Trade relations between the United Kingdom and Vietnam have grown significantly over the past 20 years. The two countries have strengthened their economic ties through the signing of various trade agreements and the development of bilateral trade and investment.
In 2010, the UK and Vietnam signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement, which aimed to strengthen cooperation in a range of areas including trade, investment, and education. The agreement laid the foundation for increased economic ties between the two countries.
Since the signing of the agreement, trade between the UK and Vietnam has grown rapidly. In 2020, bilateral trade between the two countries reached £6.6 billion, up from £3.6 billion in 2015. The UK is now one of Vietnam’s largest trading partners in Europe, while Vietnam is the UK’s second-largest trading partner in Southeast Asia.
The UK and Vietnam have signed a number of trade agreements aimed at further boosting trade and investment between the two countries. In 2020, the two countries signed a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, which eliminated tariffs on a wide range of goods and services. The agreement also includes provisions on intellectual property rights, labor rights, and environmental protection.
The UK and Vietnam have also worked to strengthen their investment ties. In 2020, the UK was the fourth-largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with total investment of $3.6 billion. Major UK companies such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, and BP have established a presence in Vietnam, while Vietnamese companies have invested in the UK in sectors such as real estate, agriculture, and information technology.
The two countries have also developed close educational ties. The UK is a popular destination for Vietnamese students, with around 16,000 Vietnamese students studying in the UK in 2019. The UK has also established a number of educational partnerships with Vietnam, aimed at promoting academic exchange and collaboration.
Despite the growth in trade and investment ties between the UK and Vietnam, there have been some challenges. One key issue has been the impact of Brexit on trade relations. Vietnam has expressed concern that the UK’s exit from the EU could lead to trade disruptions and increased costs for Vietnamese exporters. However, the signing of the bilateral Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Vietnam has helped to mitigate some of these concerns.
Another challenge has been the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade and investment ties. The pandemic has led to disruptions in global supply chains and reduced demand for goods and services, which has had a negative impact on trade between the UK and Vietnam. However, the two countries have continued to work closely to address the challenges posed by the pandemic and to strengthen their economic ties.
Overall, trade relations between the UK and Vietnam have grown significantly over the past 20 years. The two countries have signed a range of trade agreements and worked to strengthen their economic ties in areas such as investment and education. While there have been some challenges, the outlook for continued growth in trade and investment between the UK and Vietnam remains positive.