Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister David Cameron shared desires to step up trade, investment and education cooperation during their talks on January 22 (London time).

Party leader Trong arrived in London’s Heathrow airport the same day to start his official visit to the UK at the invitation of PM David Cameron. He was greeted with a solemn welcome ceremony.

At the talks, PM Cameron spoke highly of socio-economic achievements recorded by Vietnam and expressed his belief in the country’s potential to make robust growth.

He said the UK Government gives importance to strengthening its relations with Vietnam and will make more efforts to realise its commitments in prioritised areas, including the exchange of high-ranking delegations.

The PM underlined the need to speed up education-training cooperation, especially tertiary and postgraduate education, and encourage universities to grant more scholarships to Vietnamese students.

Cameron noted that the UK Government wants to increase investment, boost two-way trade, and speed up the implementation of signed projects with Vietnam .

In reply, Party leader Trong said he is pleased to visit the UK at a significant time for bilateral ties and thanked for warm welcome of the UK Government and the Prime Minister.

He expressed his delight at the comprehensive and intensive development of Vietnam-UK relations in all fields, especially since the two countries’ adoption of a joint statement on the establishment of a strategic partnership in September, 2010.

Vietnam seeks increased cooperation in defence and security with the UK besides trade, investment, education and training, the Vietnamese leader said, suggesting the UK increase scholarships for Vietnamese students.

Following the talks, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on immigration information exchange, a Vietnam-UK action plan for 2013, an agreement on the establishment of a bilateral working group on defence cooperation, and a MoU on the establishment of the Vietnam-UK University in Da Nang city in Vietnam .

In the evening, the UK Government hosted a banquet in honour of the Vietnamese Party General Secretary and his entourage.

Earlier upon his arrival in London, the Party leader met with the Vietnamese community in the UK, during which he told them about the purpose and significance of his West European trip, which also included Belgium, the EU, and Italy .

He also attended a ceremony to launch the Friends of Vietnam Network (FVN), where he expressed belief that with its practical and effective activities, the network will help develop the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the UK .

At the ceremony, the FVN managing board presented 3,970 GBP donated by overseas Vietnamese in the UK to the “Hearts for Children” Fund and scholarships to Vietnamese students in the 2013-2018 period.

Before leaving Rome, Italy for London, Party General Secretary Trong met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican. The meeting took place in a frank, open and mutual understanding atmosphere.-VNA