HÀ NỘI — Deputy Foreign Minister Phạm Quang Hiệu and the UK’s Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East Amanda Milling co-chaired the eighth Việt Nam-UK strategic dialogue in Hà Nội on Monday.
Both sides discussed cooperation and specific measures to develop the Việt Nam-UK strategic partnership in a substantive and effective manner, especially in politics-diplomacy, trade-investment, climate change response and sustainable development, education-training, science-technology, security-defence, and people-to-people exchange.
They affirmed that the Việt Nam-UK strategic partnership was growing in line with the spirit of the two countries’ Joint Declaration on strategic partnership released in September 2020.
As COVID-19 has been being put under control in both countries, the two sides agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at levels and resume cooperation mechanisms such as policy dialogue at deputy defence ministerial level and the Việt Nam-UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) in an early date. They will work closely together to organise activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Việt Nam-UK diplomatic relations in 2023, including trade, investment and tourism promotion activities, and cultural and people-to-people exchange events.
Hiệu underlined Việt Nam’s determination to realise its commitments given at the COP26, saying that the country was preparing to carry out many solutions to curb greenhouse gas emissions using national resources and the support from the international community. He asked for the UK’s assistance in accessing financial resources to help Việt Nam realise the commitments.
Milling affirmed that the UK stands ready to accompany Việt Nam in implementing the commitments with support for the country in emission mitigation and energy transformation.
Both sides shared their delight at economic achievements brought about by the UK-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) that has taken effect for over one year, with two-way trade reaching US$6.6 billion.
With 452 FDI projects worth over $4 billion, the UK is the 15th largest out of 140 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam. Both countries pledged to continue to work closely to make full use of opportunities generated by the UKVFTA, thus making a breakthrough in trade and investment partnership and expanding cooperation in digital economy, energy transformation, green finance, infrastructure development, and finance-banking.
The Vietnamese deputy FM thanked the UK Government for providing COVID-19 vaccines and medical supplies for Việt Nam. Hiệu suggested that the UK continue helping Việt Nam in developing the pharmaceutical industry and transferring COVID-19 vaccine production technology, while increasing training cooperation programmes, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese students in the UK and implementing science research projects within the Newton Việt Nam Programme funded by the British Government.
Regarding defence cooperation, the two sides welcomed positive developments in bilateral collaboration in recent times, which were marked by the Việt Nam visit by British Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace in July 2021 and the effective implementation of the Việt Nam-UK defence policy dialogue mechanism. They agreed to continue to increase defence delegation exchanges and enhance capacity for Vietnamese officers joining UN peacekeeping operations.
In the field of security, the two countries concurred to continue to coordinate closely in the areas of migration, entry-exit, mutual judicial assistance, extradition, organised and high-tech crime prevention, human trafficking combat as well as cooperation in personnel training and capacity improvement.
Affirming that the UK considers Việt Nam an important partner in the region in the context where the European country is adjusting its policy towards stronger partnership with the Indo-Pacific region, Milling thanked Việt Nam for supporting the UK to become a full dialogue partner of ASEAN as well as during negotiations for the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The two countries agreed to continue collaborating closely at multilateral forums and regional cooperation mechanisms.
Both sides also discussed a number of international and regional issues of shared concern, underlining the significance of ensuring aviation and maritime freedom, security and peace in the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea). — VNS