Vietnam and the UK focused on issues surrounding international economic integration, national defence-security and recent global developments during their fourth strategic dialogue in Hanoi on February 27.
|Overview of the Vietnam-UK strategic dialogue (Photo: VNA)|
Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and UK Minister of State for the Foreign and Common Wealth Office Hugo Swire expressed their mutual satisfaction with the development of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation and close coordination at international forums and organisations, especially the United Nations (UN), the Asia-Europe Meeting, and the ASEAN-EU framework.
On the path to global economic integration, both sides renewed their commitment to expeditiously conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) between Vietnam and the EU, which is expected to open new opportunities for both business communities.
They also deemed the eighth meeting of the Joint Economic Trade Committee a constructive discussion platform for ideas to boost Vietnam-UK trade and investment activity, which is slated for early March in London.
Recognising Vietnam’s progress in fulfilling the UN Millennial Development Goals, the UK will taper off its supply of aid to Vietnam by March 2016, but continue providing aid packages through the EU and multilateral mechanisms such as the World Bank and the UN.
The Vietnamese side thanked the UK for its support in reducing poverty and facilitating sustainable development in the country.
The two governments acknowledged the valuable experience gained from the 20-year development partnership as useful for Vietnam’s socio-economic development and social policy building in the time to come.
In education, they reflected on positive steps taken towards building a new National Framework of Qualifications designed for the tertiary education sector and to ensure the quality of vocational colleges in Vietnam.
Both host and guest hailed the establishment of the Vietnam-UK Research Institute to promote post-tertiary research to international standards, and agreed to further improve English training in Vietnam and launch a transparent and fair legal framework for UK education providers.
The two sides welcomed the operation of the Newton Fund in Vietnam - a partnership programme on research and innovation and emphasised their wish to sign a memorandum of understanding this March on creating a framework for cooperation in this field.
Agreeing on joint efforts to respond to climate change and prepare for the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-21) in Paris, Vietnam and the UK underscored the need to reach an ambitious agreement at the end of the conference in line with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The UK confirmed that that it will submit the Intended National Determined Contributions Report as scheduled and urged Vietnam to do the same. Vietnam, meanwhile, spoke highly of the UK’s assistance in developing the Calculator 2050 model.
The countries intend to continue their discussions on cooperation in civil nuclear energy, based on past outcomes.
Vietnam hailed the UK’s role as the leading donor to Vietnam’s anti-corruption fight and hopes to continue working bilaterally in this field.
Turning to the recent developments in the Middle East, Europe and Asia, both host and guest were of the opinion that the maintenance of peace, stability, maritime safety and freedom in the region is the common interest of international community.
They reiterated the common stance on the settlement of territorial disputes through peaceful means in line with international laws.
The chairs welcomed the extensive and in-depth discussions held during defence dialogues and bilateral meetings, including one held last month, on bilateral cooperation in the defence industry and maritime security.
The UK side praised Vietnam for sending two officers to UN peacekeeping missions and its commitment to adding anti-sexual violence content to the training curricula at the country’s peacekeeping centre.
It also hailed Vietnam for joining global efforts against illegal wildlife trading, organised and cyber crimes, modern slavery, money laundering, child exploitation, illegal immigration, and human trafficking.
They also candidly discussed the promotion and protection of human rights.
On the occasion, they urged the design of the Vietnam – UK 2015 Action Plan and signed a memorandum of understanding on allowing relatives of diplomatic representative staff to seek paid jobs in the host country.-VNA