Two sides agree to boost cooperation in a range of fields at talks on July 29.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron met with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on July 29 during his visit to Vietnam, where the two spoke of major orientations and specific measures to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a range of fields.
Although economic cooperation, trade, and investment are important points in the strategic partnership the two sides acknowledged that the results of such cooperation has not been commensurate with potential or desire.
“Economic cooperation is a priority in bilateral relations,” Prime Minister Dung said. “We are committed to creating favorable conditions for businesses and to boosting effective cooperation and investment in priority sectors such as infrastructure development, banking and finance, insurance, and oil and gas.”
Despite the impressive growth of trade between Vietnam and the UK it only accounts for 1.5 per cent of the UK’s total global trade. Mr. Cameron said the UK Government will support Vietnam to strengthen its relationship with the EU and sign a free trade agreement (FTA), as he believes this would open up more opportunities for cooperation in trade and investment between the UK and Vietnam.
“The UK Government is willing to provide an export credit of GBP500 million ($780 million) to Vietnam to implement infrastructure projects in addition to support from British expertise,” he said.
Regarding political and diplomatic activities, both sides agreed to increase exchanges and promote political dialogue, security and defense cooperation, and trade between the two countries. Mr. Cameron invited and looked forward to welcoming PM Dung to visit the UK soon. He also formally notified Vietnam that the UK Government has decided to grant visa exemptions to Vietnamese citizens with diplomatic passports.
In education, Mr. Cameron said that there is no limit on the number of Vietnamese students going to the UK for studies. It is also committed to providing support in the field of English-language training and assisting the Ministry of Education and Training to build English testing centers, and aims to establish the Vietnam-UK University in central Da Nang city.
Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation to prevent organized crime, trans-national crime, and terrorism, as well as to effectively implement the Memorandum on Defense Cooperation through researching the possibility of signing an agreement on defense cooperation and training. Mr. Cameron said the UK was ready to discuss an agreement on extradition between the two countries.
The two PMs also witnessed the signing of a contract on the maintenance of aircraft engines between the Rolls-Royce Group and Vietnam Airlines, worth $1.5 billion, and the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and Prudential Vietnam on the issuance of government bonds worth GBP100 million ($156 million).