In full effect, the trade pact will slash 94 percent of the 547 tariff lines the UK imposed on Vietnamese farm produce. As a result, import tariffs for most shrimp and some wooden products from Vietnam will be 0% within the next five years. The UK is currently among Vietnam’s top five export markets of aquatic goods and top three of wooden products.
At a recent workshop on tapping the UK market and the UKVFTA, British Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City Oliver Todd lauded Vietnam’s position as a trade partner in the Southeast Asian region.
The diplomat expressed his belief that the country can replace others like India and Indonesia to become a new agro-fishery-forestry supplier of the UK.
However, the European market has strict requirements that Vietnamese exporters have to make significant efforts to meet. Meanwhile, the UK is about to sign FTAs with 19 nations and join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), meaning Vietnam’s advantages will be narrowed.
Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnamese Trade Consular in the UK, said the market faces supply shortage but requires imports to have high quality and low cost, which is a barrier for Vietnamese firms.
The Vietnamese Trade Office in the UK has launched a series of activities to promote the export of Vietnamese products to and expand their market share in the UK.
Cuong said similar works are planned for the time to come, particularly in aid of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery sector.