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UKABC Export Southeast Asia Digital Series on Vietnam’s Economic Future: Opportunities for British Business



Vietnam’s Vice Minister of Industry and Trade will join senior UK government and business figures in a discussion on Vietnam’s Economic Future. It will also be an opportunity to hear an update on Vietnam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN 2020. The conversation will include the changing bilateral trade relationship as the UK looks to transition the EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to a UK-Vietnam FTA by the end of the year. In addition, we will hear the outcomes of the recent visit to Vietnam by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and DIT Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands.

Vietnam’s economy has been the shining star in Southeast Asia as the region grapples with the challenges of the coronavirus. If the global economy picks up, Vietnam will grow at around 2.8% in the second half of 2020 and 6.8% in 2021, a poor showing in normal times but in the current environment, Vietnam stands out as the place to invest in and to do business with.

The World Bank, in its report ‘What will be the new normal for Vietnam: the economic impact of COVID-19’, notes that Vietnam can no longer rely on its traditional growth drivers – international demand and private consumption. Vietnam’s responsive fiscal measures have buoyed the economy while the changing geopolitical landscape in the region has increased demand for supply chains to grow in Vietnam. Stefanie Stallmeister, World Bank Acting Country Director for Vietnam notes “by being ahead of the curve of the COVID-19 crisis, Vietnam has the unique opportunity to increase its footprint on the global economy and become a leader in tomorrow’s digital world.”

KPMG’s 2020 CEO Outlook shows significant changes in risks and priorities. Talent has now become of the biggest risks faced by CEOs of some of the world’s largest organisations and a third are less confident about global growth for the next three years. Vietnam’s young population and the increasingly connected economy will need to factor in the changing global landscape and digital world in order to remain competitive.

The EVFTA came into force on 01 August 2020. The far-reaching agreement eliminated almost 99% of customs duties between the EU and Vietnam over a phased period of seven years. The EVFTA is forecasted to boost Vietnam’s GDP by 4.6% and its exports to the EU by 42.7% by 2025. UK companies will benefit from the agreement until the transition period to exit the EU ends on 31 December 2020.

Areas of discussion

  • In a new normal world, what are the drivers of growth for Vietnam’s economy?
  • What are the opportunities and challenges for British business?
  • Vietnam is Chair of ASEAN 2020, what are some of the key highlights for the year?
  • The EU–Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), what will be the impact for British business?


08.58 Access to webinar opens

This dialogue will provide policy designers with practical observations, ideas and proposals to enhance UK-Vietnam’s partnership in trade and investment.

Welcome by
Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Chair – UKABC
Tran Ngoc An, Vietnam Ambassador to the UK

Keynote address by Hoang Quoc Vuong, Vice Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam

Followed by conversation and Q&A with:
Hoang Quoc Vuong, Vice Minister – Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam
Gareth Ward, British Ambassador to Vietnam
Luong Hoang Thai, Director General – Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam
Warrick Cleine, Chairman & CEO – KPMG Vietnam
Chaired by Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Chair – UKABC

10.30 Discussion ends

Further Reading

Foreign Secretary visits South Korea and Vietnam pledging to work together in virus fight. Gov.UK

Vietnam and UK foreign ministers to meet for trade deal. Nikkei Asia Review

Vietnam must boost new drivers of growth to avoid the COVID-19 economic trap. World Bank

Vietnam Will Need New Drivers of Growth to Consolidate Post-COVID-19 Recovery: Report. World Bank

Taking Stock: What will be the New Normal for Vietnam? – The Economic Impact of COVID-19. World Bank

KPMG 2020 CEO Outlook: Talent and corporate responsibility top the list of CEO concerns in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. KPMG

Vietnam’s Job Market. Michael Page


Read More

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