On the occasion of the 7th UK-Viet Nam Strategic Dialogue, H.E. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, To Anh Dung, and Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Harriett Baldwin MP, welcome the sustained progress in the strategic partnership, particularly in support of the rules-based international order, free trade, sustainable economic growth, education and cultural exchanges and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the full range of bilateral and international issues, including human rights.
The UK and Viet Nam are strong advocates of global free trade and welcome the signing of the EU – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on 30 June. Viet Nam and the UK look forward to ensuring continuity of trade relations as the UK leaves the EU, including through transitioning the EU – Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement. The two sides also discussed the UK’s proposal on transitioning the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). This will boost the relationship between Vietnamese and UK firms for enhanced competition and productivity.
The UK and Viet Nam are committed to working together in multilateral forums. The UK welcomes Viet Nam’s election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and both sides look forward to close cooperation on the maintenance of international peace and security during Viet Nam’s tenure, including on: women, peace and security; post-conflict reconstruction; and the global non-proliferation architecture, including disarmament, de-mining, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and resolution of regional issues such as the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The two sides agreed to close collaboration during Viet Nam’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020. The two countries will work closely together in the run up to the COP26 Climate Change Conference to strengthen commitments to reducing emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy in Viet Nam.
Both sides shared views on recent developments in the South China Sea, expressed support for the peaceful resolution of any disputes in the South China Sea on the basis of international law, including UNCLOS, which will support peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region.
Both sides support the establishment of a new Joint Serious Organised Crime Working Group to coordinate policy development and project delivery in areas of modern slavery, human trafficking, child sexual exploitation and illegal transfer of goods through customs. The signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the UK Border Force and the General Department of Viet Nam Customs, as well as the review and evaluation of the Returns MoU between the Home Office and the Ministry of Public Security will reinforce the importance of cooperation on these issues.
Both sides welcomed increased cooperation in the area of defence, in particular the initiation of the Defence Policy Dialogue, high level defence related visits and cooperation on United Nations Peacekeeping, including the deployment of the Vietnamese level 2 field hospital in South Sudan.
Both sides acknowledged the key role of education in the relationship and welcomed the renewal of the decision establishing the educational and cultural status of the British Council in Viet Nam. They also emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral cultural diplomacy to deepen the bonds between the two countries.
Viet Nam and the UK highly value regular Ministerial visits between both countries. Viet Nam’s Minister of Finance will shortly visit London, to be followed by Ministerial visits to Viet Nam in the coming months, including for the annual Defence Dialogue and Joint Economic and Trade Committee.