HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's foreign ministry and the UK Embassy successfully held the 'Meet the UK 2019' event in Hà Nội on Thursday.
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 partnerships, thus contributing to deepening the Việt Nam – UK strategic partnership in the future.
Deputy foreign minister Bùi Thanh Sơn (sitting) tries a car driving model at the Meet the UK 2019 event in Hà Nội on Thursday. — Photo courtesy of the UK Embassy in Việt Nam
Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn said the Việt Nam – 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.
Sơn highlighted that economic and development co-operation is the pillar of the Việt Nam-UK strategic partnership. The UK is now the second largest European investor in Việt Nam, with total registered capital of US$3.6 billion as of October 2019, and the third largest European trade partner of Việt Nam with two-way trade reaching $5.5 billion in the first 10 months of this 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 Vietnamese government is striving to improve the business climate, attract European and UK firms to do effective and long-term business in Việt Nam.”
Education is another important aspect in the two countries' bilateral strategic partnership. Sơn noted that over 12,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the UK, under 36 joint education programmes between the two countries. The number of UK tourist arrivals to the Southeast Asian country has increased over the years, reaching nearly 300,000 last year and 262,000 in the first 10 months of this year.
UK Ambassador to Việt Nam Gareth Ward said the two countries will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 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 various fields.
“We are engaging with the Vietnamese government through our Prosperity Fund programmes on digital health, smart cities, green finance, and clean energy,” he said.
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 series of events to connect Việt Nam with important partners around the world. — VNS