Deputy Prime Minister attends Vietnam – UK business forum
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has said that Viet Nam was committed to supporting trade liberalization and open co-operation with all partners, including the UK. Addressing a Viet Nam – UK business forum in London on Tuesday that drew hundreds of businesses, the official said that since Viet Nam and the UK set up their strategic partnership in 2010, bilateral trade had risen to USD 6.1 billion per year.
In the first six months of 2018, two-way trade hit USD 3.12 billion, up 14.2% year on year, he noted.
Viet Nam had 344 UK-invested projects with total investment of USD 3.48 billion in various fields such as finance – banking, production, services, garments and textiles, mining, oil and gas and real estate, making it the 15th biggest out of the 129 foreign countries and territories investing in Viet Nam.
At the same time, Vietnamese firms had 13 projects worth USD 12.47 million in the UK, focusing on tourism, restaurants, sports and fine art.
With more than 12,000 students studying in the UK, the Vietnamese community had increased to 100,000, helping foster connectivity between the two nations.
Viet Nam considered the UK an important partner, and the bolstering of economic, trade and investment collaboration with the UK was the major motivation for their bilateral strategic partnership, stated Minh.
At the forum, he also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation between the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the UK – ASEAN Business Council.
The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Viet Nam Ed Vazey said that his country supported the free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the EU, and added that the Brexit issue would not affect the UK’s investment and business activities in Viet Nam.
Discussing the future of the Vietnamese economy, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong highlighted the economic achievements Viet Nam had made in recent years, along with the country’s potential and strengths and its commitments to creating a favorable environment for foreign investors.
UK Minister of State for trade and export promotion at the UK Department for International Trade Baroness Rona Alison Fairhead said that Viet Nam had become a promising land for UK businesses. She advised UK firms to make full use of their strengths in finance – banking, insurance and oil and gas, and focus on co-operation opportunities in renewable energy, infrastructure, IT and education.
The same day, Deputy PM Minh had a meeting with Minister of the UK Cabinet Office David Liddington during which the two sides expressed their delight at the growth of their strategic partnership, while seeking measures to continue boosting ties in the future when the UK leaves the EU.
Liddington said that the UK Government was keen to continue fostering its multifaceted partnership with the Government of Viet Nam, including strengthening governance capacity and high quality human resources training.
Deputy PM Minh asked the UK Government to encourage local firms to invest more in Viet Nam and strengthen co-operation in promising areas such as education, science-technology and tourism, while supporting Viet Nam’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020 – 2021 tenure.
Regarding international issues, the two sides pledged to continue collaborating closely at international forums, including the UN, while supporting peace, stability and maritime and overflight security, safety and freedom, as well as the peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
Deputy PM Minh asked Liddington to convey Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to PM Theresa May to visit Viet Nam.