British Business Group Vietnam Opens Business Center in Ho Chi Minh City

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HCMC – On Tuesday June 10, the British Business Group Vietnam (BBGV) opened a new business center in Ho Chi Minh City. The center, which is located inside the British Consulate General at 25 Le Duan Street in District 1, is intended to boost trade and investment between the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

The launch of the new center is part of the British government’s ambitious goal to transform the U.K.’s economy by doubling its annual exports to £1 trillion (US$1.68 trillion) and increasing the number of British exporters to 100,000 by 2020.

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In 2013, two-way trade turnover between the U.K. and Vietnam totaled more than US$4.3 billion. British foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam was US$2.7 billion – the U.K. is the largest EU investor in Vietnam’s education sector and the 3rd largest EU investor (17th worldwide) in Vietnam. It is the wish of both countries to see this trade continue to grow.

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The new center was established through a partnership agreement between the British government Department, the U.K. Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the BBGV. Part of the business center’s mission is to help British small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and Vietnamese businesses to connect. The center will also provide research and advice on setting up operations, identifying potential partners and training in the local business environment.

Additionally, the center will support business-to-business matching and help Vietnamese companies willing to export or establish businesses in the U.K. by providing information on the British business environment.

The BBGV has been active in Vietnam since 1998 and currently has more than 450 members.

UK-Vietnam relationship

Vietnam and the U.K. have a long history of cooperation – 2013 saw the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries. In recent talks, the U.K. has promised to aid Vietnam in developing a financial market and to help restructure the country’s struggling financial and banking systems.

Furthermore, the U.K. has said that it would push hard for a conclusion this year for the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement and will back the EU in recognizing Vietnam as a market economy in the near future.

Over 109,000 British tourists visit Vietnam every year and around 7,000 British nationals are part-time or permanent residents. There are an estimated 80,000 Vietnamese nationals living and working in the U.K.

Vietnam has become progressively more attractive to many foreign investors. Its economy looks increasingly strong and it has a growing middle class and consumer class.

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