08/03/2016 14:29 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vietnam, UK hold fifth strategic dialogue

London, March 8 (VNA) – Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and Minister of State at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire co-chaired the fifth Vietnam-UK Strategic Dialogue in London on March 7.

They focused discussions on issues related to the two countries’ foreign policies and the bilateral cooperation, while proposing measures to deepen the strategic partnership in the priority fields like politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, education and training, security and defence.

Regional and international issues of mutual concern were also put on table.

During the event, the two sides agreed that the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership maintains positive development, which was reflected in the success of Prime Minister David Cameron’s official visit to Vietnam on July 29-30, 2015.

Considering Vietnam is implementing its policy of proactively and positively integrating into the international community and the UK plans to expand cooperation with Vietnam and Southeast Asia, the two sides agreed to continue delegation exchanges, intensify consultation at multi-lateral forums and international organisations, such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the EU-ASEAN cooperation, especially in international law, sustainable development and climate change adaptation.

Deputy Minister Bui Thanh Son confirmed that Vietnam welcomes the UK’s policy of strengthening its voice and presence in Asia-Pacific, which contributes to ensuring peace, cooperation and development in the region.

In terms of economic ties, both sides took note of the impressive growth in bilateral trade and investment relations in the past time.

Two-way trade hit 5.4 billion USD in 2015, up 25 percent from the previous year. The UK’s investments in Vietnam totalled 4.7 billion USD, ranking second among EU countries pouring capital into the Southeast Asian nation.

The two sides agreed to continue to boost economic, trade and investment ties between the two countries and create favourable conditions for their enterprises to approach each other’s business and investment market, while reaffirming commitment to strongly supporting and speeding up the signing and ratification of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement.

Vietnam welcomes the UK’s implementation of its new Commonwealth Fund to assist efforts to improve the business environment and climate change response for its partner countries in the period after 2016, Son affirmed.

The two sides stressed the importance of education and training collaboration and agreed to strengthen the ties through the effective implementation of the first phase of the Vietnam-UK University project in central Da Nang city, the establishment of an English language examination centre, and the signing of a cooperation agreement on vocational training.

They acknowledged the work of UK educational service providers in Vietnam including the British Council, and were unanimous about the need for a suitable legal framework for those organisations.

The two sides welcomed positive development in the two countries’ defence collaboration, particularly the establishment of Vietnam’s Defence Attaché Office in London last November. They reached a consensus on efficiently carrying out the bilateral MoU on defence cooperation and boosting coordination in training, defence industry, peacekeeping missions, maritime security, humanitarian aid and settlement of war bomb and mine consequences.

The two countries also welcomed the close coordination in information sharing and technical assistance in fighting organised crime, and pledged to tighten cooperation in dealing with hi-tech crime, terrorism, cyber security, migration, money laundering, and human trafficking.

Both sides also compared notes on recent developments in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, as well as the East Sea situation.

They shared the viewpoint that maintaining peace, stability, and navigation freedom and safety is in the common interests of the international community. They stressed the importance of settling the East Sea issue by peaceful means on the basis of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and efforts to early reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Swire reaffirmed the UK’s stance in line with the Vietnam-EU joint statement and the ASEAN-EU joint statement on the East Sea issue.
VNA/VNP