Politburo member and Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan (R) receives British Ambassador Giles Lever on September 19 (Photo: hcmcpv.org.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Politburo member and Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception on September 19 for UK Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever, who noted British firms’ intention to expand operations in the city.

Nhan appreciated the ambassador’s contributions to UK-Vietnam ties, including relations between the UK and HCM City.

The UK is one of the biggest investment and trade partners of the southern city of Vietnam, he noted, explaining that bilateral trade exceeded 800 million USD in 2016. The country also ranks 12th among foreign investors in HCM City.

He expressed his hope Lever would continue to promote HCM City-UK cooperation programmes, including a public-private partnership to build an on-demand examination and treatment section at Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital.

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The official also called for British investment in fields HCM City is focusing on such as education, trade, the city’s financial centre construction, and smart city development.

For his part, Ambassador Lever voiced delight at the growth in cooperation between the UK and Vietnam.

Highlighting HCM City and Vietnam’s attractiveness to British investors, he said the British Business Group Vietnam is developing and wants to expand in the city, particularly in infrastructure development, banking and services.

He noted his country’s readiness to support HCM City in developing a smart city and pushing ahead with cooperation projects. The UK also attaches importance to bilateral cooperation in education-training, investment and trade.-VNA