Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (R) and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab at their meeting on 30 September. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc received UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and First Secretary of State Dominic Raab in Ha Noi on September 30.
PM Phúc welcomed the UK minister’s official visit at a time when Việt Nam and the UK are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their strategic partnership.
Việt Nam considers the UK a leading partner, he said, expressing his delight at the great strides made in bilateral relations.
PM Phuc spoke highly of the outcomes of the earlier talks between the UK minister and Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh, especially the issuance of the “Joint Declaration on the Việt Nam-UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 years”, which specifies the vision and cooperation orientations in certain fields.
He emphasised that the UK is a big trade partner of Việt Nam, suggesting the two countries soon finalise, sign and enforce a bilateral free trade agreement to seize opportunities for cooperation and support their post-pandemic recovery.
Việt Nam creates favourable conditions for UK investors and enterprises to enter the country to do business, capitalise on their advantages, and meet Việt Nam’s development demand, he noted.
The Government leader affirmed the readiness to continue working with the UK to step up COVID-19 prevention and control, especially medicine and vaccine development, and facilitate access to them at a suitable cost.
The PM also hailed the cooperation between the two nations at multilateral forums and proposed they maintain coordination, particularly when Việt Nam is serving as ASEAN Chair in 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021.
Raab said his visit to Việt Nam is part of the UK Government’s policy on expanding ties with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The UK treasures and wishes to further intensify cooperation with Việt Nam, he said, adding that it also hopes to coordinate closely with the Southeast Asian country in promoting connections between the UK and the region and in settling urgent global issues.
He also informed his host about the measures the countries’ officials had agreed upon to strengthen ties in economy, trade, investment, development cooperation, education-training, science-technology, clean energy, and sustainable development so that the strategic partnership will live up to its potential and both sides’ aspirations.
Raab congratulated Việt Nam on successfully curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the UK highly values its stature and role in the region and the world.
The two countries have maintained and will keep close cooperation at multilateral forums, the UN Security Council, and other international organisations, he said, voicing his hope that both sides will work together to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to be held in the UK in 2021.
The UK supports Việt Nam and ASEAN’s stance on the need to maintain peace, stability and security, resolve disputes via peaceful measures, and comply with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the official added.
On this occasion, the UK minister conveyed PM Boris Johnson’s invitation to PM Phúc to pay an official visit to the UK. The host leader also asked Raab to convey his invitation to his UK counterpart to visit Việt Nam at a suitable time.
Meeting with UK Minister of State for Trade Policy
PM Phúc on the same day received Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy in the Department for International Trade of the UK and President of Enterprize Energy Group Ian Raymond Hatton, who are on a visit to Việt Nam to promote an offshore wind power project in the central province of Bình Thuận.
During the reception, the Vietnamese government leader highly valued efforts made by Greg Hands to promote bilateral cooperation between Việt Nam and the UK, and Ian Raymond Hatton's personal experience in the field of energy development.
He applauded the group's investment project after field surveys, which is expected to protect the environment and save costs; as well as its intention to invest in developing transmission networks for the project.
The Vietnamese Government always creates favourable conditions for foreign investors to invest in the country, especially for large and environmentally-friendly projects, and those using modern and advanced technologies such as Ke Ga offshore wind power project.
However, he noted that this is the first project proposed in Việt Nam with great investment and modern technologies, so there may be problems arising during its implementation.
The investor needs to coordinate closely with relevant Vietnamese agencies to promptly remove difficulties to accelerate the project, he said.
UK Minister Greg Hands said his country has a lot of experience in developing renewable energies such as wind and solar power, and it currently has the world's largest offshore wind power capacity.
He expressed his belief that if this wind power project is successful, it will greatly contribute to Việt Nam’s development.
Meanwhile, Ian Raymond Hatton said his firm is working closely with the Bình Thuận provincial People’s Committee and Vietnamese partners to implement the project.
Once completed and operational, it will help reduce CO2 emissions, he said, suggesting the Vietnamese government make it easier for the project to be carried out smoothly.
He proposed the Vietnamese Government add this project into the Power Plan VIII, which is expected to start generating electricity by the end of 2025.
In the first phase, the firm plans to mobilise investment capital from a number of foreign partners, and it is also willing to invest in transmission lines to connect with the national power system, he said.
Regarding the Power Plan VIII, PM Phúc asked the group to report to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, and assigned the ministry to coordinate with relevant agencies for consideration.
He urged Enterprize Energy to closely work with relevant Vietnamese agencies to promptly remove all difficulties in implementing the project, stating that ministries and sectors of Việt Nam always create favourable conditions for investors.
The PM also urged the firm to cooperate with Việt Nam in the fields of oil and gas exploitation, and manufacturing wind power equipment. — VNS