Tourism, education ties with UK eyed
HA NOI — Viet Nam is hoping to bolster trade, investment, tourism, and education and training ties with the UK.
|PM Nguyen Tan Dung meets UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan
The comments were made when Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung received UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague on separate occasions in Ha Noi yesterday.
Trong affirmed to the guest that Viet Nam had attached importance to strengthening co-operative relations with the UK's political parties, between agencies of the Communist Party of Viet Nam and the UK's Government bodies and policy research institutes.
PM Dung expressed his delight at the two countries' strategic partnership in various fields, especially in trade and investment.
The UK is Viet Nam's leading partner in the European Union(EU), with two-way trade exceeding US$3 billion in 2011 and UK investment in Viet Nam reaching around $2.5 billion.
Viet Nam was ready to co-operate with the UK in security and defence, he said.
He also affirmed that Viet Nam would effectively use development aid, especially in hunger eradication and poverty reduction.
Dung said he wanted the UK government to provide more scholarships to Vietnamese students to study in the country and open more international-standard schools in Viet Nam.
He asked Hague to work with Vietnamese ministries and agencies to promote the Viet Nam-UK strategic partnership and increase bilateral co-operation.
The UK diplomat said joint co-operation in education, development aid for hunger eradication and poverty reduction, along with anti-corruption efforts and work on helping to cope with climate change, had been promoted since the two countries elevated relations to a strategic partnership in September 2010.
Hague said his visit aimed to beef up co-operation in trade, investment, education and crime fighting.
The UK government encouraged and facilitated its businesses to invest in Viet Nam, he said.
Also yesterday, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with Hague, discussing socio-economic development and the external policies of each country as well as specific measures to promote the Viet Nam-UK strategic partnership and co-operation at international and multilateral forums.
Hague said he wished to increase the UK's presence in Asia and ASEAN in particular.
The UK also pledged to help Viet Nam promote trade ties with the EU, accelerate the early signing of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) between the EU and Viet Nam, and support the EU to promptly recognise Viet Nam as a market economy.
The two sides will strive to raise bilateral trade to $4 billion and the UK's foreign direct investment (FDI) in Viet Nam to $3 billion by 2013.
The UK confirmed its support to Viet Nam to develop the Viet Nam-UK university in the central city of Da Nang.
They also agreed to closely work to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties in 2013 to boost co-operation in culture and tourism.
The two foreign ministers also discussed international and regional issues of common concern, such as situations in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two ministers stressed the importance of ensuring international maritime security, freedom and safety in the East Sea as well as settlement of disputes through peaceful measures based on international law.
Before arriving in Viet Nam, Hague had said he was delighted to be the first British Foreign Secretary to visit the country in 17 years.
"This Government recognised from the outset that the world's economic and political centre of gravity is shifting to the countries of the South and the East, and I am determined that British engagement with the emerging powers of Southeast Asia reflects this," Hague said according to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office. "My aim is for the UK to be a leading partner in prosperity, trade and security throughout the region." — VNS