British Ambassador to Viet Nam Iain Frew made the above statement in his recent interview with the VGP regarding the role and status of Viet Nam at multilateral forums over the recent years, especially when the nation successfully assumed the non-permanent membership of the UNSC for two tenures.
According to Ambassador Frew, the UK and Viet Nam have worked very closely together on the very important business that the UN Security Council have had to deal with and both sides have very fond memories of that.
This year, Viet Nam has taken up its second term on the UN Human Rights Council. Both countries worked together very well during the first term, he said, expressing his hope that both nations will continue collaborating in this term.
The Ambassador noted that what Viet Nam brings is a specific perspective from its own national history from Southeast Asia and a very responsible and thoughtful approach to the issues on the international agenda based on well-established policies of peace and security of the Vietnamese government.
“One of the areas in which both sides have been working together really closely in multilateral forums is on UN peacekeeping, and this is an area where Viet Nam is really developed and is developing its contribution internationally which is something that the British Government warmly welcomes”, he said.
Iain Frew expected that besides peacekeeping, both sides will further enhance coordination in other areas of UN cooperation.
One area where Viet Nam has made a fantastic progress on the UN agenda is towards the sustainable development goals, he said, adding that the UK and Viet Nam are close partners in working to how we can achieve those goals both in Viet Nam and around the world.
In addition, defence cooperation is an area in the bilateral relationship that is growing every day, he emphasised.
The Viet Nam International Defence Expo 2022, which took place in December last year, was a really significant moment in Viet Nam’s development of defence industry and international defence partnerships because it was a sign of Viet Nam looking to diversify its relationships, build new relationships and modernise its military structures, and its military equipment.
“These are all areas where the UK and Viet Nam have started working together. I want to see as our relationship develops that we are able to build on this and that we are able to deepen our defence cooperation. It is an area where we have seen high-level exchanges increasing as well”, told the Ambassador.
Earlier, in 2021, the UK Defence Minister visited Viet Nam for the very first time. Last year, the UK Minister of State for Armed Forces came to the Defence Expo to talk to his counterpart, the Vietnamese Defence Ministry, to see the expo and understand more about how Viet Nam wants to develop.
British Ambassador to Viet Nam Iain Frew talks about the role and status of Viet Nam at multilateral forums over the recent years
UK, Viet Nam build for the future
“The 50th anniversary of Viet Nam-UK diplomatic relations is a really good moment to celebrate what the two nations have built together over 50 years of their relationship, and look ahead to the future and the areas in which both sides want to build together”, shared Ambassador Frew.
He went onto to highlight that there are three key themes for this year, which are education, sustainability and trade. Within the framework of strategic partnership, the UK and Viet Nam are going to ‘build for the future’ in 2023 and in the years to come.
In term of cooperation in education, at the moment, around 12,000 Vietnamese students are studying in the UK. Ambassador Frew shares that the UK also has a huge appetite for English language tuition here in Viet Nam, but also the high-quality education that the UK deservingly has a reputation for.
Iain Frew hoped to promote building links on education at all levels, English language tuition at school, at secondary school level, at university level, and between education experts and researchers and even moving into innovation as people enter the workplace technical skills.
Meanwhile, the second theme of the two nations’ priorities for the 50th anniversary partnership this year is sustainability and climate. ‘The really ambitious goals that Viet Nam set out at COP26 to reach net zero by 2050 and a number of other commitments to green Viet Nam’s economy are strongly supported by the UK and the UK Government’, Ambassador Frew said.
At the end of last year, the UK together with partners from the EU, the G7 and other international partners, reached a partnership in a deal with the Vietnamese government, the so called JETP, the Just Energy Transition Partnership.
“Within this declaration, we have agreed how the countries in the International Partners Group can work together with and support Viet Nam to make a green energy transition, move away from high carbon sources and develop the renewables such as offshore winds solar power that are needed for Viet Nam’s economic development for the future”, stated the diplomat.
This is a real commitment from the Vietnamese government and it is a really positive long-term vision for the country’s development because that green development will help to create new jobs, Ambassador Frew continued. It will also mean that Viet Nam’s exports internationally are competitive and Vietnamese industry is able to develop with a reliable supply of energy.
‘The UK is strongly committed to working together with Viet Nam in this, he stressed, adding that the country has expertise in the offshore wind sector and has hugely increased its own generation of wind energy over the past decade.
The UK has sharing expertise and technical works on how to manage that, how to connect them effectively and how to work with the energy companies to make sure that there is a stable and reliable supply.’, shared the diplomat.
The British Ambassador underlined that trade ties between the UK and Viet Nam are really important and growing all the time. In 2022, the bilateral trade value increased by 13 percent and that is partly about how Viet Nam and the UK are recovering strongly from COVID-19.
‘The UK-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) creates a really strong basis for companies in both of our countries to trade together. UK companies and consumers enjoy the great products in Viet Nam, and the agricultural sector, the industrial sector and textiles, all are really big export sectors for the Vietnamese companies.
At the same time, UK companies recognise the potential for trade and investment in Viet Nam and some of biggest exports are in the pharmaceutical sectors, in the engineering sector, in the food and drink sector.’
Meanwhile, Ambassador Frew also highlights the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which Viet Nam is already a part of and the UK is negotiating to join, will give both nations even more potential.
Iain Frew expressed his hope that early in this year, the UK will officially join the CPTPP after two years of negotiation, and it will liberalise the bilateral trade even further so that there are fewer barriers between the two countries to trade effectively.
“We continue to build prosperity and support Viet Nam’s development and the ambition to become a high-income country by 2045. At the same time, we will develop the UK’s economy, so I think this is a win-win proposition”, he said.