Deepening strategic partnership between Vietnam and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Wednesday, 2015-07-29 12:41:32
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NDO - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland David Cameron began his two-day official visit to Vietnam on July 29 at the invitation of his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Tan Dung.

The visit is an important political event, marking a new milestone in bilateral relations and contributing to deepening the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK. The people of Vietnam are pleased to see achievements made by the United Kingdom in all fields over recent years. The UK is currently the seventh largest economy in the world with a per capita GDP in 2014 of approximately US$42,000. The UK government continues to implement its foreign policy globally, boosting relations with ASEAN, paying attention to developing relations with Vietnam and attaching importance to Vietnam's position in the region.

Vietnam is pleased to see that the bilateral relations between the two countries, since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, have so far made strides in a deeper and more practical manner, especially after the two countries established their strategic partnership. Vietnam and the UK have frequently exchanged high-level delegations which has strongly contributed to developing the strategic partnership between the two countries, with the most recent visit to the UK made by General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in January, 2013 and the Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh in April, 2014, as well as the Vietnam visit by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in October 2014. In 2010, the two countries signed a joint declaration on establishing a strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK, focusing on seven key areas of co-operation: politics and diplomacy; global and regional issues; trade and, investment; sustainable economic and social co-operation; education and training; security and defence; and people-to-people exchanges. Both sides have worked closely and effectively at regional and international forums.

Economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries have also seen new developments. The UK is currently Vietnam’s top trade partner within the EU, with bilateral trade in 2014 reaching almost US$4.5 billion. The UK often supports Vietnam in trade disputes between Vietnam and the EU, and is at present encouraging the EU to recognise Vietnam as a market economy. The UK’s FDI into Vietnam reached almost US$3.2 billion with 206 projects, ranking 16 among 103 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnam’s investment in the UK is low, with 11 projects and total capital of US$11 million. The UK started its ODA provision to Vietnam in 1994, and their Development Partnership Agreement 2006-2015 with Vietnam has enabled the UK to become the first bilateral partner providing long term ODA to Vietnam, with 250 million pounds in 2006-2010 and 70 million pounds in the 2011-2015 period.

Over the years, Vietnam and the UK have been actively co-operating in education and training, with about 11,000 Vietnamese students studying in the UK, and various co-operation programmes between universities of the UK and Vietnam. Bilateral co-operation in culture, tourism, science and technology have also seen positive outcomes. The Vietnamese community in the UK, with more than 40,000 people, has been further integrating into the host country and has become a bridge linking Vietnam with the UK.

The official visit to Vietnam by British Prime Minister David Cameron aims to affirm the determination of the two countries’ leaders to deepen their strategic partnership, and to promote co-operation potential, especially in investment, science, technology, finance, banking, education, training, and defence.