45th anniversary of Vietnam-UK ties observed in Hanoi hinh anh 1Chairman of the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association Hoang Van Dung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A celebration marking the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations was held by the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association in Hanoi on December 7.

Chairman of the Association Hoang Van Dung said that since both sides set up diplomatic relations on September 11, 1973, bilateral ties have been continuously consolidated and developed, particularly after they elevated relations to a strategic partnership in 2010 with seven fields of cooperation in politics-foreign affairs, regional and global issues, trade-investment, sustainable socio-economic cooperation development, education-training, security-defence, and people-to-people exchange.

Regarding politics, the two countries have enhanced their exchange of high-level delegations, which has helped bolster relations in various sectors.

In economic and investment collaboration, the UK is currently the third largest EU trade partner of Vietnam, ranking 11th among the countries and territories investing in the Southeast Asian nation with 267 valid projects valued at 3.71 billion USD, he noted. Despite global economic fluctuation, two-way trade rocketed to 6.1 billion USD in 2017, he stressed, with Vietnam’s exports at 5.4 billion USD, up 10 percent from 2016 and tripling the amount recorded in 2010.

Touching on education, Dung underlined that there are some 12,000 Vietnamese students pursuing studies in the European country. After their training and graduating in the world’s top education environment, he expects that they will make significant contributions to socio-economic development in the homeland.

Laying stress on the robust people-to-people exchanges over the years, he said that British people now have a deeper insight into Vietnamese people, landscape and culture thanks to the rise of culture and tourism popularisation activities. This is a favourable condition for both peoples to branch out their bilateral ties.

With regards to the Vietnam-UK Friendship Association, Dung said that the association, established in 1998, has made concerted efforts to bridge sound traditional relations through a wide range of activities, like organising meetings to mark public holidays of the two countries, as well as conferences and talks on education cooperation, and calling for support for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, among others.

The association will do its utmost to further bilateral ties, he affirmed, hoping to receive more assistance from the UK Embassy in Vietnam, the British Council and UK friends in the coming time.

UK Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward expressed his delight in attending the celebration. Mentioning several activities in Vietnam marking the 45th anniversary of the diplomatic relations – like the UK Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ship HMS Albion visit, the UK’s Inspire Me Festival 2018, and the visit made by the UK’s Duke of York Prince Andrew – he highlighted that they have played an important role in raising Vietnam-UK ties.–VNA