Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh received Singaporean and UK Foreign Ministers

Update: 07:50 | 23/06/2021
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh on June 22 separately received Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh received Singaporean and UK Foreign Ministers
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh suggested several measures to augment the Viet Nam - Singapore strategic partnership during a meeting with visiting Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

Balakrishnan affirmed that the Viet Nam - Singapore strategic partnership has been developing in a substantive and effective manner with high political trust and huge cooperation potential, especially when both are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The two countries share many common benefits in combating COVID-19 and strengthening cooperation towards post-pandemic recovery, he emphasised.

The Singaporean official also informed his host about the outcomes of the talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son on June 21, including the proposals to establish working groups on COVID-19 response and cooperation in the digital economy as well as facilitate travel between the two countries.

Welcoming Minister Balakrishnan, Deputy PM Minh highly valued the Singaporean Government’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and conduct mass vaccination, expressing his hope that Singapore will share its experience and cooperate with Viet Nam in applying high technology in rapid testing and contact tracing and access to safe and effective vaccines.

He applauded the two countries working to soon establish and convene meetings between their working groups on COVID-19 response towards mutual recognition of each other’s vaccination certificates.

The Deputy PM also welcomed the cooperation in the digital economy to create momentum for economic recovery and development in the new context.

The two sides should devise measures for effectively carrying out the cooperation aspects within the framework of the Viet Nam - Singapore economic connectivity agreement, including organising the 15th connectivity ministerial meeting early, promoting the effective and balanced development of trade, and developing the existing Viet Nam - Singapore industrial parks (VSIPs) towards smart, high-tech, innovative, and environmentally friendly ones, according to him.

Minh also suggested Singapore continue the capacity-building cooperation programmes in the Mekong sub-region, coordinate viewpoints on regional and international issues of shared concern, including the East Sea issue, and uphold the solidarity and centrality of ASEAN.

Balakrishnan pledged coordination with the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to step up all-level mutual visits and effectively implement directions issued by the countries’ leaders, thereby helping to develop the strategic partnership extensively and substantively on the basis of mutual political trust and common benefits.

Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh received Singaporean and UK Foreign Ministers
At the meeting between Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs. (Photo: Nguyen Hong)

At a reception in Ha Noi also on June 22 for Dominic Raab, British First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Deputy PM Minh said the UK is a leading nation in COVID-19 vaccine research and development and is one of the countries which have contributed the most to the COVAX Facility.

The Deputy PM spoke highly of the positive development of the Viet Nam – UK strategic partnership in the recent past and expressed his belief that Raab’s current visit would create a new driving force for the bilateral cooperation.

Raab, who has been on an official visit to Viet Nam where he also attended the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue, affirmed that Viet Nam is an important strategic partner of the UK, particularly when the European nation has enhanced its engagement and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region in the post-Brexit period.

To step up cooperation in line with the “Joint Declaration on the Viet Nam - UK Strategic Partnership: Forging Ahead for Another 10 Years”, the two sides agreed to soon resume the exchange of delegations, especially high-ranking ones, and cooperation mechanisms when the conditions allow.

Minh took this occasion to suggest the UK create favourable conditions for Vietnamese exports to enter its market in a bid to tap opportunities brought about by the UK - Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

He also affirmed that Viet Nam is willing to create the best conditions for British firms to expand their investment, particularly in potential fields such as renewable energy, digital economy, banking, insurance, financial services, and education - training.

The Deputy PM said the two nations should continue their cooperation at international forums such as the UN Security Council (UNSC) during 2020-2021, when Viet Nam works as a non-permanent member of the council, and ASEM.

Minh pledged that Viet Nam would work closely with the UK to ensure the success of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) hosted by the UK in November this year.

Raab thanked Viet Nam for supporting the UK's efforts to secure the ASEAN Dialogue Partner status, as well as in negotiations to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Having emphasised the importance of ensuring the freedom of navigation and overflight, security and peace in the East Sea, the two officials noted that the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is the legal framework for all activities at sea and ocean.

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(Source: VNA)