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Secretary Of State To Boost Trade With Asia.

John Hutton

3 June 2008

Business Secretary John Hutton has become the first British secretary of state for trade to visit Vietnam on the first leg of a visit to the Far East. Mr Hutton landed in Hanoi yesterday and will this evening fly on to China.

Mr Hutton will hold talks with the Vietnamese Prime Minister as well as meeting British and Vietnamese companies as he seeks to boost business between the UK and Vietnam.

Vietnam recently achieved accession to the World Trade Organisation and the government has implemented market liberalisation programmes to increase foreign investment.

Earlier this year the Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dung, visited the UK and signed or progressed investment deals with British companies estimated at more than $6.5billion.

Mr Hutton said: ?Vietnam and China are growing markets for British companies and my visit is proof that the British government is committed to doing all it can to help companies make the most of global opportunities.

During the visit Mr Hutton will be making a speech to the British Business Group in Hanoi and also meeting Vietnamese companies to hear about their experiences with British firms before flying on to Hong Kong.

Mr Hutton will also visit Hong Kong and Shenzhen in China where he will meet Chinese companies as well as visit a local school to see how British technology is being used to make classrooms more exciting.

Ends.

Press contact: James Clements, UKTI Press Office on 020 7215 2491.

Vietnam: Facts and Figures

1. Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in January 2007.
2. UK's 85th largest export market worldwide
3. UK exports in 2007 up 39.7% on 2006.
4. Current GDP growth 8.17%
5. Inflation at 6.6%.
6. Growth in major cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is approximately 20% GDP.
7. GDP  US$53b 
8. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2007 $3.9 billion

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