UK called to join economic restructuring in Vietnam

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has urged UK businesses to get more involved in the reshuffle of financial and banking systems in Vietnam.


Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (R) greets UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Mark Ian Price

The Deputy PM told UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Mark Ian Price at a meeting in Hanoi on October 19 that Vietnam is accelerating efforts to deal with bad debts and restructure banks and public investment.

The country has revised the Law on Investment and approved a project on enhancing growth quality and reforming growth model, labour productivity, and the competitiveness of the economy to achieve sustainable development goals, he added.

Vietnam will promote the startup and innovative spirit among businesses while facilitating business development regardless of their scale and sector, he said, noting the Government’s ambition of doubling the current number of active companies by 2020.

The government has also submitted to the National Assembly a bill on supporting small-and medium-sized enterprises according to international standards and practices, he said.

He proposed the UK provide more support for Vietnam under the Newton Programme on innovation and research, as well as strengthen bilateral partnership in education and training.

The Deputy PM said the UK’s exit from the European Union does not affect Vietnam’s determination to strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership.

Mark Ian Price informed the host about the outcome of the ninth meeting of Vietnam-UK Joint Economic, Trade Cooperation Commission , which aims to remove difficulties for businesses and improve business environment in Vietnam.

He said the UK is able to help Vietnam improve its legal framework, create favourable business climate, protect the environment, and prevent corruption.

According to the UK official, UK businesses consider Vietnam a good destination for investment. He said both countries should make greater efforts to improve business environment and boost bilateral trade.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK topped 5.4 billion USD in 2015, up over 25 percent against the previous year.

UK to continue support for Vietnam-EU free trade agreement

The UK will continue supporting the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) even after it leaves the European Union.

Minister of State for Trade and Investment Mark Ian Price made the statement at the ninth meeting of Vietnam-UK Joint Economic, Trade Cooperation Commission in Hanoi on October 19.

He said trade between Vietnam and the UK has seen continuous growth in recent years, and the UK wants to see further growth in bilateral trade.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed that the UK is an important trade and investment partner of Vietnam.

Huge investment opportunities are opening up in such fields as industry and agriculture for foreign businesses, including those from the UK, he said.

He urged the two countries’ management agencies to take stronger actions in order to implement commitments set in the signed FTA.

The ongoing visit of the UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment provides a chance for the European country to get a clearer vision about cooperation opportunities between the two countries in the future, Minister Tran Tuan Anh added.

The negotiation of the EVFTA was concluded on December 1, 2015. The official document on the agreement was made public on February 1, 2016.

The EVFTA is considered a comprehensive and high-quality agreement, which pays attention to balanced interests for both Vietnam and the EU and complies with the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s regulations.

Under the trade pact, which is expected to take effect from 2018, Vietnam is committed to removing most import tariffs as well as export taxes.

Statistics showed nearly 47 percent of Vietnam’s exports to the UK were mobile phones, computers, and electronic spare parts. Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of 3.9 billion USD with the UK in 2015 and 1.7 billion USD in the first five months of 2016.

VNA

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