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Vietnam-UK friendship year 2023 announced

Vietnam-UK friendship year 2023 announced
A ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the UK on February 22 to announce the Vietnam-UK Friendship Year 2023: the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties.

The event saw the participation of more than 150 guests, including parliamentarians, government officials and representatives from departments, localities, organisations and businesses of the UK, and Vietnamese agencies, organisations, associations and enterprises in the host country.  

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, who co-chaired the function together with Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long, stressed that the bilateral relationship is growing fruitfully, and an array of celebration activities will be held by the two embassies in London and Hanoi this year.

Reviewing developments of the relations over the past 50 years, she said the UK has become a strategic partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the support from Vietnam.

Vietnam is working hard to become one of the 30 biggest economies in the world, she said, noting that the UK would like to accompany the country on the journey, and stands ready and wishes to be Vietnam’s important partner in green transition.

The UK also expects to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this year, thus contributing to enhancing its relations with Vietnam, Trevelyan continued.

The official expressed her belief in the tightened relationship between British and Vietnamese peoples.

In a pre-recorded speech, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son emphasised that the bilateral ties have been consolidated and enhanced across spheres, from politics to economy, national defence and security and education, and expanded to science-technology, digital transformation, climate change response, energy transition, green growth and epidemic prevention and control.

Vietnam attaches importance to its relations with the UK, an important partner in Europe, and stays resolved to work together with country in enhancing the bilateral strategic partnership and coping with global challenges, for peace, cooperation and development.

For his part, Long briefed the participants on the celebration of the 50th anniversary with more than 50 events in trade, investment, education-training, culture and tourism in London and more than 10 localities across the UK.

Graham Stuart, Minister of State in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, pointed to the substantial potential for the two countries to cooperate in renewable energy, especially wind power.

Mark Garnier, Prime Minister's Trade Envoy for Vietnam, said big strides have been made in trade and investment ties between the two countries over the past time, and there is ample room for the collaboration.

As of November 2022, the UK was one of the 15 biggest foreign investors in Vietnam with 500 projects worth 4.19 billion USD, up 5.3% year-on-year.

The two-way trade reached 6.83 billion USD last year, a rise of 3.4% from 2021, with Vietnam’s exports to the UK valued at 6.06 billion USD, up 5.2% year-on-year./.