UK Foreign Secretary visits Vietnam for the second time in nine months

UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab is visiting Hanoi on June 22 to forge closer bilateral ties between the UK and Vietnam.
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Uk Foreign Secretary visits Vietnam for the second time in nine months
Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab. Source: baoquocte.vn

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, the UK Foreign Secretary is paying an official visit to Vietnam from June 21-22 and attend 5th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), reported TGVN.

In the meeting with Son, two side discussed the implementation of the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership Agreement, in addition to global challenges.

Raab affirmed his desire to strengthen the strategic partnership and closely coordinate with Vietnam in the context that the UK is adjusting its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region.

The two sides expressed their delight at the positive changes of bilateral cooperation, especially from 2020, when the two countries issued the "Joint Statement on the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership: Development Orientation in the Next 10 Years" and signed and put into practice the UK-​Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

The two ministers agreed to soon resume the delegations exchanges and key cooperation mechanisms such as the security-defense strategic dialogue, the Vietnam – UK Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO).

The two sides highly appreciated the flourishing economic cooperation despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Two-way trade turnover in 2020 reached US$ 5.6 billion and UK direct investment in Vietnam has so far reached US$ 3.92 billion.

The two ministers emphasized that it is necessary to take advantage of great opportunities from the UKVFTA to create stronger changes in trade exchange and investment cooperation, especially in potential fields such as digital economy and financial services, renewable energy, contributing to economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 period.

The two sides also discussed directions to promote cooperation in the fields of security - defense, health, development cooperation, education - training, science and technology, as well as cooperation between the two foreign ministries.

Minister Son suggested the UK continue to support Vietnam in accessing supplies as well as consider transferring technology to produce Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam.

Uk Foreign Secretary visits Vietnam for the second time in nine months
At the meeting. Source: baoquocte.vn

The two ministers highly appreciated Vietnam-UK cooperation in multilateral forums, especially the coordination between the two sides at the United Nations Security Council during Vietnam's tenure as a non-permanent member (2020-2021) and within the framework of the ASEM.

The Vietnamese minister affirmed that he would work closely to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the UK in November 2021.

Minister Raab thanked Vietnam for supporting the UK in its efforts towards ASEAN's Dialogue Partnership, as well as in its negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (​CPTPP).

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern, jointly emphasizing the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation, overflight, security and peace in the Bien Dong Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), and upholding international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

On the same day, the UK Foreign Secretary met President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Presidential Palace, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Public Security To Lam.

While in Hanoi, the Foreign Secretary delivered opening remarks at the 5th ASEM on the UK’s ambitions for its ’Indo-Pacific tilt‘ to an audience of more than fifty countries, according to press release of UK embassy in Hanoi.

The UK Foreign Secretary also announced UK funding to support a network of and mediators across the region through the ASEAN Women’s Peace Registry. The financial contribution will also help ASEAN develop its Regional Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and support ASEAN member states, including Vietnam, to develop and implement their own Nation Action Plans.

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