FCO Minister arrives in Vietnam for 2-day visit

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Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Heather Wheeler will begin her 2-day visit to Vietnam on Thursday (16 January) to mark 10 years of the UK-Vietnam Strategic Partnership.

Speaking ahead of her visit, UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler MP, said:

We are committed to maintaining and strengthening our relationships with ASEAN and Vietnam in particular.

The best way to mark the 10-year anniversary of UK-Vietnam Strategic Partnership is to commit to making it even broader and deeper with new cooperation on health, education, sustainable cities, technology and innovation.

Minister Wheeler will travel to the central province of Nghe An on Thursday, one of the localities most affected during the Essex lorry tragedy that claimed the lives of 39 Vietnamese people. She will meet with Nghe An authorities and observe a UK-funded training session on human trafficking investigation skills for Vietnamese law enforcement. She will also visit a UK-supported local shelter for victims of human trafficking.

With the aim of promoting UK qualifications and education in Vietnam, Minister Wheeler will also speak at an event to promote collaboration between Vinh University, one the most prominent institutions in the central region of Vietnam, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Later in the capital city of Hanoi, the Minister will visit a British Council teaching centre.

While in Vietnam the Minister will meet her counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi, to endorse the 10-year bilateral strategic partnership.

With Vietnam Chairing ASEAN in 2020, and with both countries being on the UN Security Council and with the UK hosting COP 26 this year, the Minister will touch on opportunities for the bilateral partnership to drive international responses to the great global challenges the 2 countries face. These discussions will highlight UK and Vietnam’s shared interests in promoting the Rules Based International System.

In Hanoi, the Minister will also visit the National Assembly, where she is due to meet with a Standing member of the Foreign Affairs Committee to discuss a wide range of mutual interests including gender equality and environmental protection.

With the hope of boosting bilateral partnership on sustainable energy transition, the Minister will later preside over a signing of the UK-Vietnam MoU on Energy with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which will open up new opportunities for UK companies to bolster trade with Vietnam in the energy sector.

Planetary issues including climate change, environmental sustainability and combating illegal wildlife trade are a key part of the Minister’s visit. She will meet with NGOs, development partners and civil societies working on these issues in Vietnam at a British Embassy-hosted reception.

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