|Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son speaks at the event
The event aimed to create a venue for Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities to connect with UK businesses and organisations to discuss policies and demand for cooperation, as well as to propose solutions to promote result-oriented partnership, thus contributing to deepening the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership in the near future.
Speaking at the event, Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership has been growing strongly across politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, sustainable socio-economic development, education, national defence-security, and people-to-people exchange. Last year, the two countries celebrated the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Son highlighted that economic and development cooperation is the pillar of the Vietnam-UK strategic partner. The UK is now the second largest European investor in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 3.6 billion USD as of October 2019, and the third largest European trade partner of Vietnam with two-way trade reaching 5.5 billion USD in 10 months of this year, up 3.5 percent year-on-year.
Both sides are engaging in informal discussion on negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement after the UK leaves the European Union, he said.
The Deputy FM added that Vietnam highly values the UK’s support for the country to access assistance development funds for middle-income countries such as Prosperity Fund and Newton Fund.
The Vietnamese government is striving to improve business climate, attract European and UK firms to do effective and long-term business in Vietnam, he said.
Education is another important aspect in the bilateral strategic partnership. Son noted that over 12,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the UK or under 36 joint education programmes between the two countries. The number of UK tourist arrivals in Vietnam has increased over years, reaching nearly 300,000 last year and 262,000 in 10 months of this year.
Localities of both countries are actively seeking investment and tourism ties, with many promotion events held to link Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Dak Lak, Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Phu Tho, Quang Ngai, Bac Ninh, Son La with UK localities such as London, Scotland, Aberdeen and the northwest region.
UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said Vietnam and the UK will celebrate the 10th anniversary of bilateral strategic partnership, which will be an important milestone in bilateral ties.
He shared the UK’s priorities in the economic field amid the fourth industrial revolution, which he said offer opportunities for the two countries to work together in clean energy development, health care and transportation.
Over 700 delegates heard discussions on boosting bilateral ties across technology, innovation, education, environment and tourism.
Localities also took the occasion to introduce themselves to UK partners via meetings with the ambassador and leaders of UK organisations and businesses, and stalls showcasing various documents and products.
“Meet the UK” is part of the Foreign Ministry’s regular events to connect localities with important partners around the world.