A workshop on promotion of trade and investment in Vietnam was held in the UK port city of Liverpool on Sept. 20.

Representatives from Vietnam’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Industry and Trade and Planning and Investment talked about the economic situation, investment opportunities and environment in the country, which offers a stable society and political environment, with 50 percent of its population in working ages.

Participants also heard reports from British firms which have been doing well in Vietnam, including Prudential, HSBC, Standard Chartered and Clarks.

According to statistics, half of Clarks’ footwear consumed in the UK was produced in Vietnam.

In addition, Vietnam’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines plans to open a direct air route from Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City to London from Dec. 9 this year. The route is expected to facilitate the development of trade, investment, tourism, education and training between Vietnam and the UK.

At the workshop, Peter Thompson, trade advisor of the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) for northwest region, said that Vietnam is a potential and rapid developing market.

He noted that after the two countries signed a declaration on strategic partnership in 2010, bilateral trade turnover increased markedly and the UK has become Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in the EU.

Vietnam exports mainly footwear, garment and textile, wood products, agro-fisheries products to the UK and imports machinery, medical and pharmaceutical products from the country.

In the first seven months of the year, Vietnam earned 1.3 billion USD from exports to the UK and spent 315 million USD on imports of goods from the latter./.