Bai Tu Long Bay in the northern province of Quang Ninh is expected to stun holiday-makers as various tours to explore the beautiful bay will be launched this summer.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem delivered the remark in an interview with the London-based Vietnam News Agency correspondent on Sept. 9.
Deputy PM and FM Khiem and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague signed a joint declaration on the establishment of the two countries’ strategic partnership in London on Sept. 8 during the former’s visit to the UK .
Vietnam and the UK have made great strides in their ties recently, Khiem said, citing the two-way trade value of over 2 billion USD in 2009, and the UK ’s pumping of nearly 2.5 billion USD in FDI into 131 projects in Vietnam .
He noted that the UK was the number one investor in finance, banking and insurance in Vietnam and its provision of annual non-refundable aid of roughly 100 million USD was the highest in the European Union.
The UK was the first country in the EU to pledge to continue supplying Vietnam with ODA till 2015, Khiem noted.
He also cited the fact that 7,000 Vietnamese students are studying and conducting research in the UK .
Deputy PM and FM Khiem said that the two countries have coordinated closely at various regional and international forums and supported each other in enhancing their ties with the EU and ASEAN.
However, he stressed that the level as well as outcomes of the bilateral ties have not yet been commensurate to each country’s potential and desire.
Therefore, both countries decided to elevate their ties to strategic partnership to demonstrate their strong determination to increase the exploitation of their untapped cooperation potential, Khiem said.
“The signing of the joint declaration to establish Vietnam-UK strategic partnership is a great event, marking a turning point in elevating their cooperation to a new height both bilaterally and multilaterally, and laying a firm foundation for future wide-ranging, stable and long-term cooperation,” he noted.
Khiem said both sides have agreed to soon activate the joint declaration and materialise the strategic partnership with specific and practical results in the domains of economy, trade, investment, education, training, science and technology.
“The establishment of a strategic partnership with the UK is a vivid manifestation of the Vietnamese Party and State’s correct foreign policy of multilateralisation and diversification of international ties,” the Deputy PM said.
Vietnam ’s position continues to be heightened as the country has become a reliable and responsible partner to all countries in the international community, contributing actively to peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world, Khiem said.
He pinpointed seven prioritised areas of strategic cooperation, including politics-diplomacy, regional and global issues, trade-investment, security-defence, and people-to-people exchange.
He told the VNA correspondent that relevant ministries and agencies of the two countries would coordinate in formulating specific action plans for each area as well as inspection mechanisms to step up the implementation.
The two countries are resolved to achieve a trade value of 4 billion USD and raise the UK ’s FDI in Vietnam to 3 billion USD by or prior to 2013, Khiem said.
In education, the two sides will work to put the Vietnam-UK university in the central city of Da Nang into operation soon.
For development cooperation, apart from traditional fields such as poverty reduction, healthcare and education, the UK will prioritise its ODA for Vietnam ’s response to climate change and scientific research, Khiem said.
He noted that both sides will deploy a strategic
dialogue mechanism to work out measures to enhance political and
security cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to contribute
to promoting peace, stability and development in each region and the
world at large./.