UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visits a Metro Line 1 station in HCM City (Source: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – The UK wishes to work with Ho Chi Minh City’s authorities to study their major development plans and set up ties with the locality in specific areas, said UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

At a meeting with Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong on April 13, as part of his two-day visit to Vietnam, Philip Hammond said HCM City and the UK hold substantial potential for cooperation.

UK businesses appreciate Vietnam’s development prospects, especially those of HCM City, he said, expressing his hope that UK companies will pour more investment into the city in the future, not only through projects but by engaging in its socio-economic developments plans.

Hailing the strategic partnership between Vietnam and the UK, the Foreign Secretary said the two sides should pay more heed to enhancing their trade and investment ties.

For his part, Phong said together with the visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, the Foreign Secretary’s trip marked a milestone in their bilateral strategic partnership and opened up cooperation opportunities for HCM City and its UK partners in the fields of investment, trade and infrastructure.

The UK now ranks eighth among 74 countries and territories investing in the city, he said, noting that bilateral trade hit 875 million USD in 2015.

Praising the effective operation of the 150-member UK Business Association in HCM City, the official said these enterprises have significantly contributed to local development.

Phong noted his wish that UK businesses invest more in the city’s major projects and pledged to create optimal conditions for their operation.

He used the occasion to call on the UK, with its strength in education, to help his city with high-quality personnel training.

During his stay in Vietnam from April 12-13, Philip Hammond was received by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who said Vietnam wants close cooperation with the UK Government across the board, for their mutual benefit, as well as for regional and global peace and prosperity.

He also held talks with Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, during which the two sides considered measures to solidify their countries’ strategic partnership.-VNA