On the side-lines of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits, on November 12, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and the UK’s Minister of State for Trade Policy Greg Hands held a virtual signing ceremony of the letter of intent to officially recognise their collaboration in developing an NTR for Vietnam, which will be linked to the ASEAN Trade Repository.
This is a UK Government funded project for Vietnam as part of the £150-million Global Trade Programme under the Prosperity Fund.
Once completed, the NTR is expected to facilitate free trade and open markets by providing easier access to regulations and trade facilitation information, enabling greater investment and interaction with global value chains in creating jobs and prosperity, and helping reduce poverty and promote gender equality.
In addition, the project will support the creation of legal and governance structures as well as an operating model for inter-agency work between relevant agencies within Vietnam. It will also provide comprehensive training for government officials and companies to make the most of the NTR.
At the event, British Ambassador Gareth Ward highlighted that this year, both sides celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership Agreement, reflecting a mutual wish for a deep, broad and meaningful relationship. The diplomat expressed his delight with the progress that has been made by the two countries over the last decade, including tripling bilateral trade and increasing the number of UK tourists visiting Vietnam.
Provisional components of the NTR are expected to include the following topics in order to be in line with the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA): Tariff nomenclature; Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariffs, preferential tariffs offered under the ATIGA and other Agreements of ASEAN with its Dialogue Partners; Rules of origin; Non-tariff measures; National trade and customs laws and rules; Procedures and documentary requirements; Administrative rulings; Best practices in trade facilitation; and List of authorised traders.
Under the support programme, the UK will provide expertise and technology to support the Vietnamese Ministry of Trade and Industry to develop the NTR and deliver relevant training and awareness raising activities from November 2020 to March 2022.
The Global Trade Programme is an international development programme within the UK’s Prosperity Fund. With total funding of £150-million, the programme is being implemented across 10 middle income countries, including Vietnam, in order to facilitate the free trade market and reduce non-tariff barriers, contributing to the prosperity of the partner countries.