Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held phone talks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on October 26 to discuss measures to boost bilateral cooperation, especially in economics, trade and investment, as well as in COVID-19 response and climate change.
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Chinh highly appreciated the UK’s leading role in making commitments and introducing initiatives at the upcoming 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow this November.
Vietnam will continue to make a strong commitment to contributing to global efforts to respond to climate change, and at the same time it will work closely with the UK to ensure the success of the conference, Chinh assured Johnson.
The two PMs expressed their delight at the positive development of the Vietnam – UK Strategic Partnership in recent times. They agreed to work closely to accelerate the realization of the strategic cooperation orientations in politics – diplomacy, economy – trade – investment, development cooperation, education and training, science – technology, defense – security, and people-to-people exchanges.
Chinh said bilateral relations are “at a good stage of development”, especially after the two sides issued a joint statement marking 20 years of the Vietnam – UK Strategic Partnership (2010-2020) and enacted the UK – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).
British PM Johnson highly appreciated Vietnam’s position and role in Southeast Asia and affirmed that the UK considers Vietnam an important partner in the region in the context that the UK is shifting its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region.
He noted that despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the enforcement of the UKVFTA has helped expand bilateral trade, with their two-way trade value reached US$3.88 billion in the first seven months of 2021, a year-on-year rise of 26.92%.
During the talks, PM Chinh suggested that the UK create more conditions for Vietnamese exports to access the UK market and encourage its businesses to expand investment in Vietnam’s potential areas such as finance – banking, oil and gas, renewable energy development, digital economy, and manufacturing industries.
The two sides agreed to soon recognize each other’s vaccine passports to facilitate the resumption of trade and tourism services between the two countries.
Chinh once again thanked the British Government for its quick and timely delivery of 415,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam.
Johnson valued Vietnam’s COVID-19 prevention and control, and announced that the UK will provide additional medical equipment worth some £500,000 to Vietnam through UNICEF.
Welcoming the UK’s goodwill, Chinh suggested that the UK continue supporting Vietnam in accessing COVID-19 vaccines and drugs, and developing the pharmaceutical industry, especially transferring technology to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
Exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, both PMs emphasized the importance of ensuring freedom of navigation, aviation, security and peace in the East Sea, and upholding international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
On this occasion, Chinh invited Johnson to pay an official visit to Vietnam soon, and the latter happily accepted the invitation.