The European Union has agreed a free trade agreement with Vietnam, eliminating 99 per cent of all tariffs, potentially bringing in £20m to UK businesses each year.
Establishing ties with South-East Asia
‘‘Today’s free trade agreement with Vietnam, the most ambitious and comprehensive the EU has ever concluded with a developing country, is great news for British businesses enabling access to a fast-growing market of 90 million people’’, said business minister Sajid Javid.
The minister added that the agreement will boost ‘‘export opportunities for our world-class food and drink, pharmaceutical and aeronautical sectors to benefit our long-term economic security.’’
“Help build prosperity and stability”
This announcement follows a visit made to the country by prime minister David Cameron back in July, as he looks to gain more than £750m in business deals in South-East Asia. Cameron also visited Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore during his trip, as he hopes to build trade links with nations outside of the European Union.
‘‘Over the next 20 years, 90 per cent of global growth is expected to come from outside Europe, and Britain must be poised to take advantage,’’ said Cameron back in July.
‘‘That’s why I’m delighted to be taking British businesses to this vast and dynamic market, securing deals worth over £750m and creating opportunities for hard-working people back at home.’’
Britain’s SMEs have also been trying to make inroads with the lucrative Asian market, with a UKTI trade mission recently travelling to China in an attempt to forge business links between British and Chinese businesses.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said that the new agreement reflected ‘‘our changing relationship with Vietnam’’ and that the UK’s involvement in foreign nations ‘‘can help build prosperity and stability.’’