 billion as the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) was enforced over the past year.
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnamese businesses took full advantage of the opportunities the UKVFTA presented, one year after the deal temporarily came into effect from January 1, 2021, and seven months after it officially took effect from May 1, 2021.
The trade pact is expected to continue to be a driving force behind trade and investment ties between the countries in the future. The provisions of the deal will boost the export of Vietnamese staple products, reported Lao Dong newspaper.
Many export items registered strong growth, with iron and steel taking the lead at 1,183%, followed by rubber at over 82%, farm produce at over 70%, and rattan, bamboo, sedge, and carpet products at around 60%.
Ta Hoang Linh, head of the Europe-America Market Department, under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said the UK remains one of Vietnam’s leading trading partners. The UK is also the sixth-largest export market of Vietnam globally.
According to the ministry, the UK is the fifth-largest importer globally, but the market share of Vietnam’s export items in the UK only accounted for 1%. Therefore, many said there is much room for exports from Vietnam to achieve higher growth in the UK.
As import tariffs were reduced to zero after January 1, 2021, as part of the UKVFTA, many of Vietnam’s export products gained a competitive edge in the UK market over those of China, Thailand, Malaysia, and many others that have yet to sign an FTA with the UK. These products include fishery and seafood products, rice, garment-textile and footwear items.