In 2017, the UK was the 4th largest EU exporter of goods to Vietnam with the total value of £579 million and accounting for 6.6% of Vietnam’s imports from the EU and 0.35% of Vietnam’s global imports. Top export goods included machinery and other equipment (30%), pharmaceuticals and chemicals (18%), chemicals (7%), automobile (4%) and aqua products.
In particular, UK export of goods to Vietnam increased by 20% compared to 2016, driven by significant increase in pharmaceuticals and chemicals as well as pulp and waste paper exports. There was a slowdown in “food and live animals” category exports, possibly resulting from cereals, meat and fish export, according to HM Revenue & customs’ data.
On the other hand, the UK was the EU’s 3rd largest export market for Vietnam (after Germany and The Netherlands), accounting for 14% of Vietnam’s total exports to the EU and 2.53% of Vietnam’s global exports. According to the Customs Department of Vietnam, top products exported from Vietnam included mobile phones and devices (37%), textile (13%), footwear (13%), computers and electronic devices (5%), timber and wooden products (5%).
Besides export-import activities, there has been a significant shift of outsourcing demand from China and other countries to Vietnam. Manufacturing outsourcing could benefit companies from saving labor recruitment, labor training, land costs and time to focus on their main businesses. Additional economical gains from operational outsourcing are maintenance and process- specific outsourcing such as payrolls, accounting offered by local or multinational service providers. Especially in the BPO industry, organizations could expect to leverage Vietnamese companies’ capabilities and connect more clients with BPO providers. According to the 2017 Global Services Location Index, Vietnam moved into the top 10, reflecting the country’s growing popularity for BPO centers. Benefits offered by Vietnam include lower labor costs compared to China, English proficiency among graduates and labour’s high commitment.