The 40th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic ties is an occasion for the two countries to not only review their achievements over the past years, but also look forward to an ambitious future, UK Ambassador in Vietnam Antony Stokes said.

Speaking at a ceremony hosted by the UK Embassy in Vietnam on January 10 to celebrate the anniversary, the ambassador noted that 2013 also marks 100 years since President Ho Chi Minh arrived in London, laying the foundation for the friendship between both countries.

He said the two countries will increase exchanges of culture and technology, and work closely together to implement the goals set by the Vietnam-UK Joint Statement of Strategic Partnership.

Addressing the event, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh emphasised that building on the achievements that the two countries have gained over the past years, Vietnam and the UK will enjoy more effective cooperation in politics-diplomacy, economics-trade-investment as well as other aspects.

He said cultural events such as the UK week in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, the Vietnam Week and the second Vietnam Summer Festival in London will also contribute to strengthening mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between the two countries, meeting the aspiration and interest of both peoples.

Earlier that day, Ambassador Antony Stokes met the press to announce events which are scheduled for 2013 to mark the 40 th anniversary of Vietnam-UK diplomatic ties (September 11, 1973-2013) and directions for the multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

He stressed that the bilateral ties between the two countries have been growing, especially after Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit in 2008 and the signing of the strategic partnership in 2010.

In the future, the UK will utilise its strength to foster cooperation with Vietnam in maritime transport, banking, finance and education, he said, adding that the two countries aim to raise their two-way trade to 4 billion USD this year.

He named several major programmes to be carried out in both countries during this year, including a global education forum in the UK in January, a London fashion week in February, a conference on sustainable environment in Hanoi in March, a UK film festival in Vietnam, a Vietnam summer festival in London, peaking with Vietnam and UK weeks in September.-VNA