As part of his European tour, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong will pay a visit to the UK with the aim to boost political relations, strengthen mutual understanding and trust and promote the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Vietnam and the UK established diplomatic ties in 1973. Two-way trade has enjoyed a boom over recent years with an average annual growth of 15-20 percent. The UK is the first bilateral donor to have committed to providing official development assistance for Vietnam until 2015.

Since the establishment of a strategic partnership in September 2010, the two countries’ cooperation has been implemented actively through strategic mechanisms and the Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO), with detailed plans of actions devised every year.

By November 2012, the UK had 162 valid investment projects in Vietnam worth 2.7 billion USD, ranking third among EU member countries, following Holland and France, and 18 th among 96 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Meanwhile, up to now, Vietnamese businesses have invested two projects in the UK with a total capital of 500,000 USD.

The two countries signed an agreement on development partnership in the 2006-2015 period. Under which, the UK Government provided Vietnam with 250 million GBP in non-refundable aid for 2006-2010, with 70 percent going to programmes on poverty reduction and the remaining for projects in education, health care, fresh water and rural sanitation, and anti-corruption.

In May 2011, the two sides signed a supplementary document of the agreement for the 2011-2016 period. Accordingly, the European country committed 70 million GBP between 2011 and 2015 to help Vietnam fulfil Millennium Development Goals on primary education and HIV/AIDS, deal with environmental sanitation and climate change, and improve State administration.

Over the past years, the two countries’ cooperation in education-training has also developed significantly. Now, there are more than 7,000 Vietnam students studying in the UK. -VNA