|The UK Ambassador to Việt Nam, Gareth Ward. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam and the UK have substantial cooperation opportunities in the fulfilment of green growth targets, British Ambassador Gareth Ward has said.
In a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the diplomat said Việt Nam was facing a slew of challenges like increased salinity levels and extreme weather events, and the “very dynamic economy” needed the energy to continue its economic development.
“So against that background, it’s a big challenge to get the climate policy right,” he said.
The ambassador said he was very impressed by the commitments set out by Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK, last November.
In his remarks, PM Chính said as a developing nation, Việt Nam had embarked on industrialisation for the past three decades.
With advantages in renewable energy, Việt Nam will build and roll out measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions by its resources, together with international cooperation and support, especially from developed countries, in terms of both finance and technological transfer, the PM said, stressing the need to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
“So there's a lot of work that we can do together. And the international community has also increased its commitment to provide finance to developing countries, such as Việt Nam,” Ward said.
Specifically, the UK has announced new funding for the ASEAN Green Climate Fund, which will provide good investment opportunities in the renewable energy sphere.
“We want to work with Việt Nam and other big donors and institutions like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and other partners to ensure climate finance is flowing to Việt Nam, particularly to the grid,” he stressed.
The ambassador added that there are lots of private sector companies that wanted to invest in solar power and wind power, helping Việt Nam to green its economy.
Regarding the Việt Nam-UK strategic partnership in 2021, Ward said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, relations had made a lot of progress in politics, security and economy.
He highlighted the exchange of delegations in the year, notably the trip to the UK by Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính from October 31 to November 2, and the official visit to Việt Nam by British Secretary of State for Defence Robert Ben Lobban Wallace in July.
As members of the UN Security Council, Việt Nam and the UK had exchanged ideas on a lot of global security issues, according to the ambassador.
The highlight of last year was the signing and implementation of the UK-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, which officially took effect on May 1 and is creating opportunities for businesses of both sides.
“So this is an excellent time for Vietnamese businesses to be exporting to the UK and British businesses to be exporting to Việt Nam,” he said, noting that the UK hoped to share its experience with Việt Nam in high tech, e-commerce and financial technology.
For the COVID-19 fight, the ambassador said Việt Nam had done "very well” in speeding up its vaccination programme, which had saved many lives.
“The number one achievement is having a high vaccination rate,” he said. “Your vaccination rate is the same as or perhaps even higher than the UK. So that's an excellent achievement.”
In addition, Việt Nam has also modified procedures of tracking and tracing to make sure that it can be balanced against living with COVID-19.
He suggested that the country focus on supporting the economic recovery and getting children back to school in 2022.
With 2 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the UK via the COVAX Facility that has arrived in Việt Nam earlier this week, so far, the UK has donated over 2.7 million vaccine doses to Việt Nam and more will come, helping the country speed up its large-scale vaccine rollout and accelerate economic reopening.
The UK has also presented equipment to Vietnamese hospitals, particularly electronic monitors and electronic dosage pumps, which give a good standard of treatment to the small number of people who get very ill with the disease.
The UK will continue to support Việt Nam in pandemic combat, and coordination in science and technology, especially in tracking new variants, the ambassador pledged. — VNS