Charge d’Affaires of the British Embassy in Vietnam Lesley Craig (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The United Kingdom continues to work with Vietnam to increase trade and investment between the two countries after the British vote to leave the European Union (EU), said Lesley Craig, Charge d’Affairs of the British Embassy in Vietnam.

She made the statement during an exclusive interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency about Brexit’s impacts on economic ties between the two countries.

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: The EU referendum held in the UK on 24 June showed that the British people decided to select Brexit: Leave the EU. Global stocks markets were immediately affected following this decision. The UK’s decision to leave the EU means that Vietnam may not receive preferential treatment from the open market. The value of the Euro and the Pound is decreased compared to the US dollar. And as a result Vietnam’s goods exporting to the EU may become more expensive because of the increase of the exchange rate. What are your comments on this?

A: The UK is a strong advocate of enhanced and increased trade with Vietnam. The results of the EU referendum mean that ultimately there will be changes to the UK’s relationship with the European Union; but there will be no immediate changes to the ways we do business. The UK continues to work with Vietnam to increase trade and investment between the two countries.

Britain’s economy is one of the strongest major advanced economies in the world, and we are well placed to face the future. We have low, stable inflation. The employment rate remains the highest it has ever been. Britain is capable of thriving and prospering on the world stage. We still want the UK to be the easiest place in the world to trade with, from and to. This will be to the UK and Vietnam’s mutual benefit.

Q: Some experts said that instead of enjoying preferential policies from 28 EU member States, Vietnam now has to wait for another negotiation between Vietnam and the UK. Vietnam’s exports to the UK will face many technical barriers. What are your comments?

A: It is only a week since the Referendum. It’ll take time to work out the UK’s new relationship with the European Union. This process will help us understand what the changes mean across a spectrum of areas, including free trade agreements. But right now it is too soon to say what this will look like. In the meantime, the UK continues to be a member of the EU and to support the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. And for the time being the UK and Vietnam continue to trade in exactly the same way as we did before the referendum.

Q: What will be the impacts on investment flow from the UK to Vietnam following Brexit and what are the negative forecasts?

A: It is not possible to predict the outcome of what will be detailed discussions between the UK and the European Union or the impact of the changes, which result from these discussions.

What I do know is that Vietnam matters to the UK. We want to keep growing our bilateral relationship including through trade and investment. We want to continue strengthening the many links between our countries and our people. The bilateral trade relationship with Vietnam matters to the UK. Our plans to increase awareness that the scale and range of opportunities for to British firms in this market will not change. There is a reason why our Commercial team in Vietnam is the largest in SE Asia!

The UK will continue to be engaged in Vietnam, part of the most dynamic region in the global economy. The UK’s bilateral relationship with Vietnam continues to grow, supported by our strategic partnership. We remain committed to strengthening the UK’s relationship with Vietnam across the broad and deep spectrum of issues that bring us together, including trade and investment.-VNA