At a working with Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long in London on January 26, Grimstone spoke highly of Vietnam’s economic achievements and potential.

He suggested the two countries intensify mutual understanding and trust building following post-pandemic opening, contributing to enhancing their bilateral cooperation.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long (left) and U.K. Minister for Investment Lord Gerry Grimstone

The two sides reached consensus on cooperation priorities in the coming years, with a focus on such areas as green trade, finance and transformation, renewable energy, education and tourism.

For his part, Long said the Vietnam- U.K. strategic partnership is at its best ever and the U.K.-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) is opening up new opportunities and bringing pragmatic interests to businesses and people of both sides.

Two-way trade hit USD 6.6 billion last year, up more than 17 percent year-on-year, he said, adding that the U.K. is an early investor in Vietnam, mainly in oil and gas, insurance, banking and education, with total capital amounting to over USD 4 billion.

The diplomat expressed his belief that the bilateral collaboration, particularly in trade, investment and tourism, will grow further in the time ahead, and affirmed that Vietnam backs the U.K.’s joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Long used the occasion to ask the minister to help Vietnam connect with the U.K.’s agencies, organizations and enterprises from the central to grassroots levels to promote cooperation opportunities as well as strength of each side.

The ambassador said he believes that Grimstone will make more contributions to the bilateral relations, especially in the implementation of the UKVFTA and Vietnam’s fulfillment of commitments announced at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, the U.K., last November.

On January 25, Long met with U.K. Minister of State for Defense Annabel Goldie who lauded Vietnam’s contribution to U.N. peacekeeping operations and expressed her belief that the country’s peacekeeping forces will further grow in the time ahead.

Recalling her trip to Vietnam in 2019, Goldie said she hopes to come back Vietnam.

Long said Vietnam and the U.K. have optimal conditions to step up cooperation across spheres, including security-national defense – a pillar of their strategic partnership.

He suggested Goldie continue to support Vietnam in developing peacekeeping forces, and facilitate the delegation exchange between the two defense ministries to promote programs and projects on security and defense cooperation.

Goldie thanked Vietnam for supporting the U.K. to become a dialogue partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and expressed her hope for stronger ties between the U.K. and Vietnam as well as ASEAN.

She affirmed her support for Vietnam’s stance and viewpoint on the East Sea issue and stressed the spirit of respect to the rule of the law and the observance of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.

Goldie expressed her willingness to assist Vietnam in training in terms of international law and peacekeeping, and boost delegation exchange and cooperation in strategic research.

Source: VNA