|The country's garment sector puts high hopes on free trade agreements. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government has issued a resolution approving the UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and will complete procedures this month to officially bring it into force on May 1, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đặng Hoàng An has said.
During phone talks with Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands earlier this week, An said the UKVFTA temporarily took effect from January 1 to ensure undisrupted trade between Việt Nam and the UK.
Hands expressed his thanks to the Vietnamese Government and especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade for their close coordination in signing and handling procedures to put the deal into force at the earliest possible time.
An was also delighted at the ratification of the UKVFTA by the two nations.
Regarding the UK’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Hands thanked Việt Nam for its stance and support over recent times and expressed his hope of receiving further assistance to step up the process.
On the expansion of the CPTPP to other economies, An said Việt Nam will follow domestic procedures, including reporting to the National Assembly for approval.
Both sides agreed to hold the 12th meeting of the Việt Nam - UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in August if conditions allow, assign technical teams to review the implementation of documents reached at JETCO 11, and offer specific suggestions to JETCO 12 for discussion.
According to the General Department of Việt Nam Customs, two-way trade between Việt Nam and the UK reached US$1.024 billion in the first two months of this year, a 20.05 per cent increase year-on-year. The UK’s exports to Việt Nam hit $96.3 million.
There is space for Việt Nam’s exports to the UK to grow, especially mobile phones, spare parts, apparel, footwear, aquatic products, wood and wooden furniture, computers and accessories, cashew nuts, coffee, and pepper.
Bilateral economic and trade ties are expected to continue being a highlight in the relationship. — VNS