|UK Minister of State at the Department for International Trade Greg Hands (left) and Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh during Wednesday's talks in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the UK Embassy in Việt Nam|
HÀ NỘI — UK Minister of State at the Department for International Trade Greg Hands arrived in Hà Nội on Wednesday for high-level trade talks on the UK joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Minister Hands met with Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh. During the meeting, Hands expressed the UK’s desire to finalise accession at the earliest opportunity, with the next round of CPTPP negotiations upcoming.
The meeting was also an opportunity to mark 50 years of UK-Việt Nam diplomatic relations and discuss the thriving bilateral trade relationship which has increased 12.4 per cent over the last year and is valued at £5.9 billion.
As a founding CPTPP member country, Việt Nam is the first leg of the UK minister’s three-day Asia-Pacific visit, which will also include Malaysia and Singapore.
Speaking of his visit, Minister Greg Hands said: “Joining CPTPP will add even more economic firepower to this exciting and dynamic trade alliance, adding £2 trillion to CPTPP’s GDP.
“This visit will strengthen our bilateral relationships with Việt Nam, Malaysia and Singapore – fast-growing economies who, between them, do £30 billion worth of trade with the UK every year and represent huge opportunities for our life sciences and technology sectors.”
"As a major economy and strong advocate of free trade, our membership will support the trade bloc to shape the high standards of global trade – particularly in the face of increased protectionism," the UK minister noted.
The minister’s visit underlines the UK’s post-Brexit shift to boost trade with the Indo-Pacific region – predicted to account for the majority of global growth by 2050.
During his visit to Hà Nội, Minister Hands also had talks with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến, where the UK official thanked the Vietnamese side for “breaking down agricultural trade barriers for British farmers.”
Both sides celebrated the growing partnership in the agri-food trade and broad agricultural cooperation, building on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries’ agricultural ministries last year. — VNS