Speaker: Ian Gibbons, Her Majesty’s Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Earlier this month, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox visited Vietnam, meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who stated that Vietnam’s trade, investment, and defence-security cooperation with the UK will be growing strongly following the visit. The Prime Minister also pledged that Vietnam would create optimal conditions for UK businesses and investors during their operation in Vietnam, proposing the two countries beef up their cooperation for a goal of doubling the current two-way trade of over 5.6 billion USD by 2020.

Vietnam has one of the fastest-growing, most vibrant economies in all of Asia. Over the past ten years, economic growth has been second only to China and GDP has been doubling every ten years since 1986. In the second quarter of 2010, Vietnam recorded GDP growth of 6.4%, almost back to the levels achieved before the global economic downturn. Vietnam is forecast to be one of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the next few decades.

Vietnam joined ASEAN in July 1995. It has the third-largest population in Southeast Asia, over half of which is below the age of 30. An ambitious programme of major infrastructure developments including new urban railway networks, a new international hub airport and expansion of regional airports are rapidly improving the large market for capital goods and a growing domestic market for consumer goods.

Ian was appointed Her Majesty’s Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in March 2016 and is also Director of The Department of Internatioanl Trade team across Vietnam. We are dleighted that Ian will visit us to share thoughts and discuss potential opportunities.

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