Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox (Source: VNA)
 
London (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is making an official visit to the UK on October 9-10 at the invitation of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic relations.  

Deputy PM and FM Minh had a meeting on October 9 with Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, during which the two sides acknowledged the good growth of trade-investment ties between the two countries in recent years.

Two-way trade reached 6 billion USD in 2017, up 11 percent from 2016, while total UK investment in Vietnam climbed to 3.71 billion USD, putting the UK at the 15th place among 129 countries and territories investing in the country.

Deputy PM Minh said he believed Brexit would not create negative impacts on the trade-investment tires between Vietnam and the UK. He asked the UK to continue backing Vietnam in enhancing ties with the European Union and advocating the early signing of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement.

The Vietnamese Deputy PM thanked the UK government for providing development aid for Vietnam over the past more than 20 years, assisting with Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration. He asked the UK to continue helping Vietnam access capital from its Prosperity Fund to improve the business environment and cope with climate change.

The two sides welcomed the acceleration of negotiations on a bilateral free trade deal in order to further intensify trade-investment ties and cooperation in the framework of the World Trade Organisation after Brexit, thus contributing to deepening the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership.  

Secretary Fox appreciated Vietnam’s role in the Asia-Pacific, and expressed the wish to maintain and expand economic-trade relations with Vietnam. He affirmed that in its Global Britain strategy announced in 2017, the UK gives priority to enhancing economic cooperation with important partners, including Vietnam.

Earlier the same day, the Vietnamese Deputy PM and FM had a meeting with Viscount Astor, who recalled his good impression of the Vietnamese land and people during his visit to the country in 2013.

Viscount Astor presented the Vietnamese guest with a special issue on Vietnam published by the First Magazine on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic ties.

During the visit, Minh also had a working session with executives of several big British groups. He took the occasion to announce Vietnam’s resolve and efforts to build an action-oriented, innovative government of integrity.

He stressed that Vietnam is working to further improve its ranking in the e-Government index of the United Nations, maintain socio-political stability, while pushing forwards with economic restructuring, equitisation and divestment at State-owned enterprises in accordance with market rules and in an open and transparent manner, which Minh said is creating opportunities for British investors to become strategic shareholders of big companies in Vietnam.-VNA