Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has highlighted the important role businesses play in enhancing UK-Vietnam relations.

The Duke of York expressed his praise during a working lunch held in London on September 8 by the Vietnam-UK Network on the occasion of bidding farewell to Vietnamese Ambassador Vu Quang Minh, who has concluded his term of office.

According to Prince Andrew, efforts to promote bilateral ties were not just made by the respective governments, but the business circles, too.

He spoke kindly of the land and people of Vietnam and avowed to further enhance cooperation, especially on the economy and trade, as well as the Vietnam-UK Network’s activities.

On this occasion, the Duke of York and British business leaders and friends highly valued Ambassador Minh’s contributions and initiatives over the past three years to strengthen cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

Prince Andrew expressed his hope that the diplomat continues to contribute to the countries’ bilateral relations, regardless of the location of his next posting.

Ambassador Minh thanked the Duke of York for his kind wishes and high regard for Vietnam, and gave an overview of the Vietnam-UK Network’s operations.

Vietnam has always valued its cooperation with the UK and creates favourable conditions for British firms to invest and operate in Vietnam.

The Vietnam-UK Network was launched in January 2013, with its opening ceremony attended by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. The network aims to connect organisations, individuals and businesses interested in Vietnam, thus increasing cooperation and promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.

Over the past 18 months, the network has organised a number of activities to foster bilateral ties and aid UK firms, Chairman of the network Ben Chapman said, adding that it received support from the governments and business circles of both countries.

Vice Chairman of the network Paul Smith proposed a number of activities for the future, including promoting high-level visits from the UK, and encouraging small and medium-sized UK enterprises to discover Vietnam’s business potential, a promising market with a population of over 90 million and a skilled and hard-working labour force.

The event saw the participation of representatives from UK leading firms, such as Harvey Nash, Rolls Royce, Standard Charter and Dragon Capital.-VNA