Vietnam gives heed to int’l integration in foreign policy: Deputy FM hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (Source: VNA)

London (VNA) – International integration is a consistent focus in Vietnam’s foreign policy at present and in the coming years, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son asserted.

In his speech on Vietnam’s international integration delivered at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London on March 7 on the occasion of his participation in the 5th Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership Dialogue, Son said international integration is a next step of the Renewal (Doi Moi) process, which was a turning-point in Vietnam’s development orientation over the last 30 years.

According to the Deputy FM, Vietnam has set up strategic partnerships with 15 countries, and comprehensive partnerships with 10 others. The country is also an active and responsible member with practical contributions to the international community, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) , the United Nations Human Rights Council and Security Council. The country signed 11 free trade agreements (FTAs) with its partners, including five being completed in 2015.

In its international integration and market-opening process, Vietnam always attaches importance to the role played by the UK and hopes for all-around cooperation with the country, Son stressed.

The UK is now one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners within the European Union. Two-way trade increased to 5.4 billion USD in 2015, from 1.7 billion USD five years earlier. UK investors poured 4.6 billion USD into 216 projects in Vietnam in the five year period.

In the coming period, both sides will work to realise priorities agreed by their leaders during UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Vietnam in July last year, which will focus on links in politics-strategy, defence-security, trade-investment, development, education-training, culture, science-technology, and labour, he noted.

The Vietnamese official called on UK investors to take more actions to catch and take full advantage of opportunities in Vietnam’s integration process , especially when t he EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement ( EVFTA ) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement are approved and take effect.

During his talks, Son also answered questions on Vietnam’s contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping activities and East Sea-related issues. He said he hopes the UK will continue to make more contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, including promoting the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law.

On the same day, the Deputy Foreign Minister had a meeting with representatives from the Vietnam-UK Network, during which he expressed his thank to British friends for their efforts to deepen bilateral relations.-VNA