Press Release: UK deepens relationship with Vietnam through conclusion of bilateral FTA

Press Release_FTA
Hanoi, 11 December 2020 – Today, UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Vietnam Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh concluded the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The bilateral deal locks in the benefits of the UK’s existing trading relationship with Vietnam through the EU-Vietnam FTA. 99% of tariffs between the two countries will be eliminated by the time of full implementation. This will be a further boost to UK-Vietnam bilateral trade, which has tripled between 2010 and 2019 to £5.7 billion.
The conclusion of the trade deal takes place at a time when the UK and Vietnam have just celebrated 10 years of our Strategic Partnership Agreement. We have now refreshed that agreement, providing a framework for a strong bilateral relationship in the coming decade.
The UK has been supporting Vietnam to foster sustainable economic growth, enhance digital transformation and address development challenges through technical assistance as well as collaboration in science and innovation.
UK International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said:
“The UK and Vietnam share a strategic commitment to global trade and the free flow of capital of and investments. I’m delighted to finalise with Minister Tran Tuan Anh this bilateral Free Trade Agreement, which will provide vital continuity for our fast growing and dynamic trading relationship.
“Our deal with Vietnam is an important step towards the UK’s accession to Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which we aim to formally apply for in early 2021. Accession will strengthen our relationship with Vietnam and enable us to form closer ties with 11 dynamic economies in the Indo-Pacific region, bringing more opportunities for the UK, its economy and people.”
As part of concluding the FTA in Hanoi, UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and her counterpart Minister Tran Tuan Anh issued a joint statement on the FTA, underlining businesses’ continued benefits from reduced tariffs on imports and exports, from increased access to services and from the protection of key British and Vietnamese products. By the time of full implementation, Vietnam stands to benefit from tariff savings of £114 million on Vietnamese exports. For UK exports, this figure will be £36 million.

During her visit in Hanoi on Friday, Secretary Truss also met and thanked Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc for his support for the UK-Vietnam FTA. She thanked Vietnam, a founding member of CPTPP, for the public support shown for UK’s accession to the group and welcomed continued sharing of Vietnam’s experience. Secretary Liz Truss also highlighted the UK’s new Nationally Determined Contribution to tackle climate change ahead of the UK-hosted climate summit COP26 next year. Secretary Truss encouraged more countries, including Vietnam, to join the UK in setting more ambitious climate targets.
The Secretary of State echoed these messages with the Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Vu Hong Thanh, and offered UK support to Vietnam’s transition to renewables.
Before coming to Vietnam, Secretary Liz Truss visited Singapore to sign a similar continuity
trade agreement on Thursday, 10 December.
UK International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said about the deals:
‘“Both these agreements are vital for the UK’s future as an independent trading nation. Not only do they lock in billions of pounds worth of trade, they also pave the way for new trade agreements, and us joining CPTPP, which will play to the UK’s strengths and define our role in the world for decades to come.”
Notes to Editor:
• UK- Vietnam FTA:
o The UK-Vietnam trade deal will come into effect on 1 January 2021.
o 99% of tariffs will be eliminated by the time of full implementation, including machinery and mechanical appliances, the UK’s top export to Vietnam, and pharmaceutical products, our second largest export.
o Businesses, supply chains and consumers will benefit from staged tariff reductions on imports to the UK, for products such as clothing, fabric and footwear.
o Businesses will maintain access to Vietnam’s services sectors, including architectural services; on e-commerce the agreement prohibits customs duties on electronic transmissions; and on financial services, UK investors will continue to be able to supply advisory and auxiliary services.
• UK’s Trade deals: In under two years we have agreed trade deals with 57 countries that account for £193bn of UK bilateral trade. This is unprecedented. No other country has ever negotiated so many trade deals simultaneously. The Government’s ambition is to secure free trade agreements with countries that cover 80% of UK trade within three years.
• Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP): The agreement with Vietnam marks another step towards the UK joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership CPTPP which accounts for 13% of global GDP, in 2019, rising to 16% if the UK were to join.