Ample room remains for Vietnam-UK cooperation: Ambassador

WVR/VNA - Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long spoke of cooperation opportunities between Birmingham and Vietnam, especially its big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in the fields of education-training, health care and culture, during his recent meeting with the city’s Lord Mayor Maureen Cornish.
Ample room remains for Vietnam-UK cooperation: Ambassador
Ample room remains for Vietnam-UK cooperation: Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long (R) and Lord Mayor Maureen Cornish. (Photo: VNA)

The April 24 meeting took place within the framework of the Vietnam Days programme in the UK, from March 28 to April 27, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The Ambassador called Birmingham an impulse for the Vietnam-UK relations, saying the city would serve as a centre of commerce and logistics for goods from Vietnam – the UK’s second biggest exporter in Southeast Asia.

With the UK’s joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), trade revenue between the two countries now stands at nearly 7 billion USD, and it is expected to continue rising in the time ahead, Long noted.

The Ambassador added that Vietnam will need logistics centres in the UK to facilitate connectivity between its businesses and the British market, and turn the UK into a centre of Vietnamese exports to other markets like the EU and the US.

Vietnam is looking to boost information technology, AI, science-technology, trade, and public relations, which are of strengths of Birmingham’s Aston University where many Vietnamese students are studying, Long went on.

He called on Birmingham’s authorities to propose the British Government put forth strategies on enhancing trade ties between British localities and Vietnam, and supporting British firms to invest in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

For her part, Cornish affirmed the close ties between local authorities and the Vietnamese community, saying Birmingham always pays attention to promoting friendship and building partnerships with localities in the world, including Vietnam with such potential cooperation areas as AI and science-technology.

Informing the Ambassador on the city’s twinning relations with some cities of the Republic of Korea, the Lord Mayor said with the model can be expanded to localities of other countries, including Vietnam.

Also on April 24, the Vietnamese Embassy and its trade office in the UK and the British Department for Business and Trade co-organised a seminar in Birmingham on business potential and opportunities in Vietnam.

In his remarks, Long noted that ample room remains for trade cooperation between Vietnam and the UK – its ninth biggest trade partner – and the bilateral trade is expected to jump to 10 billion USD in the next three to five years.

Ample room remains for Vietnam-UK cooperation: Ambassador
Ample room remains for Vietnam-UK cooperation: At the workshop. (Photo: VNA)

Vietnam has been focusing on three breakthrough policies to maintain its high growth, which hit 8% last year, covering infrastructure, education and legal frameworks, he said, suggesting British enterprises optimise the opportunity as these areas are of the UK’s strength.

Trade Counsellor Nguyen Canh Cuong emphasised that Vietnam considers the UK a key trade partner, saying the two governments have facilitated the bilateral trade through legal frameworks such as the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the CPTPP. Cuong also expressed his hope that enterprises of the two countries will bring into full play trade and business opportunities.

He called on British firms to study the Vietnamese market and directly set up ties with Vietnamese partners rather than conducting trade transactions through a third party.

Mark Garnier, Member of Parliament, said the UK’s policy towards Asia-Pacific after Brexit and the UK’s joining the CPTPP has opened up great trade cooperation opportunities between Vietnam and the UK.

Vietnam, a gateway to the entire Southeast Asian region, is a suitable destination for British firms, he said, suggesting them optimise cooperation opportunities with Vietnam to expand trade and export to ASEAN, home to a population of 650 million.

The MP also pointed to cooperation opportunities with Vietnam in renewable energy, education, health care and pharmaceuticals, financial services, technology and life sciences.

The Department for Business and Trade stands ready to support British businesses to operate in Vietnam as well as Vietnamese firms that wish to invest in the European nation, he pledged.

On this occasion, Trade Councellor Cuong introduced a website in Vietnamese and English launched by the Vietnamese trade office, at, which provides updates on trade policies of both countries, and features prestigious exporters and standardised products of Vietnam.

Currently, the UK is Vietnam’s ninth biggest importer and the fourth largest among the European and American importers, after the US, Germany and the Netherlands. The UK is also among the 15 biggest investors in the Southeast Asian nation with 500 projects worth 4.19 billion USD.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)