The UK is the leading economic partner of Vietnam in the European Union (EU). Economic and trade links between the two nations have grown steadily over recent years with two-way trade volume reaching US$3.48 billion in 2014.
With 217 investment projects in Vietnam totally capitalized at US$ 4.43 billion, the UK ranks 15th out of 105 countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation.
The British Government has efficiently provided ODA for Vietnam over the past years, Hai told his guest while hoping that Tony Blair would continue to assist Vietnam to access British preferential loans through multilateral channels and international development aid funds, especially in the fields of climate change adaption, green growth, and education and training.
Regarding cooperation between the Office of Tony Blair Asscociates (TBA) and Vietnam, Deputy PM Hai welcomed the TBA Office and the Vietnam Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) for having signed a cooperation agreement for the next period with a focus on three major areas: foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction, State-owned enterprises (SoEs) reform, and public private partnership (PPP).
Hai also highlighted the outcome of the previous working visits to Vietnam by former British PM Tony Blair as positive impacts accelerating the implementation of cooperation agreements between the MPI and the TBA, thus making practical contributions to promoting the strategic partnership between the two nations.
For his part, Tony Blair said this visit aims to further the cooperation between his office and Vietnam partners, noting that the TBA pays attention to underway SoE reform in Vietnam.
He said he hopes the Government of Vietnam would create favorable conditions for specific areas of cooperation in the time to come.
At a reception for the former British PM the same day, State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Nguyen Van Binh underlined the role of the TBA in developing the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership and praised the office for pledging to attend and deliver a speech at the seminar “Vietnam becomes a new processing and engineering hub of the world after 2015” scheduled to take place in Hanoi on October 24.
Tony Blair in turn applauded Vietnam’s positive achievements in macro-economic stability and reform, especially in the banking sector, saying he is optimistic about Vietnam’s economic prospects in light of its membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement.
The two sides underscored the need to promote economic restructuring with a focus on the finance-banking sector to push up economic development in the next five years.