The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on September 10 held a ceremony to mark the 40 th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic ties (Sept. 11, 1973 – Sept. 11, 2013).

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the committee Le Hoang Quan hailed the strong development of the Vietnam-UK strategic partnership in many fields from politics-diplomacy, regional and global issues, security-defence to trade-investment, socio-economics, education-training, and people-to-people diplomacy.

The friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Ho Chi Minh City and the European country have also enjoyed rapid and positive development, especially in trade, investment, education, culture, tourism and health care, Chairman Quan said.

The UK is one of the biggest European Union trade partners and investors in the city, with bilateral trade turnover topping 607 million USD in 2012. The city now counts 95 valid projects of UK investors worth a total of 682 million USD.

Ho Chi Minh City is also studying from UK ’s experiences in new spheres like finance, banking and public-private partnership model and in building the Thu Thiem financial zone.

Douglas Anthony Barnes, UK Consul General in the city, said this ceremony reflected the special relationship between the UK and Vietnam in general and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, which remains firm over the past 40 years, despite remarkable changes of the two countries.

Barnes noted that trade and investment between the UK and Vietnam have developed significantly in recent years. Vietnam ’s exports to the UK surged 47 percent last year, making the European country more important to Vietnam .

The UK has also extended support to Vietnam in the fight against climate change and corruption, as well as in creating more jobs in the private sector and improving State management.

Officials of both sides agreed that with the gained achievements, a bright future is ahead for the strategic partnership of the two countries.-VNA