|Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn (left) meets with the UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly in Paris on Wednesday on the sidelines of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo|
PARIS — Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn met with the UK’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of China’s Hong Kong Algernon Yau Ying-wah, and Foreign Minister of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis in Paris on Wednesday.
The meetings took place on the sidelines of the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting 2023.
Talking to British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Minister Sơn expressed his delight at the progress of the two countries’ relations in multiple spheres, and suggested both sides increase mutual visits at all levels.
He called on the British Government to continue financial and technological support, and assist Việt Nam with capacity building within the framework of the Just Energy Transition Partnership to help the country realise the commitments announced at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
He also asked for the UK’s coordination with and support for Việt Nam to successfully serve as co-chair of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme, with priority on promoting economic recovery, helping with economic reform, and aiding Southeast Asian countries to further approach OECD standards.
Agreeing with Minister Sơn’s suggestions, Cleverly expressed respect for Việt Nam’s growing role in the region, highly valued the country’s economic development achievements, and considered Việt Nam a potential market for British investment.
The UK wishes to further intensify bilateral cooperation, particularly in security-defence, green economy, and renewable energy, he noted.
As the two countries are marking the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, the ministers agreed on the need to devise measures for continuing to augment cooperation in all fields, thus substantively developing the strategic partnership to help both sides reach sustainable development goals and effectively cope with regional and global challenges.
Việt Nam and the UK will also strengthen ties and mutual support at international organisations and multilateral forums, including OECD, they added.
At the meeting with Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong Algernon Yau Ying-wah, Sơn highlighted the strides in economic, trade, and investment partnerships. The Chinese territory is currently the seventh biggest trading partner and the fifth largest foreign direct investor of Việt Nam, which in turn ranks seventh among all trading partners and second among the ASEAN ones of Hong Kong.
To further facilitate economic and trade links, he recommended the two sides hold more delegation exchanges between their administrations, localities, businesses, and people.
He asked Hong Kong to create more favourable conditions during the granting of visas for Vietnamese citizens and entrepreneurs, consider the pilot reception of Vietnamese workers, and encourage major firms of Hong Kong to take part in trade and investment promotion activities in Việt Nam.
Sơn also suggested Hong Kong increase importing agricultural, forestry, fishery, textile, garment, and footwear products from Việt Nam, and support Vietnamese businesses to boost trade, investment, and tourism connections with the special administration region.
Secretary Algernon Yau Ying-wah said major enterprises of Hong Kong highly value the business and investment climate in Việt Nam, and they hope to seek opportunities in the country in such new sectors as technology and innovation.
Hong Kong is ready to serve as a gateway for Vietnamese firms to operate profitably in the Guangdong - Hong Kong - Macao Greater Bay Area, he affirmed, promising to send the proposals on visa granting and conditions for Vietnamese workers to competent agencies for consideration.
At their meeting the same day, Minister Sơn and his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis applauded the development of their countries’ relations over the past years.
They agreed that Việt Nam and Lithuania will keep close coordination to step up all-level mutual visits, maintain bilateral cooperation mechanisms, including the political consultation between the two foreign ministries, and continue supporting each other at multilateral forums and international organisations. VNS