Tuoitrenews

Newly-appointed British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever said on Tuesday that one of the duties he has been tasked with during his term is to encourage UK businesses to invest in the Southeast Asian country.

The envoy will also work to create favorable conditions for British firms, as well as cooperate with the Vietnamese government to improve local business and investment environments, he told reporters at a media meeting in Hanoi.

Ambassador Lever presented his Letter of Credentials to Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang on September 10.

At the press briefing, he received many questions regarding his top priority in boosting bilateral ties between the two countries.

Among many areas on which Vietnam and the UK have committed themselves to focusing so as to intensify their relationship under a strategic partnership agreement, the ambassador said he will pay due attention to trade-investment.

Bilateral trade between Vietnam and the UK has posted strong growth since 2010, according to the diplomat.

In 2013, the bilateral trade value topped US$4.27 billion, a 19.48 percent increase from 2012, he said, noting that Vietnam reported a trade surplus with the UK that year.

The ambassador said he has been assigned to lure more British businesses to the Southeast Asian country and assist them in their investment.

The next priorities will be education-training and science-technology, Ambassador Lever said, adding that there are around 7,000 overseas Vietnamese students in Britain.

The ambassador will also concentrate on such global issues as climate change, Vietnam’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions, and wildlife trafficking.

Security and defense are also an area that will be prioritized during Ambassador Lever’s term in Vietnam, he added.

The Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed in London on September 8, 2010 by Vietnam’s then-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Gia Khiem, and then-Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the UK William Hague.

Besides the fields mentioned by Ambassador Lever, the two countries also agreed to cement ties in the areas of political-diplomatic cooperation, sustainable socio-economic development, and people-to-people links.