HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese foreign minister Bùi Thanh Sơn has asked his UK counterpart Dominic Raab to support Việt Nam in getting access to COVID-19 vaccines as well as consider transferring vaccine production technology.
The two ministers held talks on Tuesday as the UK First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab was on an official visit to Hà Nội, a trip Sơn believed would help boost the Việt Nam-UK bilateral ties.
The UK diplomat reaffirmed the wish to strengthen the strategic partnership with Việt Nam as the UK is implementing its 'Indo-Pacific' policies.
The two sides expressed pleasure at the positive development in the two countries' relations, especially since 2020 when the two issued the Joint Statement on the Việt Nam-UK Strategic Partnership: Development Orientation in the Next 10 Years and the signing and entry into force of the UK-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKFTA).
The two sides agreed to soon resume the exchange of delegations and key cooperation mechanisms such as the Strategic Dialogue, the Joint Committee on Economic and Trade Cooperation (JETCO), and Defence Policy Dialogue.
Both sides highly appreciated the flourishing economic cooperation despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with two-way trade in 2020 reaching US$5.6 billion and the UK's foreign direct investment in Việt Nam hitting $3.92 billion.
The two ministers emphasised the need to take advantage of great opportunities afforded by the UKVFTA to create stronger changes in trade and investment cooperation, especially in potential fields such as digital economy, financial services, and renewable energy, contributing to post-pandemic economic recovery.
The two sides also discussed directions to promote cooperation in the fields of security-defence, health, development cooperation, education and training, science and technology, as well as cooperation between the two foreign ministries.
Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn requested that the UK, in the spirit of a strategic partnership, continue to support Việt Nam in COVID-19 vaccine access as well as review the possibility of transferring technology for the production of COVID-19 vaccines to Việt Nam.
The two ministers highly valued Việt Nam-UK cooperation in multilateral forums, especially the coordination at the United Nations Security Council during Việt Nam's tenure as a non-permanent member (2020-21) and within the framework of the Asia-Europe Cooperation Forum (ASEM).
The Vietnamese diplomat said Việt Nam would work closely with the UK in ensuring the success of the COP26 conference on climate change hosted by the UK in November this year.
The UK foreign secretary thanked Việt Nam for its support for the UK's ambition for 'ASEAN Dialogue Partnership' status and accession into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trading bloc.
The two sides also exchanged perspectives on international and regional issues of mutual concern, jointly underlining the importance of the upholding of freedom of navigation, overflight along with maintenance of security and peace in the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), promoting the role of international law and considering the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982) as the legal framework that governs all maritime activities. — VNS
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