The UK has agreed to provide technical assistance for Vietnam to improve its capacity of policy-making and monetary policy management as well as management of the commodity market through training courses, exchange of experts and professional discussions.

This is part of agreements reached at the fifth meeting of the Vietnam-UK Joint Economic-Trade Committee (JETCO 5) that took place in Hanoi on Nov. 4 with the aim of boosting the bilateral trade relations on a par with the strategic partnership between the two countries.

The UK will also assist Vietnam in negotiations on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement under the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

In addition, the two sides are to continue discussing the possibility of negotiating and signing an agreement on recognition each other’s sailor certification.

Under the co-chair of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and Edward Oakden, Managing Director of the UK Trade and Investment Agency (UKTI), the meeting took notes of cooperation results since JETCO 4, highlighting the continuous development of bilateral economic trade relations, Vietnam Airlines’ opening of direct air routes from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to London in December this year and the UK Embassy’s enhancement of its capacity in granting visas for Vietnamese citizens at peak times.

The Vietnamese side updated the latest positive developments in its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme and explained Notice 197 and the draft revision of Decree 40 on liquor trading in response to the UK’s concerns.

The two sides discussed measures to solve difficulties for UK businesses while operating in the Vietnamese market, including issues relating to the Hong Kong-Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), the granting of investment licence to Tata Steel Corus and the renewal of the mining licence of ARC-Vinacomin joint venture.

Vietnam and UK set the targets of doubling their 2010 two-way trade and bringing the UK ’s investment in Vietnam to 3 billion USD in 2013./.