- The UKVFTA, which became effective on January 1, will create opportunities for Vietnam’s agricultural and fishery exports to the UK
- The deal will keep bilateral trading activities uninterrupted as the UK wrapped up its Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020
- From January 1, 2021, the FTA will slash tariffs on over 70% of Vietnamese exports and 65% of British exports, many of which will be subject to zero-percent duties
Vietnam is looking to boost its exports of key agricultural and fishery products to the United Kingdom with the recent signing of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
The UKVFTA, which became effective on January 1, 2021 following the signing of the deal on December 29, 2020, will create further opportunities for Vietnam’s exports as the UK completes its exit process from the European Union.
Notably, the UKVFTA will keep bilateral trading activities uninterrupted as the UK concluded the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, after which the UK will no longer be a member of the EU market and the EU Customs Union, or benefit from preferential treatments under the EU-Vietnam FTA that took effect on August 1, 2020.
The UKVFTA will help the UK and Vietnam increase exports to each other’s markets considerably as right from January 1, 2021, it will slash tariffs on over 70% of Vietnamese exports and 65% of British exports, many of which will be subject to zero-percent duties. After six years, more than 99% of their commodities will benefit from a zero-percent tariff.
Vietnam’s Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the UKVFTA is expected to promote Vietnam’s agricultural exports of seafood, rice, vegetables and fruits, and wood products to the UK.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, chairman and CEO of fruit exporter Vina T&T Group, said the UK is a big market for vegetables and fruits in Europe, noting that the continent has diverse import demands.
He said Vietnam’s vegetables and fruits could be exported to the UK in particular and the EU in general if they win orders and meet the countries’ requirements on food safety and plant quarantine.
The UK also has a huge demand for wood and wood products, which creates opportunities for Vietnamese exporters of these goods.
General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors Truong Dinh Hoe said the UK is also a potential market for Vietnam’s aquatic products.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the export value of Vietnamese aquatic products to the UK hit nearly US$258 million as of late September 2020, up 23% year-on-year, according to local media reports.
The pandemic is changing the UK’s consumer and import trends, with cheap products easy to consume and cook at home being a top choice. Therefore, frozen tra fish of Vietnam has a huge advantage and has become a key export of the Vietnamese agricultural sector.
Photo by Ekrem Canli