The UK and Vietnam Sign Free Trade Agreement
On December 11, 2020, the United Kingdom and Vietnam signed a historic free trade agreement that will remove tariffs and expand economic ties between the two countries. The agreement marks the UK’s first major trade deal after leaving the European Union and reflects Vietnam’s ongoing efforts to boost its economic presence in the global market.
The UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) is set to eliminate 99% of tariffs on goods traded between the two countries over the next several years. This will create new opportunities for businesses on both sides to expand their sales and increase their access to each other’s markets.
Under the agreement, the UK will benefit from reduced tariffs on a range of exports including machinery, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. Meanwhile, Vietnam will enjoy tariff-free access to the UK market on key exports such as seafood, rice, and textiles.
The UK and Vietnam have also agreed to protect intellectual property rights and establish a framework for resolving disputes, which will provide greater security and certainty for businesses operating in both countries.
The UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, called the agreement a “major milestone” and noted that it will “strengthen even further our trading relationship with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.” Truss also pointed out that the deal will benefit small and medium-sized enterprises in both countries, which will now have the opportunity to access new markets and grow their businesses.
For Vietnam, the UKVFTA represents a significant opportunity to boost its exports and attract foreign investment. The country has seen impressive economic growth in recent years, with a GDP growth rate of over 7% in 2019 and a rapidly expanding middle class. The UK is Vietnam’s third-largest trading partner in Europe and the sixth-largest worldwide, so the agreement has the potential to significantly increase Vietnam’s economic integration into the global market.
In conclusion, the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is a significant development for both countries and for the global economy as a whole. The agreement will create new opportunities for businesses, boost economic growth, and solidify the UK’s position in the post-Brexit world. As the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, trade agreements such as this one offer hope for a more prosperous future.