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Joint statement by the UK and Vietnam on UK Prime Minister's visit to Vietnam

A joint statement on the visit to Vietnam of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron to Vietnam on 29 and 30 July 2015.

At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Right Honourable David Cameron MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland paid an official visit to Vietnam from 29 to 30 July 2015.

During the visit, Prime Minister David Cameron called on H.E. Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, H.E. Mr. Truong Tan Sang, President of the Social Republic of Vietnam, and held talks with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The visit took place on the fifth year anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral Strategic Partnership. It was the first official visit of a serving British Prime Minister to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

During bilateral talks, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress that had been made in all areas of the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Strategic Partnership in 2010 and recognised the great potential for broader cooperation that lay ahead.

The two Prime Ministers affirmed that economic cooperation would continue to be a priority for both sides and welcomed the progress in negotiations on the EU Vietnam Free Trade Agreement which should provide a major boost to trade and investment between Vietnam and the UK. They underlined their shared vision of an ambitious and comprehensive agreement which would fully address both tariff and market access issues.

Both Prime Ministers welcomed the increased cooperation between Vietnamese and British companies that the visit had brought. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung welcomed the success of UK’s businesses currently operating in Vietnam and underscored that the Government of Vietnam would generate a favourable business environment for UK companies, particularly in advanced engineering , infrastructure development, banking and finance, insurance, oil and gas. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the chance to meet Vietnamese investors planning to invest in the UK market and the potential which exists to benefit both economies.

Both Leaders were pleased to have witnessed the signing of an agreement between Rolls-Royce and Vietnam Airlines, worth £340 million, that showcased both British engineering expertise and Vietnam Airlines’ status as a leading regional carrier.

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the UK offer to Vietnam of up to £500 million in export credits to fund future infrastructure projects that could benefit from British expertise. UK Export Finance and the Ministry of Finance will now work together to identify suitable projects that may be eligible for this offer.

Both Prime Ministers welcomed witnessing the investment of £100 million by Prudential Vietnam in the Ministry of Finance’s first issue of 20-year government bonds and the acceptance by Ba Ria Vung Tau province of ZincOx’s proposal to invest £75 million into recycling hazardous waste and reducing carbon emissions from the steel industry, a first for a UK company in Vietnam.

Both Prime Ministers welcomed the announcement by Harvey Nash, the largest foreign investor in the Vietnamese technology sector, that it would launch a UK-Vietnam tech hub this year to facilitate dialogue and potential collaboration between Vietnamese and British companies, with strong political support from the UK government.

Both Prime Ministers further welcomed the leadership shown by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Vietnam Business Forum in taking forward the Business Integrity agenda and supported future business-led action.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung noted Vietnam’s appreciation of the UK’s ODA support to Vietnam over the last 20 years in poverty reduction, sustainable development, education and training, which contributed greatly to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration. Prime Minister David Cameron was proud that the UK had supported Vietnam over the past 20 years.

Both sides noted that the end of the bilateral DFID in-country programme in Vietnam represented anther significant milestone in Vietnam’s development success story and welcomed the shift in focus of the relationship towards economic partnership.

Both sides emphasised the importance within the Strategic Partnership to strengthening science and innovation collaboration. They welcomed the inauguration of the Newton Fund Vietnam in June 2015 and the successful launch of major joint research programmes in the fields of health and agriculture.

In addition, they noted that the newly signed agreement between the British Council and the Ministry of Science and Technology will improve research management.

Both sides recognised antimicrobial resistance as one of the most significant global risks threatening modern medicine and their shared determination to play a leading role in tackling this issue. The two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of education and training cooperation in the bilateral relationship. Both Prime Ministers welcomed the UK’s support for the full education offer in Vietnam, from English language training, through vocational training to include training for the top leadership of the Vietnamese government. They noted that effective running of the proposed Vietnam – UK Institute for Research and Executive Education is fundamental to the success of the Vietnam – UK University project in Danang.

The two Prime Ministers noted the positive development of the bilateral security and defence cooperation. Both Prime Ministers noted the continued, strong cooperation between UK and Vietnamese law enforcement agencies, resulting in good operational results and joint focus on international priorities such as the WeProtect Summit in London in December 2014. Prime Minister David Cameron thanked the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung for the high level attendance from the Vietnamese Ministries of Public Security (MPS) and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) at this Summit and also for Vietnam’s signature of the joint statement. Building on existing strong levels of co-operation on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, Prime Minister David Cameron was pleased to announce that the UK would commit additional funding to build a shelter for victims of cross-border trafficking. Both sides agreed to take forward negotiations on a MOU on human trafficking.

Both sides welcomed the opening of the Defence Office in the Vietnamese Embassy in London and continuing defence cooperation. The two Prime Ministers agreed to further develop the MOU on defence-related cooperation, to facilitate defence industry cooperation, to further promote professional and specialist military training opportunities, to increase exchanges of defence and security delegations, and to continue to enhance cooperation through the exchange of military experience.

The two Prime Ministers agreed to further cooperation to combat climate change, in particular coordinating ahead of and during COP 21 in Paris in 2015. Both sides stressed the importance of reaching an international agreement on climate change, in line with the principles of the UN’s Convention on Climate Change.

Both Prime Ministers reiterated their determination to implement the commitments from the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conferences in London and Botswana. The UK welcomes Vietnam’s hosting the next conference in late 2016 and has committed £200,000 in funding.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the opportunity to discuss the promotion and protection of human rights in a frank and constructive manner.

The two Prime Ministers discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest and reiterated their commitment to maintaining a rules-based order in the maritime domain based on the principles of international law, in particular as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, underlining the importance of peaceful dispute settlement as well as free and unimpeded lawful use of the world’s oceans. Both sides also reaffirmed the importance of respecting and fully implementing the DOC signed in 2002 and the early conclusion of the regional COC in South China Sea.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Prime Minister David Cameron finally noted their pleasure at the continuing growth of people to people links between Vietnam and the UK, with the Prime Minister David Cameron noting that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s agreement to a visa waiver for British nationals entering Vietnam for 15 days would further strengthen this, most important, element of the Strategic Partnership.

Both Prime Ministers expressed their belief that the outcomes of the visit would contribute to further enhancing the Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Prime Minister David Cameron extended an invitation to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to visit the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung accepted the invitation with pleasure. The time of the visit will be arranged through diplomatic channels.