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Opening opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises in UK market

10:14 | 22/12/2021

VCN - At the seminar "Vietnam - UK trade prospects: Opportunities and challenges in the post-Brexit and post Covid-19 pandemic context", representatives of ministries and businesses discussed policies and opportunities for cooperation in the UK market as well as sharing practical experiences for successful cooperation.

Great potential

Speaking at the seminar, Mr. Ta Hoang Linh, Director of the European - American Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), said that, along with the development of Vietnam and the efforts of the business communities of the two countries, the economic - trade relationship between Vietnam and the UK had witnessed growth in recent years.

According to statistics, two-way trade turnover in the first 10 months of 2021 reached US$5.4 billion, an increase of 15.8% over the same period last year, despite difficulties in global trade disruption caused by the pandemic. In particular, exports reached US$4.7 billion, up 14.5%; imports reached more than US$700 million, up 25.69%.

In terms of trade relations, the UK is currently an important trading partner and the 9th largest export market among countries in the world, ranking 4th in the Europe - America market. Meanwhile, Vietnam was also the UK's leading trading partner in ASEAN, ranking 26th in terms of export partners in the world.

“The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland (UKVFTA) which took effect with preferential tariffs had promoted bilateral trade exchanges between the two countries, recording many positive developments,” said Mr. Linh.

Opening opportunities for Vietnamese enterprises in UK market
Delegates discussed at the seminar "Vietnam - UK trade prospects: Opportunities and challenges in the post-Brexit and post Covid-19 pandemic context".

Talking about opportunities for Vietnamese businesses, Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong, Vietnam Trade Counselor in the UK, assessed that the UK was a potential market and has a lot of room to promote bilateral cooperation in many areas.

The spectacular growth in the first 10 months of 2021 proved that opportunities were always open for Vietnamese businesses with a ready attitude and comprehensive preparation to meet the market demands and requirements of the partners.

From the perspective of an airline, Mr. Hoang Ngoc Thach, Senior Director of Commercial Bamboo Airways, said: “In essence, aviation - tourism and economic exchange go hand in hand. Therefore, businesses needed to accompany in the journey to approach and serve potential markets, creating a foundation to promote trade, import and export of goods as well as expanding the potential of Vietnam's tourism to the world.”

Bamboo Airways' companionship was concretized in two areas: providing passenger transport services with five-star service quality and international freight services. For passenger transportation services, Bamboo Airways had determined the Go Global strategy since the early days of its establishment on the basis of assessing the potential for economic exchange through aviation - tourism activities, focusing on key international markets such as the US, Europe, Australia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia. For the UK market, the airline had announced a regular direct route between Vietnam and the UK from November and is expected to operate with an initial frequency of six round trips/week as soon as conditions permit.

As for freight services, in 2022, the airline's plan was to transport 4,000 tons, meeting the needs of goods exchange and trade of businesses of the two countries, thereby contributing to promoting the increase of growth of bilateral economic exchange activities by three or five times in the future.

Cross the barrier

With the characteristic of being "the home of standards", one obstacle for foreign businesses wanting to access the UK market was the need to meet a strict system of regulations and standards.

Regarding the post-Brexit period, the British Government is implementing a more open trade policy, faster liberalization, encouraging support for British businesses to develop exports and cooperation with dynamic economic regions, including Vietnam.

However, this requires Vietnamese enterprises to comply with and meet regulations on product quality certification, goods control procedures, tax declaration and payment, etc., according to UK regulations instead of EU regulations as before.

With more than 10 years of experience in approaching and supplying products to the UK market, Ms. Hoang Huong Giang, CEO of Garment 10 Corporation, pointed out two key points when entering the UK market as well as international markets that was the best product quality and service for customers. Mrs. Giang said that not only the garment industry, but other industries also needed to know how to seize opportunities and prepare carefully before dealing with partners.

Sharing the same opinion, Mr. Nguyen Huu Hung Cuong, Director of External Relations of FPT Corporation, said that the UK was the largest information technology market in Europe, with great potential but also extremely strict and conservative rules. Therefore, in order to penetrate this market, Vietnamese businesses needed to understand the market well, understand the consumers as well as understand the culture of the country.

With changes in the business environment, Vietnamese enterprises needed to take measures to actively monitor market fluctuations, capture information on trade agreements, and develop methodical production and business plans to ensure capacity and maintain market share, creating a strong basis for development in the period of economic recovery.

More than ever, businesses needed to have high readiness in terms of modern technology, apply digital transformation to understand customer needs, thereby establishing a data system and platform to connect buyers and sellers, businesses as well as create rapid trade flows.

The participation of big banks such as HSBC or Standard Chartered in providing financial solutions, assisting in consulting mergers and acquisitions, deploying blockchain as a database to check the transparency of the parties' participation... was highly appreciated in minimizing risks throughout the process of payment for export goods and conducting international transactions.

By Hoài Anh/Thanh Thuy