Vietnam and the UK hold the 7th strategic dialogue in London on July 2. (Photo: VNA)

London (VNA) – Vietnam and the UK welcomed the sustained progress in their strategic partnership, and stressed support for the rules-based international order, free trade, sustainable economic growth, education and cultural exchanges at their 7th strategic dialogue in London on July 2.

At the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung and Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Harriett Baldwin showed delight that they discussed the full range of bilateral and international issues, including those relating to human rights.

They affirmed that the two countries strongly advocate global free trade, laud the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on June 30, and look forward to the continuity of trade relations after the UK leaves the EU (Brexit), including through transitioning the EVFTA.

The diplomats discussed the UK’s proposal on transitioning the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), which will boost the relationship between Vietnamese and UK firms for enhanced competition and productivity.

Vietnam and the UK are committed to working together in multilateral forums. The UK welcomes Vietnam’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and both sides expect close cooperation in maintaining international peace and security during Vietnam’s tenure, covering women, peace and security; post-conflict reconstruction; and global non-proliferation mechanisms comprising disarmament, de-mining, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and resolution of regional issues such as the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

They reached consensus on close collaboration during Vietnam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020. They will work together to prepare for the COP 26 Climate Change Conference to strengthen commitments to reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy in Vietnam.

Sharing views on recent developments in the East Sea, both sides expressed support for the peaceful solutions of any dispute in the waters on the basis of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS), helping promote peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region.

They supported the establishment of a new Joint Serious Organised Crime Working Group to coordinate policy development and project delivery in areas of modern slavery, human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and illegal transfer of goods through customs.

The signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Border Force and the General Department of Vietnam Customs, as well as the review and evaluation of the Returns MoU between the UK Home Office and the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security will reinforce the importance of cooperation on these issues.

Both sides welcomed increased cooperation in defence, in particular the initiation of the Defence Policy Dialogue, high-level defence related visits and cooperation on UN Peacekeeping, including the deployment of the Vietnamese level 2 field hospital in South Sudan.
They acknowledged the key role of education in the relationship and welcomed the renewal of the decision establishing the educational and cultural status of the British Council in Vietnam. They also emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral cultural diplomacy to deepen the bonds between the two countries.

Earlier, Deputy FM To Anh Dung had a working session with UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Ed Vaizey on July 1, during which they agreed to boost cooperation to ensure that trade and economic activities will not be affected by Brexit.

Vaizey expressed his hope that Vietnam and the UK will soon ink a bilateral trade deal on the basis of the EVFTA’s framework.-VNA