Leveraging Vietnam-UK Relations

11:31:48 AM | 11/5/2021

At the invitation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to attend the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the United Kingdom from October 31 to November 3. The trip achieved many important goals and meanings, with many activities both in multilateral forums and in bilateral relations between Vietnam and the UK.

Strong commitment at COP 26

Attending and delivering an important speech at the COP26 Leaders Summit, with representatives of 197 member countries and more than 100 heads of State and the Government, COP26, Vietnam Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said climate change has truly become the greatest challenge to mankind. Extreme weather phenomena and sea-level rise are seriously affecting the food and water security, sustainable development, and even the survival of many countries and communities. This warning from nature compels us to put forward strong measures and act responsibly without further delay at the global level. As this is a global issue, a global approach is required. As this issue affects every person, an inclusive approach is necessary.

“Climate change response and the restoration of nature must become the highest priority in all development decisions. They must form the highest ethical standards for all levels, sectors, businesses and citizens. Science and technology must lead the charge, and financing must lend leverage to the transitioning of the development model towards a green, circular, sustainable, inclusive, and humanistic economy,” the Prime Minister stressed.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that, as one of the countries most affected by climate change, Vietnam is making every effort to both respond to climate change and foster economic development to grow and ensure an ever-better life for its people, while contributing responsibly alongside the international community. Vietnam looks forward to advancing cooperation with international partners through investment programs and projects, and sustainable development.

The speech of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh was highly appreciated by many international partners. Many countries affirmed their willingness to cooperate with Vietnam in implementing measures to promote green growth, circular economy and support communities, especially vulnerable groups, to increase ability to withstand and adapt to unusual and extreme weather events caused by climate change impacts. In particular, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced that the FCDO-backed Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) will commit more than £210 million in new investment to back transformational green projects in developing countries, including Vietnam.

UK impressed with Vietnam’s new 2050 net-zero target at COP26

“We are really impressed with Vietnam’s new 2050 net-zero target. This shows a real step forward in ambition and is a big contribution to keeping 1.5 degrees within reach, and stopping catastrophic global warming.

We look forward to continuing to work with Vietnam on a successful outcome to COP26, and to support the implementation of Vietnam’s new climate commitments and its energy transition, drawing on international climate finance.”

Deepening Vietnam-UK relations

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh hosted leaders of ten foreign corporations and leading British universities in Edinburg, Scotland, on October 31 (local time), as part of his visit to the UK for the COP26, aimed to promote trade and investment bilateral relations.

During the meetings with President of Pacific Land Group Patrick McKillen, Jardines Group Director Adam Keswick, Jardines Vietnam Chairman Alain Cany, leader of Rolls Royce, Prof. Mohammed Abdel, representative of the UK’s University of Liverpool, Prime Minister held that despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has been highly regarded by the international community for its efforts to fulfill the twin goals of keeping the virus at bay and boosting economic growth, and for remaining a safe and attractive FDI destination.

Sharing concerns of foreign investors in Vietnam over the COVID-19 fallout, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said the Vietnamese Government and public agencies will continue to create favorable conditions for them to grow successful and sustainable business in the long term in the spirit of “harmonizing benefits and sharing risks.”

During the visit, the Prime Minister witnessed the signing and awarding of 26 cooperation agreements in the fields of trade, agriculture, energy, health, education, training, environmental protection and sports. Especially, Vietjet Air and Rolls-Royce Group signed an agreement to provide engines and engine services for the wide-body fleet with a total value of US$400 million. The Prime Minister also attended the launching ceremony of the Vietnam-UK direct route and the announcement ceremony of Bamboo Airways' general agent.

In particular, the Prime Minister also attended a forum on the investment and business environment in Vietnam, informed about our important economic policies, and strengthened confidence and attracted more investment capital from investors, businesses and international partners.

British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward said that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's visit to the UK this time is a lever to bring the two countries' relations to a new height. Many commercial activities in the fields with which the two countries have good relations, such as healthcare and vaccines, transportation, aerospace, and education, have been promoted more strongly.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long said that the relationship between Vietnam and the UK is at its best stage of development ever. Despite the recent changes in the situation, the Vietnam - UK Strategic Partnership continues to develop positively and achieve many important results.

By Giang Tu, Vietnam Business Forum