Two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK recorded a slight increase of 2 million USD to 2.09 billion USD (1.22 billion GBP) in the first five months of 2014.

According to the Vietnam Commercial Office at the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK, the growth was attributable to a considerable rise in May following four consecutive months of decrease.

Vietnam’s exports to the UK in the period earned 1.58 billion USD, with major earners being mobile phones (almost 40 percent of total export value), garment and textile products (12.5 percent), footwear (12.11 percent) and wood products and furniture (9 percent).

Meanwhile, turbines and machinery accounted for 24.2 percent of Vietnam’s imports from the UK, followed by pharmaceuticals (11.13 percent), spare parts of mobile phone and audio-video equipment (8.76 percent) and precision, medical and measuring equipment (5.85 percent).

Nguyen Thi Hong Thuy, Commercial Counsellor at the embassy, said the UK Government has spent 8 billion GBP (13.6 billion USD) on trade and investment promotion with the focus on boosting export and investment to promising markets, including Vietnam.

A series of promotion activities such as seminars and fairs have been organised in both Vietnam and the UK, offering chances for the two countries’ businesses to meet and seek partners.

She said, however, that a gap in development levels and business culture is a major obstacle to bilateral trade.-VNA