| Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Hanoi, June 22, 2021. (Photo: VNA)
At a reception in Hanoi on Tuesday for Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Mr. Minh said the UK is a leading nation in COVID-19 vaccine research and development and is one of the countries which have contributed the most to the COVAX Facility, a global vaccine sharing mechanism.
The Deputy PM spoke highly of the positive development of the Vietnam – UK strategic partnership in the recent past and expressed his belief that Mr. Raab’s current visit would create a new driving force for the bilateral cooperation.
Secretary Raab, who has been on an official visit to Vietnam where he also attended the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue, affirmed that Vietnam is an important strategic partner of the UK, particularly when the European nation has enhanced its engagement and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in the post-Brexit period.
To step up cooperation in line with the “Joint Declaration on the Vietnam - UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 Years”, the two sides agreed to soon resume the exchange of delegations, especially high-ranking ones, and cooperation mechanisms when the conditions allow.
Mr. Minh took this occasion to suggest the UK to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports to enter its market in a bid to tap opportunities brought about by the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
He also affirmed that Vietnam is willing to create the best conditions for British firms to expand their investment, particularly in potential fields such as renewable energy, digital economy, banking, insurance, financial services, and education and training.
The Deputy PM said the two nations should continue their cooperation at international forums such as the UN Security Council (UNSC) during 2020-2021, when Vietnam works as a non-permanent member of the council, and ASEM.
He noted that Vietnam would work closely with the UK to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the UK in November this year.
Secretary Raab thanked Vietnam for supporting the UK's efforts to secure the ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, as well as in negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Emphasizing the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight, security and peace in the East Sea, the two officials noted that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the legal framework for all activities at sea and ocean.