The administration of Ho Chi Minh City and the British Business Group Vietnam (BBGV) held a conference on October 14 to seek ways for removing difficulties facing British investors.
Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the municipal Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, speaks at the conference on October 14 (Photo: VNA)
Pham Thiet Hoa, Director of the municipal Investment and Trade Promotion Centre, said the UK is an important partner in multiple spheres of Vietnam, including HCM City.
In 2018, trade between the two countries hit 6.74 billion USD (up 9.5 percent year on year), turning the UK the third biggest EU trade partner of Vietnam.
In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade reached 4.53 billion USD, including 3.08 billion USD of exports and 557 million USD of imports by Vietnam, up 1.7 percent and 4.84 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, by the end of August, the UK had invested in 366 projects worth 3.64 billion USD in Vietnam, ranking 15th among the 132 countries and territories directly investing here. In HCM City alone, there are 153 valid investment projects of the UK at present, with a combined capital of over 600 million USD.
Hoa said the British business community in Vietnam has been growing in both the size and quality of their projects, showing the huge potential for investment partnership between the UK and HCM City.
Local authorities wish to listen to British firms’ opinions to help the city devise suitable solutions and policies to facilitate operations of foreign investors, including those from the UK, he added.
Neill James, Deputy Consul General of the UK in HCM City, said Vietnam is assessed as one of the most dynamic economies in Asia, and it has attracted great attention from foreign businesses and investors. British businesses also consider the country an important market and potential investment destination.
Therefore, the BBGV has organised many activities to introduce Vietnam to the business community in the UK to foster bilateral trade and investment, he noted.
At the conference, local officials informed British companies of the projects HCM City wants to attract investment to, mainly in urban landscape improvement, water supply and drainage, and transport infrastructure. They also fielded the firms’ questions about difficulties and obstacles relevant to labour contract and social insurance procedures, along with tax and customs regulations.
According to Kenneth Atkinson, a BBGV leader, British businesses are investing in various fields in HCM City, including education, finance – banking, hotel, real estate and service business.
The BBGV hopes the city will continue creating favourable conditions for their investment and business activities through more information exchange and difficulty removal so that British enterprises can further contribute to the development of the city as well as the Vietnam – UK cooperation, he added./.