LONDON — A forum to promote foreign investment into Việt Nam themed “A new era of digital transformation and green transition” took place in London on Wednesday (local time) as part of the Vietnam Days in the UK 2022.
During the event, participants were updated on Việt Nam’s economic situation as well as investment and trade opportunities brought by the United Kingdom-;Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), which officially took effect from May 2021.
They discussed the potential for investment in digital technology, fin-tech, renewable energy, and green transition in Việt Nam as well as opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to access financial sources from the UK for green development projects.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Trần Quốc Khánh said in the next 5-10 years, Việt Nam will become a country with rapid digital transformation. He affirmed that along with the boom in online payments involved by fintech firms in recent times, Việt Nam is confident about the goal of substantive digital transformation in the near future.
Highlighting the importance of digital transformation, Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office of the UK Heather Wheeler said that creating and providing effective digital service is now more important than ever in the context of the post-pandemic recovery, enhanced trade among countries and their involvement in global efforts to combat climate change.
She expressed hope that Việt Nam and the UK will strengthen digital cooperation and reap many achievements in this field.
Trương Gia Bình, Chairman of the Board of Directors of FPT Group, said Việt Nam is a potential market for digital technology development with many advantages, noting that Việt Nam ranks 10th in the world in technology training and boasts abundant human resources in terms of information and communication technology (ICT).
Bình said the ICT industry in Việt Nam grows 17 per cent per year, hitting US$125 billion by 2021. Việt Nam also ranks second in exporting mobile phones, and sixth in software services, in the world.
The Vietnamese Government also has a strong commitment to speeding up digital transformation at all levels, he went on.
Deputy Minister Khánh also emphasised the potential for investing in green and sustainable energy development in Việt Nam, especially wind and solar energy.
According to the World Bank (WB), Việt Nam boasts the highest installed capacity of solar power in Southeast Asia, generating 16,500MW at the end of 2020. It also was among the world’s top 10 for installed solar power capacity in the year.
He affirmed that the UK can become a leading investor in Việt Nam with projects in digital transformation and green and clean energy.
Ben Backwell, CEO of the Global Wind Energy Council, agreed that the potential for cooperation in wind power development between Việt Nam and the UK remains huge, especially when Việt Nam has set ambitious goals of carbon neutralisation.
The UK has strength and experience in offshore wind energy development and it can transfer technology to Việt Nam in this field, he said, adding that the two countries can cooperate in managing the power network.
According to Dominic Scriven, Chairman of Dragon Capital Investment Fund, Việt Nam is a name that is attracting the attention of foreign investors thanks to its success in the COVID-19 vaccination programme, increasing competitiveness, political stability and open investment policy.
Sharing this view, Ian Gibbons, CEO of the UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC), said that the Vietnamese Government has implemented the right foreign investment attraction policy by creating an open and transparent business and investment environment.
UK firms investing in Việt Nam have received support from the two governments to establish or expand operations in Việt Nam in all fields from education and healthcare to IT services, he said.
The bilateral trade turnover between Việt Nam and the UK hit $6.6 billion in 2021, up 17.2 per cent year-on-year and nearly double that reported in 2010. The UK’s direct investment in Việt Nam in 2021 increased by 157 per cent compared to 2020.
Dominic James, Director of Bilateral Trade Relations for Asia-Pacific of the UK Department for International Trade (DIT), said the UK considers Việt Nam an important partner in promoting trade liberalisation in the region, and DIT is working with partners in both countries to help businesses fully tap opportunities and benefits brought by the UKVFTA.
According to Dragon Capital, Việt Nam’s GDP is expected to grow by 7 per cent in 2022, and 7.5 per cent in 2025. — VNS