Vietnam-UK Network convenes third congress in London hinh anh 1Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Van Thao  (standing) at the third congress of the Vietnam-UK Network. (Photo: VNA)

London (VNA) – The Vietnam-UK Network convened its third Congress in London, the UK on September 5.

The Congress elected a new executive board with 21 members, with Ben Chapman re-elected as chairman.

At the event, Chapman detailed the network’s activities across politics, trade, culture, education and charity in the past year, with significant contributions made to promoting friendship between the two nations.

The network plans to increase exchanges between women’s organisations and youth organisations from both countries, he told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent.

Meanwhile, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Van Thao lauded efforts made by the network in helping British people understand Vietnam and connecting UK organisations and individuals with Vietnamese partners.

In the past three years, bilateral trade grew 30 percent to 5.6 billion USD, while some 12,000 Vietnamese people study in the UK.

The number of UK tourists to Vietnam rose 25 percent to 250,000 travellers in 2016 from 200,000 in 2014 and the figure is estimated to hit 300,000 in 2017.

The development in bilateral relations has been partly spurred by the Vietnam-UK network.

The Vietnam-UK Network is a group bringing together organisations and individuals with shared interests in Vietnam to promote Vietnam-UK cooperation to enhance understanding and friendship between the citizens and institutions of the two countries.

The Network was launched on January 22, 2013 during the historic visit of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to the UK. It has enjoyed support from the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK and British and Vietnamese businesses.-VNA