08:12 | 09/03/2016 Cooperation
International integration is a consistent focus in Vietnam’s foreign policy at present and in the coming years, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son asserted.
Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son speaks at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London (Credit: VNA)
In his speech on Vietnam’s international integration delivered at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London on March 7, on the occasion of his participation in the 5th Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership Dialogue, Son affirmed that international integration is the next step of the Renewal (Doi Moi) process, which played a crucial role in Vietnam’s development orientation over the last 30 years.
According to the Deputy FM, Vietnam has set up strategic partnerships with 15 countries, and comprehensive partnerships with 10 others. The country is also an active and responsible member making practical contributions to the international community, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the United Nations Human Rights Council and Security Council. The country signed 11 free trade agreements (FTAs) with its partners, including five signed in 2015.
In its international integration and market-opening process, Vietnam always attaches importance to the role played by the UK and hopes for all-around co-operation with the country, Son stressed.
The UK is now one of Vietnam’s leading trade partners within the European Union. Two-way trade increased to US$5.4 billion in 2015, from US$1.7 billion five years earlier. UK investors poured US$4.6 billion into 216 projects in Vietnam over the five year period.
In the coming period, both sides will work to realise priorities agreed on by their leaders during UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Vietnam in July last year, which will focus on links in politics-strategy, defence-security, trade-investment, development, education-training, culture, science-technology, and labour, he noted.
The Vietnamese official called on UK investors to make further efforts to discover and take full advantage of opportunities in Vietnam’s integration process, especially when the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement are approved and take effect.
During his talks, Son also answered questions on Vietnam’s contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping activities and East Sea-related issues. He said he hopes the UK will continue to make further contributions to maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea, including promoting the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law.
On the same day, the Deputy Foreign Minister held a meeting with representatives from the Vietnam-UK Network, during which he expressed his thanks to British friends for their efforts to deepen bilateral relations./.