Garment-textile, footwear sectors pin high hope on UKVFTA hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), expected to come into force in the beginning of 2021, is promising several export opportunities to the European market for Vietnamese garment-textile and footwear enterprises.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the proportion of Vietnamese goods currently accounts for just 1 percent of the UK's annual import turnover of nearly 700 billion USD. With the UKVFTA, Vietnamese enterprises will gain more advantages to bring goods to the market, especially when the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is no longer applicable to the UK after the Brexit.

The EVFTA is expected to fuel the growth of Vietnam’s textile and garment industries by 6 and 14 percent by 2030, with similar benefits seen in the UKVFTA.

Vu Duc Giang, Chairman of the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS), said that, along with other agreements such as the EVFTA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the UKVFTA will create a firmer foundation for the garment-textile sector.

The industry will be enabled to diversify its raw material supplies via importing from Japan and the Republic of Korea for export to the UK and the EU with preferential tax rates, he elaborated, adding that it is a strength that many ASEAN member countries do not have.

Predicting rising apparel demand in these markets in 2021 and 2022, Giang recommended Vietnamese firms pay attention to product origin and technical, labour and environmental standards.

Nguyen Khanh Ngoc, deputy head of the European - American Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, analysed that the UKVFTA will help Vietnam gain better competitiveness compared to competitors from China, India, and ASEAN.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss signed the agreed minutes on the conclusion of negotiations over the UKVFTA on December 11. Ninety-nine percent of tariffs on goods traded between Vietnam and the UK will be cut at the end of the tariff elimination roadmap, meaning Vietnam will save about 114 million pounds on exports to the UK, while the figure for the UK will be 36 million pounds./.