Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) receives UK Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has lauded contributions of UK Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever in specifying and implementing measures to boost the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK.

Meeting the outgoing UK Ambassador in Hanoi on June 6, the PM showed his pleasure at the growth of the Vietnam-UK relationship over the past years, with two-way trade reaching 6.1 billion USD in 2017.

The UK is now the 15th biggest among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with total investment of 3.46 billion USD and 317 valid projects.

For his part, Lever agreed that bilateral relationship has been growing strongly.

Recognising Vietnam’s progress in improving investment environment, he stated that the UK Government is willing to give technical support to Vietnam in the work.

He expressed his delight at cooperation outcomes between the two countries in defence, security, and response to global challenges such as climate change and wildlife trafficking.

He emphasised that education is also a priority in bilateral cooperation, adding that the UK will increase scholarship for Vietnamese students.

The diplomat said that the UK strongly supports the maintenance of security and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea and the observance of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

PM Phuc thanked the UK Ambassador for his fine sentiments to Vietnam, holding that the two sides should continue promoting the reached achievements to elevate bilateral economic ties to a new level matching the two countries’ strategic partnership framework and cooperation potential.

The two sides should coordinate closely in organising the upcoming meeting of the Vietnam-UK Joint Economic-Trade Committee, he said.

The Government leader stated that Vietnam hopes to continue receiving assistance from the UK through the Prosperity Fund, especially in the areas of climate change adaptation, environment, green energy and scientific research.

He asserted that education has been an effective cooperation channel as currently, more than 12,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the UK. He said he hopes for stronger affiliation with the UK in the field.

The PM proposed that the two countries organise more exchange programmes to deepen mutual understanding, especially in 2018 when Vietnam and the UK celebrate their 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Lever said that the UK Embassy in Vietnam has planned various cultural and educational activities to mark the special occasion.-VNA