Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in Hanoi on July 2 received the Lord Mayor of the City of London , Ian Luder, who is accompanied by a delegation from the UK ’s leading banking and finance firms for a week-long Vietnam working visit which began on July 1.

The Prime Minister highly appreciated the visit, saying it would help boost cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the field of banking and financial services.

He said he was pleased with the developing relations between Vietnam and the UK in fields ranging from politics and economy to investment and education, bringing practical benefits to the both sides.

Many major UK corporations, including BP, Rolls Royce, Prudential, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank, are expanding their operations in Vietnam in the context of the global economic downturn.

The Vietnamese government leader affirmed that Vietnam would do all in its power to boost cooperation with the UK, in keeping with a 2008 joint statement founding a development partnership between the two countries, based on the pillars of politics and diplomacy, trade and investment, development aid, education and training, regulation of migration and combating organised crime.

PM Dung said he hoped that the UK would share experiences and give assistance to Vietnam ’s infrastructure development.

He expressed thanks to the UK government for its granting of development aid, as well as its support for Vietnam in conducting WTO negotiations with the EU.

Lord Mayor Luder said his visit, with the participation of some leading UK financial businesses, indicates a keen interest on their part in the Vietnamese market.

Briefing PM Dung on his working sessions with local agencies, Luder said they exchanged experiences in mobilising investment sources for infrastructure development.

Luder conveyed UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s confirmation of the UK government’s support for Vietnam in negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

UK businessmen praised Vietnam ’s economic development and expressed the wish that the Vietnamese government would provide more favourable conditions for them to conduct long-term business in the country./.