Uk Vietnam Agreement
This is the latest step in the UK`s strategy to create a network of trade agreements with dynamic economies far beyond Europe and to make the UK a hub for services and digital commerce. The UK is already one of the world`s largest exporters of services, with exports of remote services worth $207 billion in 2019. The International Minister of Trade will now travel to Vietnam to conclude a separate trade agreement that will also maintain a significant trade relationship that tripled in nominal terms between 2010 and 2019 to reach $5.7 billion. 99% of tariffs will be eliminated after seven years, including on machinery and pharmaceuticals, our best exports to Vietnam. The agreement is based on the terms of the FREE Trade Agreement BETWEEN the EU and Vietnam (EVFTA). Trade in clothing, footwear, seafood and pharmaceuticals, as well as financial services and e-commerce, continues. As the UK`s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, the Singapore Continuity Agreement will provide a gateway to Asia for British businesses and reap the benefits of our existing $17.6 billion trading relationship last year. The agreement is also an important step towards the UK`s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). As a founding member of the group, Vietnam welcomed the UK`s interest in joining the CPTPP agreement and publicly expressed its support for the UK`s future membership of the CPTPP. Membership of the CPTPP is a priority for the UK government, which intends to do so in early 2021. The CPTPP is one of the largest free trade agreements in the world and accounts for 13% of global GDP in 2019. This would increase to 16% of global GDP if the UK joined.
The United Kingdom and Vietnam look forward to working closely together on this issue. The European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is such an EU trade agreement. The EVFTA was signed by Vietnam and the EU on 30 June 2019 in Hanoi and is expected to enter into force in early 2020, after ratification. Subsequently, traders in Vietnam and the European Union will benefit from lower tariffs, preferential market access for service providers and other advantageous trade arrangements. Apart from the three possibilities mentioned above, trade between Vietnam and the United Kingdom would take place under the WTO Most Favored Nation (MFN) terms, which are standard trade rules for two WTO members that do not have a preferential agreement. At present, trade between the EU and Vietnam is under the terms of the MFN until AEFTA comes into force. The UK and Singapore share strong ambitions in digital commerce. This year, Singapore concluded two state-of-the-art digital trade agreements, one with New Zealand and Chile (DEPA) and the other with Australia (DEA). The DEA goes beyond any comparable bilateral digital chapter and is entering new paths in areas such as creating a secure online environment and cooperation in competition policy.
The agreement is also accompanied by a number of soft points on issues of the digital economy, such as data innovation, AI, trade facilitation and digital identity. Given the rapid nature of the technology, these extra softs provide a flexible and adaptive framework. These two agreements are essential for the future of the United Kingdom as an independent trading nation. Not only do they include billions of euros of trade, but they also pave the way for new digital partnerships and membership of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.