HCM CITY — Persuading UK businesses to consider Viet Nam a promising market will be one of the strategic objectives of the new British envoy in HCM City in the coming years.
Speaking at a press conference in HCM City on Wednesday, US Consul general Douglas Barnes said: "Viet Nam is thought as a difficult market for business by UK firms. What I need to do is to present them a more positive picture of business opportunities and to encourage and support them to come to do business."
Road shows and meetings would be held to promote the Vietnamese market and apprise investors about opportunities.
Barnes unveiled two other objectives — achieving a significant increase in bilateral trade and investment and fulfilling some key commitments made under the Strategic Partnership signed by the two countries in 2010 to take their relations to a new level. He also mentioned a wider agenda, which included ensuring smooth visa operations and strengthening cultural co-operation.
The UK wanted to become Viet Nam's No 1 education partner, and support the country in areas like poverty reduction, media, and governance. "We will engage not only with local officials in HCM City but also in Ha Noi and many ministries. Viet Nam and the UK have set ambitious targets of doubling bilateral trade to US$4 billion and UK investment in Viet Nam to $3 billion by 2013 under the Strategic Partnership.
Last year, British exports to Viet Nam grew to 295 million pounds ($460.2 million) and Vietnamese exports jumped 36 per cent to reach $2.4 billion. The British have invested around $2.58 billion in the country so far. —VNS