The article posted on The Diplomat

The announcement about the free trade agreement came from the visit, during which “Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed hopes that his government would conclude a free trade agreement with the U.K. soon”, the article stated.

The article quoted Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc saying: “Vietnam sees the U.K. as a major trading partner in Europe,” and “a trade deal with Britain would help both countries to boost economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 pandemic period.”

According to the article, “the announcement follows a phone conversation on July 13 with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s Vietnamese counterpart Pham Binh Minh, during which the pair agreed to push toward the signing of a trade deal.”

“Vietnam has a key role to play in regional stability in East Asia,” Raab posted on Twitter on September 30, re-emphasizing the UK’s commitment to work together, including on maritime security and multilateralism through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The Diplomat also confirmed: “Vietnam has good reasons to push for thicker economic linkages with the U.K., with which it has had a Strategic Partnership since 2010. While the country has been a global coronavirus success story, and is one of the few nations in Asia that are projected to record a positive growth rate for 2020, COVID-19 has weighed heavily on its export-driven economy. Last month, Hanoi was forced to halve this year’s growth target to 2.5 percent, down from the more than 5 percent it forecast in May. An FTA with London would provide an additional spur to recovery,” and “such an agreement would also dovetail with Hanoi’s broader attempt to diversify its trade relationships and reduce its heavy economic reliance on China, with which it has a large trade deficit. In recent years, Vietnam has signed more than a dozen free trade agreements, including one with the EU, which came into force in August.”

Vietnam is also one of the most enthusiastic participants in the 11-country CPTPP free trade pact, the successor agreement to the star-crossed Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to the article. “The U.K. Foreign Secretary also announced that the U.K. had secured Vietnam’s public support for it to join the CPTPP, previously known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. In a post on Twitter, Raab described this as ‘a significant step in taking the U.K.-Vietnam economic relationship to the next level, and demonstrating the U.K.’s commitment and value to the region,’” the article wrote./.

Compiled by BTA