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UK pledges assistance to Vietnam’s climate change commitment

Speaker of the UK House of Lords John Mcfall said he supports efforts to ramp up all-round cooperation between the UK and Vietnam, including in climate change response, during his talks with the top Vietnamese legislator in London.
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue affirms that Vietnam attaches importance to strengthening cooperation with the UK during his talks with Speaker John Mcfall of the House of Lords in London on June 29. (Photo: VNA)

Meeting with visiting National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue of Vietnam on June 29, Mcfall praised Vietnam’s net zero emission commitment at the recent 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and affirmed that the UK supports and assists Vietnam in meeting its commitment.

National Assembly Chairman Hue thanked the group of seven, including the UK, for choosing Vietnam as the first three countries to support the implementation of COP26 commitments.

He underscored the need to strike a balance between benefits and costs in implementing the commitments, and hoped that the British side would share its experience in the domain, especially in policymaking.

Talking about bilateral trade and investment ties, Hue noted the UK is currently Vietnam’s third largest trading partner in the European market and its leading European investor. However, he said British investment in Vietnam only reached about US$4 billion, or just 1% of the total foreign investment Vietnam has attracted.

The two sides agreed that both Vietnam and the UK have made great strides in raising their trade to the current level of billion. Yet, the two countries need to continue promoting the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) and creating favourable conditions for British businesses to expand investment in Vietnam, especially in green finance, pharmaceuticals, health care, digital technology, education, innovative start-ups, infrastructure construction, and clean energy.

Hue also said that Vietnam wants to learn about the UK’s experience in developing its London financial centre in order to build a similar model in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

Both host and guest consented that Vietnam and the UK should to strengthen comprehensive and substantive relations bilaterally and multilaterally, especially when the UK is already a full dialogue partner of ASEAN. They agreed to maintain dialogues and exchange of delegations, especially through the parliamentary channel to increase the efficiency of cooperation.

The two sides expressed their satisfaction that progress has been made in bilateral cooperation in defense - security, science – technology, education and training. Currently, Vietnam has 12,000 students studying in the UK and the UK has developed many high-quality joint training programmes in Vietnam.

They agreed to increase student exchange and focus on increasing the quantity and quality of training following the presence of well-known British universities in Vietnam.

Exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern, the two sides stressed the need for closer cooperation in solving global problems, on the basis of respect for international law.

They were pleased to see that Vietnam and the UK have closely coordinated at multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN-UK cooperation framework. Vietnam always supports the UK in increasing cooperation with ASEAN, while the UK supports ASEAN’s central role and is an important bridge between Vietnam and the EU.

The two leaders acknowledged the positive cooperation between the National Assembly of Vietnam and the British House of Lords over the past time and agreed to promote the role of the two parliaments in fostering relations between the Governments and peoples of the two countries.

Chairman Hue cordially invited President Mcfall to visit Vietnam, and the invitation was accepted with pleasure.

Vietnamese top legislator holds talks with British lower house speaker in London
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue and Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle discussed various issues regarding cooperation between the two legislatures during their talks in London on June 29 morning.
Vietnamese top legislator holds talks with British lower house speaker hinh anh 1
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) and Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle at their talks in London on June 29 (Photo: VNA)

Hue is on an official visit to the UK from June 28 - 30 at the invitations of Speaker of the House of Lords John McFall and Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle.

The two sides also exchanged views on their cooperation at multilateral forums and on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

They focused discussions on measures to further strengthen the Vietnam - UK Strategic Partnership and promote the role of the two parliaments in doing this.

They agreed to organise a variety of activities in trade, investment and culture as well as high-level delegation exchanges in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam - UK diplomatic relations next year (1973 - 2023).

NA Chairman Hue said his visit to UK aims for the two sides to chalk out new directions and solutions to make the multi-faceted bilateral cooperation more effective and better coordinate at multilateral forums.

Both legislators expressed their delight at the growing Strategic Partnership between the two countries and that the bilateral relation is at its best, with regular delegate exchanges, meetings and talks.

Hue emphasised that the UK, a global powerhouse, holds an important position in Vietnam’s foreign policy while Hoyle described Vietnam as a developing, dynamic country in the strategic Southeast Asia region.

Hoyle expected Vietnam to promote its role at multilateral forums and in addressing global issues, including conventional and non-conventional security challenges.

Regarding economic affairs, the two sides held that two-way trade and investment have been seeing dynamic development thanks to legal foundations provided by the UK - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

The British lower house speaker proposed the two countries to leverage the UKVFTA so as to enable British enterprises to expand investment in Vietnam, particularly in the fields of green finance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, digital technology, education, start-up and innovation, infrastructure development, clean energy and others.

Vietnamese top legislator holds talks with British lower house speaker hinh anh 2
The talks between NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) and Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle in London on June 29 (Photo: VNA)

In terms of education, the two sides shared the view that their countries have cooperated fruitfully in this field over the past years, with 12,000 Vietnamese students now studying in the UK. However, educational cooperation still has much room for growth and needs to be prioritized since investing in education means investing in the future.

Chairman Hue asked the UK to provide more government scholarships for Vietnamese students and encourage major universities to open their branches in Vietnam. 

He also took the occasion to ask the UK Government, parliament, and people to continue creating conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into and contribute to local society and help with their homeland’s development. In response, Hoyle agreed that Vietnamese people, including students, are a very important bridge linking the two countries.

The top legislator of Vietnam highly valued bilateral collaboration in health care and science – technology, appreciating the UK’s donation of nearly 3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Vietnam via the bilateral mechanism and the COVAX Facility, along with medical supplies worth 500,000 GBP (over 600,000 USD) via UNICEF.

The two leaders agreed on the necessity to enhance cooperation in dealing with global issues such as transnational crimes, human trafficking, money laundering, and cybersecurity. 
Regarding climate change, they agreed that developed countries have the responsibility for realising their own commitments and helping developing nations to implement their pledges. Hue asked the UK to assist Vietnam with finance, technique, training, and capacity building to deliver on its commitments made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

The Vietnamese NA supports and stands side by side with the Government to ensure the implementation of the country’s commitments to the international community, he added.

Hoyle highly valued Vietnam’s determination shown at COP26 and said he will persuade the British and European sides to help Vietnam.

At the talks, the two sides applauded their countries’ cooperation at multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations, the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM), and the ASEAN - UK cooperation.

Hue affirmed that Vietnam always supports the UK to enhance ties with ASEAN and is ready to serve as a bridge helping the UK expand cooperation with ASEAN countries. 

The host speaker said there are always parliamentarians supporting Vietnam in the British legislature, including those with important roles in the European Parliament, and they are critical links between Vietnam and the European Parliament.

Chairman Hue expressed his delight at the thriving relations between the Vietnamese and British parliaments over the past years, which he said is an important factor helping intensify the Vietnam - UK strategic partnership.

The Vietnamese NA wishes to work closely with the British House of Commons to develop the strategic partnership to a new height, enhance political trust, increase people-to-people exchange, improve all-round cooperation effectiveness, share experience in issuing policies on post-pandemic economic recovery and green growth, and exchange views on international affairs. 

To step up bilateral cooperation, the two sides agreed to boost all-level mutual visits, share experience in parliamentary activities, reinforce coordination to monitor and promote the implementation of the Governments’ cooperation deals and strategic cooperation projects, and support the Vietnamese and British Governments, localities, businesses and people to increase exchanges, mutual understanding, and win-win cooperation. 
They will also boost consultation, coordination, and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia - Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP).

Talking about international and regional issues, the two leaders held that amid fast, complicated, and unpredictable changes in the international and regional situation, it is necessary to uphold international law, respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peacefully resolve disputes, stop the use of force in international relations, and prioritise cooperation to cope with emerging challenges such as cybersecurity and transnational crimes.

On this occasion, Chairman Hue invited the host speaker to soon pay a visit to Vietnam, and Hoyle accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Vietnam, UK to step up educational cooperation

Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Kim Son and British Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi agreed to enhance the countries’ educational cooperation during a meeting in London on June 29.

The two officials discussed many cooperation areas, including digital transformation in tertiary and general education, environmental education, English language training, examination, student exchange, and postgraduate training.

Minister Son, who is accompanying National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in an official visit to the UK, said bilateral cooperation in education has been growing in width, and that Vietnam wishes to further develop it in depth.

He expressed his hope that the UK Government and the British Council will further help Vietnam in English language training, enhance teachers’ capacity, and improve educational quality and the capacity of educational quality verification.

Son also called on the UK Government to assist with the teaching and learning for ethnic minority children in mountainous areas which face shortages of teachers as well as teaching and learning tools, especially for online learning.

The official also suggested British universities invest more in Vietnam, particularly in the majors the UK is strong at such as finance, banking, and information technology, adding that he hopes they will open branches in Vietnam, carry out joint programmes, and exchange students.

For his part, Zahawi shared the view that the two sides can further promote educational cooperation, especially in digital transformation – which is important to both the UK and Vietnam as it will generate considerable benefits.

The UK is ready to boost collaboration with Vietnam to improve educational quality, teacher training, English language teaching, and educational quality verification capacity, he added.

Concluding the meeting, the two sides agreed to intensify bilateral educational cooperation in both depth and width, especially in the areas matching Vietnam’s demand and the UK’s strength.

The same day, a roundtable on economics and education cooperation between Vietnam and Scotland took place at London’s Scotland House on June 29 (local time), also as part of National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s ongoing official visit to the UK.

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister of Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for COVID Recovery, who attended the event remotely, said the roundtable provides an opportunity for the two sides to discuss in depth issues tabled at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) last November.

Vietnam and Scotland have acknowledged clear opportunities for the further development of the bilateral ties in higher education and renewable energy, their two priorities, he said.

Scotland wants to strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in addressing global challenges, he said, adding that Vietnam is among partners that have received financial support from the European research and innovation programme and the Newton Fund of the UK government.

He went on to highlight Scotland’s advantages in various areas, including informatics, AI, data science, biology, clinical research, physics, environment, aerospace and satellites, industrial biotechnology and circular economy. He expected the event will open up new opportunities for experience sharing and cooperation between the two sides.

Vu Dai Thang, Secretary of the Party Committee of Quang Nam, said as Vietnam has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at COP26, the country has been accelerating energy transition through projects promoting shift from fossil fuels to clean, green and environmentally friendly energy.

To achieve the goal, Vietnam needs cooperation from agencies and governments across the globe, especially the UK and Scotland, Thang said.

During the event, representatives from participating universities introduced potential for bilateral cooperation in higher education. The two sides also discussed how to develop offshore wind power in Vietnam.

Source: VNA/VOV



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