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Vietnam, UK’s West Midlands region look toward closer ties

13/10/2023    17

A seminar connecting Vietnam and the West Midlands region of the UK took place in the UK city of Birmingham on October 10.

Co-hosted by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Foreign Affairs for Provinces and the Vietnamese Embassy in the UK, the event was part of a promotion programme for Vietnamese localities in the UK this year, with leaders of Hanoi, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Lam Dong, Kien Giang and Phu Quoc and over 100 delegates representing the UK’s associations, organisations and businesses taking part.

In his welcome speech, Lord Mayor of Birmingham Chaman Lal said Birmingham, with strengths in education, health care, finance and commerce, is particularly interested in fostering friendly relations and building cooperative ties with localities across the world, including those in Vietnam.

He also pointed out several potential areas of cooperation with Vietnamese localities, such as sci-tech, high technology, artificial intelligence and industry.

The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Mark Garnier said West Midlands gives priority to development in various sectors, including industry, services, education and culture. 

He hoped that the visit of the Vietnamese local leaders will enable both sides to gain a better understanding about each other and contribute to promoting investment and trade.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long, for his part, said with the UK's entry to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), two-way trade between Vietnam and the UK will keep rising. 

Vietnam needs logistics and services in the UK to facilitate connections to the European country and to establish the UK as a hub for Vietnamese exports to other markets such as the European Union (EU) and the US, he said, adding that Birmingham specifically and the West Midlands in general possess strengths and experience in green transformation, industry, education, health care, and more. When combined with the advantages of Vietnamese localities, this partnership potentially brings significant and practical benefits to all sides involved.

Through promotional videos and illustrative images, the Vietnamese local representatives provided concise and vivid information about the potential and strengths of their areas. They also introduced a list of projects in need of investment in industrial production, high-quality agriculture, renewable energy, education, workforce training, tourism, infrastructure and smart city development. 

The UK partners expressed their wish to continue discussing and cooperating with the Vietnamese localities for mutual benefits. 

A representative from the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce also shared bilateral cooperation opportunities in the fields of education, training and high technology, and how to effectively tap opportunities arising from the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement./.

Source: Vietnam Plus