HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with his UK counterpart David Cameron in Ha Noi yesterday focusing on a range of measures to improve co-operative ties in various fields.
The two leaders spoke highly of their strengthening relations in a number of fields, such as politics and diplomacy, trade and investment, development co-operation, and education and training, as well as the increasing number of bilateral visits in recent years.
They agreed to facilitate the exchange of visits at all levels and implement existing dialogue mechanisms in the fields of politics, national defence and security, economics and trade.
Sharing the view that economic co-ordination is a key pillar of the bilateral strategic partnership, both sides pledged support for their business communities to explore each other’s markets and form links, especially in infrastructure, finance and banking, insurance, oil and gas and green growth via direct investment, joint-ventures and public-private partnerships.
Cameron said the UK backed Viet Nam’s efforts to reinforce comprehensive ties with the European Union and the signing of a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the EU, adding that the deal would open up new trade and investment opportunities for businesses from both nations.
Referring to education and training co-operation, both leaders vowed to improve operations at the Viet Nam-UK Institute for Research and Executive Education towards establishing the Viet Nam-UK University in Da Nang.
The Vietnamese PM welcomed the UK’s continued assistance in English teaching, building an English examination centre and launching an English popularisation project until 2020 in the national education system.
Underscoring science and technology co-operation prospects via the Newton Research Collaboration Programme, a component of the UK Newton Fund, they hoped that the fund would be utilised effectively and help produce feasible innovative ideas.
The two sides agreed to reinforce co-operation in preventing organised and transnational crime and terrorism and implement a Memorandum of Understanding on defence co-operation, while considering agreements on personnel training, the defence industry and peacekeeping.
The two PMs also said they would work in close coordination at international forums and organisations such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the ASEAN-EU framework.
They said they would continue their work in response to climate change while preparing for the UN Climate Change Conference COP 21 in Paris with a view to accelerating the signing of a common agreement in line with the principles of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The two leaders exchanged views on regional and global matters of mutual concern. With regards to the East Sea issue, they voiced concerns over recent tensions, especially large-scale constructions, expansion and changing of the status quo of reefs in the East Sea, which have threatened peace, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in the region.
Both sides emphasised their common stance on settling regional territorial disputes, avoiding actions that could complicate the situation, not using force or threatening to use force, complying with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and striving to complete a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
PM Cameron invited PM Dung to visit the UK and the Vietnamese leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.
Following their talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements on aviation, finance and oil and gas between the countries’ businesses.
Also yesterday, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong hosted a reception for UK PM Cameron in Ha Noi, stressing that his visit was a significant milestone since the two countries established diplomatic ties 42 years ago.
The host hailed the positive developments in Viet Nam-UK ties since they established their strategic partnership in September 2010.
He expressed hope that the UK leader’s visit would improve mutual understanding and strengthen relations between the Communist Party of Viet Nam and UK political parties, and promote bilateral co-operation in the fields of trade, investment, education and training.
The Party leader said he hoped the UK would continue raising its positive voice for the peaceful settlement of disputes in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
PM Cameron said the UK Government treasured its ties with Viet Nam and considered Viet Nam an important partner.
The UK would step up efforts to deliver on commitments in priority fields mentioned in the joint statement on the establishment of the Viet Nam-UK strategic partnership, he said.
Both host and guest identified trade and investment links as a focus of their bilateral relationship and stressed the need to intensify ties between political parties and legislatures.
The UK leader said that ties between the two countries would develop in the interests of peace, stability and co-operation in the region and around the world.
State President Truong Tan Sang spoke highly of co-operative relations between Viet Nam and the UK in the fields of politics, economics and defence and security during a meeting with PM Cameron in Ha Noi yesterday.
The President expressed his belief that trade relations between the two countries would be lifted when Viet Nam and the EU signed their free trade agreement.
He also thanked the UK for its support in the East Sea issue that had helped to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
For his part, the UK PM underscored that the planned EU-Viet Nam FTA had a crucial role in consolidating trade relations between Viet Nam and the UK.
The stable investment climate in Viet Nam would create favourable conditions for foreign enterprises to invest in the country, Cameron said, hoping that the two sides would further their co-operation to attract more investment.
The UK would maintain its support for Viet Nam through international organisations such as the World Bank, he added.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Cameron said that the UK’s stance was clearly stated in the declaration of the Group of Seven (G7).
Rolls Royce deal
British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday visited Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO) at Noi Bai Airport to look at an Airbus A350-900 aircraft recently delivered to Vietnam Airlines.
After posing for pictures with the aircraft, Cameron was welcomed by Vietnam Airlines director Pham Ngoc Minh and Rolls-Royce president Tony Wood.
Vietnam Airlines and the British engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce have sealed a deal to offer maintenance for Vietnam Airlines’ 14 A350 aircrafts.
The airline is the second world airline to fly 350-900 XWBs and the first in Asia-Pacific to use both Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A350-900s.
It will replace old aircrafts with 19 Boeing 787s and 14 Airbus A350s between 2015 and 2019.
This year, the carrier will fly Boeing 787-9s on routes connecting Ha Noi and HCM City and Ha Noi/HCM City to London and Frankfurt, and operate Airbus A350-900s on flights from Ha Noi to Paris and Seoul.
VN, UK joint statement
Viet Nam and the UK yesterday issued a joint statement following talks between PM Dung and his counterpart UK PM Cameron in Ha Noi.
The statement said both leaders were pleased to have witnessed the signing of an agreement between Rolls-Royce and Vietnam Airlines worth 340 million GBP that showcased both British engineering expertise and Vietnam Airlines’ status as a leading regional carrier.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the UK offer to Viet Nam of up to 500 million GBP in export credits to fund future infrastructure projects that could benefit from British expertise. UK Export Finance and the Ministry of Finance will now work together to identify suitable projects that may be eligible for this offer.
Both Prime Ministers welcomed witnessing the investment of 100 million GBP by Prudential Viet Nam in the Ministry of Finance’s first issue of 20-year government bonds and the acceptance by Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province of ZincOx’s proposal to invest 75 million GBP into recycling hazardous waste and reducing carbon emissions from the steel industry, a first for a UK company in Viet Nam.
Both Prime Ministers welcomed the announcement by Harvey Nash, the largest foreign investor in the Vietnamese technology sector, that it would launch a UK-Viet Nam tech hub this year to facilitate dialogue and potential collaboration between Vietnamese and British companies, with strong political support from the UK government.
Both Prime Ministers further welcomed the leadership shown by the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Viet Nam Business Forum in taking forward the Business Integrity agenda and supported future business-led action.
Building on existing strong levels of co-operation on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Cameron was pleased to announce that the UK would commit additional funding to build a shelter for victims of cross-border trafficking. Both sides agreed to take forward negotiations on a MoU on human trafficking.
Both sides welcomed the opening of the Defence Office in the Vietnamese Embassy in London and continuing defence cooperation. The two Prime Ministers agreed to further develop the MoU on defence-related cooperation, to facilitate defence industry cooperation, to further promote professional and specialist military training opportunities, to increase exchanges of defence and security delegations, and to continue to enhance cooperation through the exchange of military experience.
Both Prime Ministers reiterated their determination to implement the commitments from the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conferences in London and Botswana. The UK welcomes Viet Nam’s hosting the next conference in late 2016 and has committed 200,000 GBP in funding.
The Prime Ministers welcomed the opportunity to discuss the promotion and protection of human rights in a frank and constructive manner. — VNS
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