Vietnam has paid a great deal of attention to improving the environment for its sustainable development and investment, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh has declared.

The Deputy PM, who underscored the importance of tracking the successes and challenges encountered by foreign enterprises, was speaking at a business forum in London on April 14, as part of his ongoing visit to the UK.

Deputy PM Ninh noted that many British firms have enjoyed effective operation in Vietnam, such as Prudential, NashTech Harvey Nash and Standard & Chartered Bank.

The enterprises have helped Vietnam in upgrading its infrastructure system and developing highly qualified human resources, he said.

Ninh argued that the fact that some countries, including the UK, have yet to recognise the market economy of Vietnam has posed many difficulties for the country during its development process.

He called on the UK business community to contribute their voices to convince the country’s government to acknowledge Vietnam ’s market economy regulations at an early date.

He also expressed his belief that a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU will be reached this year.

Earlier, Ninh attended a meeting with the Vietnam-UK Network which was established during the UK visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in January last year.

One of the key functions of the network is to help strengthen the economic-trade-investment cooperation between the two countries.

At the meeting, both Deputy PM Ninh and Paul Smith, Vice President of the network, agreed that small and medium-sized UK firms – which make up 80 percent of the nation’s GDP – can excel in Vietnam.

Ninh also met with representatives from some UK companies before paying tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at the New Zealand House in London, where there is a plaque dedicated to him.

The house was built in the foundation of the Carlton Hotel, where the late President worked in from 1913-17 while staying in London.

On April 15, the Deputy PM is scheduled to meet the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and visit the headquarters of the Standard & Chartered Bank.

In 2013, two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK hit over 4 billion USD.-VNA