Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (L) and the Duke of York Prince Andrew (Photo: baochinhphu.vn)

London (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has paid an official visit to the UK from April 24-26, during which he discussed a wide range of issues on bilateral cooperation with UK officials and business leaders.

During the visit, the Deputy PM had meetings with the Duke of York Prince Andrew, Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Alok Sharma, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke.

He also hosted receptions for top executives of leading British firms in the fields of finance, education and real estate, and the UK-Vietnam Network.

During the meetings, Deputy PM Dung affirmed that Vietnam treasures the strategic partnership with the UK, with stress on cooperation on trade-investment, culture-education, and security-national defence.

He proposed that the royal family and Government of the UK increase the exchange of delegations, particularly those at high level, with Vietnam. He said the two sides should effectively make use of the mechanism of diplomatic-political strategic dialogue. He also asked the UK to support Vietnam’s candidate for the position of Director General of the UNESCO in 2020-2021 tenure.

In the economic-trade-investment fields, Deputy PM Dung laid emphasis on the importance of economic cooperation as one of the pillars of the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership. He underlined that the Vietnamese Government is committed to continuing to create favourable conditions for foreign businesses, including those from the UK, to make investment, transfer technology and engage in long-term business in Vietnam, especially in fields of the UK strength such as finance-banking, insurance, energy, oil and gas, hi-technology and the environment.

He suggested that the UK Government encourage and support UK businesses to do business with Vietnam by such means as providing preferential loans or sending trade-investment promotion delegations to Vietnam. He also asked for the UK’s help for Vietnam in improving business environment, responding to climate change and developing infrastructure.

Deputy PM Dung noted that the two countries have achieved positive outcomes in financial cooperation but they remained modest compared to potential. He proposed that the UK share experience and help Vietnam in improving the national financial governance and developing the financial market and services. He also called for strengthening the affiliation between the customs agencies of both countries in fighting tobacco smuggling and violations of intellectual property.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM also asked the UK to help Vietnam with training high-quality workforce, provide more scholarships for Vietnamese students, and assist the Southeast Asian country in participating in the United Nations peacekeeping activities.

The Duke of York and other UK officials appreciated the dynamic and effective development of bilateral ties, and reiterated that the UK Government continues to give priority to promoting the UK-Vietnam strategic partnership across the fields.

The UK officials agreed to continue deploying the mechanism of diplomatic-political strategic dialogue while maintaining effective cooperation in multilateral mechanisms. Regarding the East Sea situation, they affirmed that the UK Government advocates the respect for international law, maintenance of navigation and overflight security, and self restraint to prevent tension from escalating and to ensure the interests of concerned parties.

The UK side spoke highly of improvements in Vietnam’s business-investment environment, expressing their belief that after elections, the new UK Government will continue to pay attention to promoting economic-trade-investment ties with Vietnam.

The Duke of York said he would assist Vietnam in building models for business connectivity and startup, thus helping Vietnamese small- and medium-sized enterprises develop and reap success on the global scale.

UK business leaders said they believe Vietnam will continue to be an attractive destination for UK investors, and expressed their intention to invest in Vietnam in such fields as financial services, green finance, information technology, construction and real estate.

The UK side affirmed the willingness to push forward collaboration and experience sharing regarding financial infrastructure management, green finance, prevention and fight of smuggling and violations of cross-border customs rules, and Public-Private Partnership.

The Duke of York and other UK officials also promised to work on Deputy PM Dung’s proposals, including stepping up cultural and tourism promotion activities at a time when the two countries will mark 45 years of their diplomatic ties in 2018.

The Vietnam-UK Network executive committee told Deputy PM Dung that the organisation will continue to work to connect businesses, hold exchanges and popularise Vietnam’s image, thus helping promote cooperation between the countries across the fields of economics, trade, investment, culture and education.

Besides the meetings, Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung attended the Duke of York’s Pitch@Palace event, visited the Vietnamese Embassy in London and paid floral tribute to the late President Ho Chi Minh at the New Zealand House at No 80, Haymarket, where the late President worked in 1913.-VNA