Enhancing Vietnam-UK relations in a more competitive era

The UK Council on Geostrategy (COG) released its new policy paper entitled “Enhancing British-Vietnamese relations in a more competitive era” during an event in London on October 27.
Enhancing Vietnam-UK relations in a more competitive era ảnh 1Baroness Neville-Jones (middle), Dr. Bill Hayton (L) and COG Founder and Director James Rogers (R) at the event (Photo: VNA)

London (VNA) – The Council on Geostrategy (COG) on October 27 launched a policy paper on “Enhancing British-Vietnamese relations in a more competitive era”, outlining opportunities for the countries across the range of sectors.

Held at the House of Lords in London with the Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones as the moderator, the event marked the flourishing relations between the two countries ahead of Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) from October 31 through November 12.

Based on outcomes of a research seminar held in early October and interviews with officials and experts in the UK, Vietnam and the US, the paper analyses the relations between Vietnam and the UK in the context of increased international competition and recommends how their strategic partnership can be deepened in this context.

Addressing the event, COG Co-founder and Research Director James Rogers pointed out that for the past decade, the UK has sought to enhance relations with Vietnam and the Indo-Pacific ‘tilt’ identified in the Government’s Integrated Review launched in March only reconfirmed Vietnam’s increasing importance to the UK. He added that Vietnam is likely to become more important, given that by 2026, it is projected by the IMF to become the 30th largest economy in the world, larger than many advanced European economies. 

At the event, Dr. Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow from the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, who is an author of the paper, briefed the audience on the opportunities for the two countries, which have many shared interests, to enhance their strategic partnership.

He pointed out one of the cooperation areas beneficial to the bilateral relationship is fighting COVID-19, now a priority of Vietnam, which had contained the pandemic effectively until May when the country was hard hit by the Delta variant. He said the UK can help Vietnam in supplying vaccines and giving medical advice and support.

Dr. Hayton said climate change is another area the two countries can work together, given Vietnam being one of the countries worst affected by sea level rises and extreme weather with many people living in low-lying areas. Vietnam is a sunny country with plenty of opportunities for solar energy and the UK can help Vietnam develop renewable energy as well as a national power grid, given Vietnam’s still limited capacity to transmit electricity across the country.

Dr. Hayton also pointed to other shared interests where the two countries can work on to further their relations. These include defending and reinforcing rule-based international order in the East Sea (South China Sea); observing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS; boosting the implementation of the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UVFTA); and supporting the UK to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), to name just a few.

Enhancing Vietnam-UK relations in a more competitive era ảnh 2At the event (Photo: VNA)

Attending the event, Vietnam Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long said there are a lot of opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries, stressing that the UK can increase cooperation with Vietnam in such areas as offshore wind; infrastructure, including port, airport and expressway construction; engineering; and manufacturing.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam-UK Network Paul Smith said the investment environment in Vietnam has been improved largely for the past 20 years, pointing to one of the advantages in doing business in Vietnam is that the Government is willing to talk to investors to address their concerns, no matter what the issues are./.


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