Hong Kong Chief Executive receives outgoing Vietnamese Consul General hinh anh 1Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (R) and Vietnamese Consul General Tran Thanh Huan at the meeting on November 12 (Photo: VNA)

Hong Kong (VNA) – Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam received outgoing Vietnamese Consul General in the Chinese special administrative region Tran Thanh Huan on November 12.

The host appreciated Huan’s contributions to the development of Vietnam-Hong Kong ties, noting that the country is currently Hong Kong’s third largest trade partner in ASEAN, with bilateral trade in 2019 rising 10 percent year on year to about 20 billion USD.

She expressed her hope that the signing of a free trade agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN will create momentum for relations between Vietnamese localities and her region to grow further in the time ahead.

Lam said although the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted travel between the two sides, Vietnam is always an attractive destination for Hong Kong people, and that she hopes bilateral travel will be resumed soon as the Southeast Asian country has put COVID-19 under control.

Highlighting both sides’ flourishing ties, the official voiced her hope that Huan will always be a good friend of Hong Kong and continue helping to boost bilateral relations in his new position.

For his part, Consul General Huan thanked the Hong Kong Chief Executive for her assistance for himself and the Vietnamese Consulate General over the last three years, expressing his honour to have chances to contribute to Vietnam-China relations in general, and links between Vietnamese localities and Hong Kong in particular.

Vietnam always treasures the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation with China and considers this as one of the top priorities in its foreign policy. Together with the development of Vietnam-China connections, the cooperation between Vietnamese localities and Hong Kong has enjoyed encouraging strides, according to him.

Collaboration between Vietnamese localities and Hong Kong in culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchange has also been on the rise. The coordination in repatriating Vietnamese people illegally entering the Chinese region has also witnessed considerable progress.

The diplomat added that as important partners of each other, Vietnam hopes for a Hong Kong of stability and prosperous development, thus creating momentum for further enhancing win-win cooperation./.