Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong and UK Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Jeremy Browne held the second deputy ministerial-level political consultation in Hanoi on April 6.

The two sides discussed the implementation of the Vietnam-UK Action Plan 2011, which was aimed at concretising the two countries’ strategic partnership, focusing on measures to boost cooperation in the seven prioritised areas.

The areas included politics-diplomacy, regional and global issues, trade-investment, socio-economic development cooperation, education-training, national defence-security, and the people’s exchange.

They agreed to accelerate the exchange of visits by high-level delegations, further boosting cooperation between the two countries’ parliaments, ministries, sectors and localities. The UK side hailed the Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman’s official friendship visit to the UK slated for the end of this year.

Minister of State Browne praised Vietnam ’s socio-economic achievements made over the past years, especially in poverty reduction and international integration, pledging to continue providing Vietnam with development assistance in the coming time via the 2011-2016 Development Partnership Agreement.

The two sides agreed to expand cooperation in trade, economy, and investment, and create favourable conditions for businesses to partner and trade in an effort to increase the two countries’ two-way trade value to 4 billion USD and the UK ’s direct investment in Vietnam to 3 billion USD by 2013.

The two sides also agreed to work closely in implementing major cooperation projects, including launching the Vietnam-London direct air service and putting into operation the Vietnam-UK University in the central city of Da Nang later this year.

Vietnam and the UK reached consensus on the need to further promote cooperation in the fields of education and training and scientific research.

The UK will facilitate Vietnamese students’ study in its educational facilities, assist programmes on training English teachers and improving English language skills in Vietnam , and encourage the establishment of linkage and cooperation in training among the two countries’ universities.

The UK praised the two countries’ effective cooperation in combating organised crimes and illegal migration.

Apart from bilateral issues, the two sides exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern and agreed to continue strengthen cooperation at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially at the UN, ASEM, ASEAN-EU and WTO.

The UK affirmed that it has backed Vietnam ’s efforts to boost its comprehensive cooperation with the EU.

The same day, Minister Browne paid a visit to Vietnamese Deputy Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem./.