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Feb 23, 2023 / 23:41

Vietnam-UK Friendship Year announced

British officials said that the UK-Vietnam relationship is not merely 50 years but it has existed for a long time with outstanding results.

The Vietnam-UK Friendship Year 2023 has been announced in London to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

 Vietnam-UK relation was set up in 1973. 

The announcement ceremony was co-chaired by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, and Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long.

The event was joined by more than 150 guests who are parliament representatives, government officials, organization representatives, and business executives from both sides.

A number of activities will be held by the Vietnamese Embassy in London and the British Embassy in Hanoi during the year.

At the event, Anne-Marie Trevelyan reviewed the milestones in the 50-year relationship, including strengthening the Strategic Partnership, signing the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), promoting security-defense ties, especially in marine security, the UK being a strategic partner of ASEAN thanks to Vietnam’s support, among others.

Prospects and aspirations 

Anne-Marie Trevelyan believed that Vietnam would become one of the world’s 30 biggest economies and the UK wanted to support Vietnam in that path. The UK expected to tighten its relations with Vietnam after it joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this year.

She expressed her confidence in the two countries' burgeoning relationship and its potential for growth in the direction of the goals set while overcoming obstacles.

Meanwhile, Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son emphasized that the Vietnam – UK relationship is sustainable and dynamic and constantly consolidated in all spheres such as politics, economy, and defense-security, education while expanding into new fields like science-technology, digital transformation, climate change response, energy transition, green growth, and disease prevention and control.

He said in a recorded message that Vietnam stressed the importance of the relationship with the UK, an important partner in Europe.

Addressing the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long stressed that the 50th anniversary opens up a next period for bilateral relations.

The Friendship Year will cover more than 50 events regarding trade, investment, education, culture, and tourism to be held in London and more than 10 other places across the UK with an aim to boost cooperation between locations of the two countries.

Mark Garnier, Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for, Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, said the two-way trade would grow strongly in the coming time with the UKVFTA and the upcoming UK membership of CPTPP.

In terms of trade, the two-way trade in 2022 hit US$6.83 billion, up 3.4% on year.

 As of November 2022, the UK was among Vietnam’s top 15 biggest investors with more than 500 projects costing US$4.2 billion registered capital, up 5.3% on year.

According to Graham Stuart, Minister of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, the two nations have enormous potential for renewable energy, primarily wind. With a net-zero commitment by 2050, Vietnam is anticipated to receive $15 billion in subsidized loans from the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which is also funded by the UK.

Vietnam and the G7 including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the US, and the EU have announced their plans on JETP, bringing about big opportunities for the country’s energy transition towards sustainable growth for fulfilling the 2050 emission goals.

Many British financial institutions, banks, and insurance companies have so far committed to contributing a sizeable sum to Vietnam's energy transition.

Another area where the relationship between the two countries is strengthening is education. Currently, there's an estimated number of more than 13,000 Vietnamese students studying in the UK.