The Vietnam-UK deputy foreign minister-level political consultation took place in Hanoi on January 2.
The event was co-chaired by Vietnamese Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific of the Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom Mark Field.
The two sides exchanged and agreed on concrete orientations and measures to develop the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership in a more intensive, practical and effective manner, especially in politics-diplomacy, security-defence, trade-investment, education-training, climate change response, and tourism.
Regarding bilateral ties, Son affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to consolidating and developing its cooperation with the UK, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, who plays an important role in regional and global issues.
The two sides agreed to increase delegation exchanges and regular meetings between the countries’ high-ranking leaders, continue to effectively realise the mechanism of the strategic dialogue on diplomacy-security-defence, and enhance collaboration at multilateral forums, especially the UN.
Appreciating Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration achievements in recent years, Mark Field stressed that trade-investment cooperation continues to be one of the pillars in the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership.
At present, the UK is one of the leading trade-investment partners of Vietnam in Europe, with two-way trade hitting 6.1 billion USD in 2017, a rise of 9.5 percent against the previous year. The figure was 6.2 billion USD in the 11 months of 2018, up 10.1 percent year-on-year. Vietnam attracted 283,000 tourist arrivals from the UK in 2017 and 276,000 in last year’s 11-month period.
The two sides consented to maintain close connection to ensure the continuity of bilateral trade and investment relations after the UK leaves the European Union.
The Vietnamese side affirmed to create all favourable conditions for UK businesses to do effective business in Vietnam in areas of the UK’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as energy, health and environment.
The two sides agreed to step up educational collaboration through strengthening exchanges and connection between universities and research institutes of the two countries in the time ahead. At present, 12,000 Vietnamese are pursuing their study in the UK.
The UK official applauded recent positive developments in the cooperation between the two countries’ defence ministries, confirming that the UK will continue coordinating with the Vietnamese side in effectively implementing bilateral defence cooperation mechanisms on the basis of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two defence ministries.
He noted that his country will continue to support Vietnam in participating in the UN peacekeeping activities.
Regarding security cooperation, the two sides pledged to continue close coordination in the fight against corruption, organised crime, human trafficking and wildlife smuggling.
Within the framework of the political consultation, Bui Thanh Son and Mark Field also exchanged their views on regional and international issues of shared concern. They agreed on the importance of improving the efficiency of global administration, regional connectivity and international law.
On the East Sea issue, the two sides affirmed that disputes must be solved by peaceful means in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and stressed the increasingly important role of ASEAN in maintaining regional peace and stability.