During phone talks with Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands on March 16, An said the UKVFTA temporarily took effect from January 1 to ensure undisrupted trade between Vietnam and the UK.
Hands expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Government and especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade for their close coordination in signing and handling procedures to put the deal into force at the earliest possible time.
An was also delighted at the ratification of the UKVFTA by the two nations.
Regarding the UK’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Hands thanked Vietnam for its stance and support over recent times and expressed his hope of receiving further assistance to step up the process.
On the expansion of the CPTPP to other economies, An said Vietnam will follow domestic procedures, including reporting to the National Assembly for approval.
Both sides agreed to hold the 12th meeting of the Vietnam - UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in August if conditions allow, assign technical teams to review the implementation of documents reached at JETCO 11, and offer specific suggestions to JETCO 12 for discussion.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK reached US$1.024 billion in the first two months of this year, a 20.05 percent increase year-on-year. The UK’s exports to Vietnam hit US$96.3 million.
There is space for Vietnam’s exports to the UK to grow, especially mobile phones, spare parts, apparel, footwear, aquatic products, wood and wooden furniture, computers and accessories, cashew nuts, coffee, and pepper.
Bilateral economic and trade ties are expected to continue being a spotlight in the relationship.