Vietnam and UK Aim for Strengthening Strategic Partnership

Vietnam and the United Kingdom are looking to strengthen their strategic partnership; the city of Hoi An is striving to become part of UNESCO's Creative Cities Network; a seminar on the Indo-Pacific has been held to commemorate 50 years of Vietnam-Italy diplomacy; senior tourism is seen as a potentially valuable market segment for Vietnam.

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Vietnam News Today (Jun 15) notable headlines

Vietnam, UK seek to build stronger strategic partnership

Hoi An seeks membership of UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Seminar on Indo-Pacific marks 50 years of Vietnam-Italy diplomacy

Senior tourism – a potential market segment in Vietnam

Hanoi tops list of favorite places in Asia for solo travelers

Vietnam, Côte d’Ivoire enhance relations

Diverse activities planned for Binh Thuan tourism week

Korean beauty technology firm enters Vietnamese market

Hanoi promotes advantage of craft villages

At the event (Image source: The Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
At the event (Image source: The Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Vietnam, UK seek to build stronger strategic partnership

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Thi Thu Hang and Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Anne-Marie Trevelyan co-chaired the ninth Vietnam-UK Strategic Dialogue on June 12 in London.

The dialogue saw the attendance of Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long, British Ambassador to Vietnam Ian Frew, and representatives of relevant ministries.

During the event, both sides acknowledged that the Vietnam – UK Strategic Partnership has seen more comprehensive development across various fields, both bilaterally and multilaterally. This progress reflects the strong determination of both nations to elevate their relationship to new heights, considering the Strategic Partnership in 2010 and the Joint Statement 2020 outlining seven priority areas.

Political trust has been strengthened by maintaining the exchange of delegations at all levels and through all channels, while trade and economic ties have been constantly expanding by effectively capitalizing on the UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA).

Security and defense links continue to be promoted and put into practice, whilst people-to-people exchanges, including educational cooperation, remain a bright spot with more than 12,000 Vietnamese students studying at all levels in the UK.

Affirming the Vietnamese recognition of the great importance of strengthening the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership, Deputy FM Hang said that the two sides need to make the most of positive cooperation results in the fields of politics, economics, education – training, security – defense, people-to-people exchanges, whilst seeking to expand bilateral ties to new areas. These efforts should focus on the UK’s strengths and Vietnam’s needs such as new energy, green finance, and strategic infrastructure development.

The UK diplomat hailed Vietnamese development achievements and its growing international and regional stature, highlighting the nation as an important partner in the overall Indo-Pacific strategy of the British Government, cited VOV.

The UK therefore welcomes Vietnam’s strong commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 made at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), along with the country’s adoption of a political declaration on just energy transition with the G7. It stands ready to join international partners and private businesses in cooperating with and assisting Vietnam in terms of green transition, sustainable development, and climate change response, she affirmed.

To further strengthen the strategic partnership and tap into the cooperation potential, the two sides agreed to intensify delegation exchanges at all levels, especially high levels, and effectively maintain bilateral cooperation mechanisms. This is along with working together to implement the UKVFTA to further promote bilateral trade and encourage British enterprises to boost investment in the Vietnamese market in fields such as renewable energy, digital technology, finance – banking, innovation, and high-quality infrastructure.

They also discussed a wide range measures aimed at further enhancing partnerships in science – technique and education – training, including exchanging students, conducting joint studies, increasing the UK’s scholarships for Vietnamese students, whilst effectively making use of the UK’s sponsorships for scientific researches.

With regard to security linkages, both sides concurred to maintain close ties in the fields of migration; exit – entry; the fight against organized, hi-tech, and human trafficking crimes; and capacity building for law enforcement officers.

With regard to defense ties, they showed their elation at the progress made in bilateral cooperation, as seen by the visit of a naval ship to Vietnam and the UK’s assistance in training Vietnamese officers for UN peacekeeping operations.

They agreed to continue intensifying defense delegation exchanges, step up cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, share strategic research information, and expand collaboration to potential areas such as cyber and maritime security safeguarding.

On the basis of the common priorities in agricultural partnership and many important agreements relating to this, the two officials discussed measures to bolster cooperation in opening their countries’ respective markets to each other’s agricultural products. This is along with facilitating timber trade, controlling food quality and safety, reducing greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, and enhancing the possibility of trilateral partnerships to help guarantee global food security.

Regarding bilateral ties at international and regional forums, UK Minister Trevelyan appreciated Vietnamese support for the UK during the negotiations on her country’s participation in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Both sides agreed to augment sharing and coordination at multilateral forums like the UN and the ASEAN-UK cooperation.

With regard to international and regional issues of shared concern, they underlined the importance of complying with international law and the fundamental principles of the UN Charter.

They therefore used the occasion to voice support for ASEAN’s centrality and the bloc’s stance on regional security issues, including ensuring security, safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea; respecting law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and advocating the building of an efficient and effective code of conduct in the waters.

The same day saw Deputy FM Hang hold a meeting with Deputy Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons Nigel Evans, who applauded the flourishing mutual relations and described the strategic dialogue as an important mechanism for comprehensively discussing issues of bilateral cooperation.

He commended Vietnam as a partner of leading importance of the UK in the region, adding that the UK parliament supports the promotion of joint ties.

Deputy FM Hang greatly appreciated the support shown by the Royal Family, the UK Government, and UK Parliament for Vietnam, calling for continued assistance for the Vietnamese community in the UK.

Both sides also agreed to work hand in hand to organize celebrations for the 50th anniversary of joint diplomatic ties this year.

Hoi An seeks membership of UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Hoi An is compiling a dossier to seek the recognition of this city, located in the central province of Quang Nam, as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of craft and folk arts.

Covering 60 sq.km. and having a population of less than 150,000, Hoi An has long been known for its ancient quarters, a world heritage site, with a typical architectural heritage complex.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Van Lanh told the Tuoi tre (Youth) daily that selecting the field of craft and folk arts to build the dossier, Hoi An hopes to fully capitalize on its heritage that has been upheld for more than 400 years.

Hoi An is home to a large number of traditional craft villages, including more than 100 in its ancient quarters alone such as silk and leather product making, tailoring, embroidery, woodcarving, and pottery. It also boasts rich architectural heritage with a complex of century-old houses while nurturing many folk arts such as “bai choi” and “ba trao” singing, according to VNA.

Lanh said Hoi An has long been a role model in recovering and tapping into the values of craft villages and folk arts. Here, artisans, craftsmen, and any who have ideas can freely make creations.

A pottery workshop in Hoi An (Photo: baovanhoa.vn)
A pottery workshop in Hoi An (Photo: baovanhoa.vn)

The development and maintenance of cultural values and craft villages throughout history have shown that local residents in the lower Thu Bon River basin have managed to adapt to different contexts, and that is the most wonderful creation, he opined.

Thanks to heritage tourism, Hoi An has revitalized many craft villages and folk arts. Given UNESCO standards for a creative city, it has to prove that its products of creativity can survive and develop on their own without dependence on tourism.

This is a big challenge, but the city can overcome thanks to its integrating and adapting capability, according to the official.

Apart from Hoi An, Da Lat city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is also seeking membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the field of music.

In Vietnam, Hanoi was the first to join this network, in 2019.

UNESCO launched the network in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that recognize creativity as a significant factor of their development. The network recognizes seven factors – craft and folk arts, media, film, design, gastronomy, literature, and music – as creative fields. As of 2023, 301 cities around the world have become its members.

Seminar on Indo-Pacific marks 50 years of Vietnam-Italy diplomacy

The Vietnamese Embassy in Italy, working in collaboration with the Rome-based Centre for International Studies (Ce.SI), has held a seminar themed “Dynamics in the Indo-Pacific and the Importance of Italy’s Engagement” to mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of both nations’ diplomatic relations.

The event draw the participation of nearly 50 delegates, including officials of Italy, diplomats of several ASEAN member states in the Southern European country, along with representatives from leading research and consulting agencies and universities.

As part of his opening address at the function, Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Hai Hung stressed that the EU and the Indo-Pacific region are closely linked due to their economic interdependence, common global challenges, and the rule of law, VOV reported.

Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Hai Hung addresses the seminar (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Ambassador Duong Hai Hung addresses the seminar (Photo: VNA)

According to Ambassador Hung, Italy, as a founding member of the EU, has made an important contribution to the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Indeed, it has demonstrated its interest and stronger cohesion with the region through the message of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Raisina Dialogue in India, as well as the recent visit to several ASEAN countries by offshore patrol vessel Francesco Morosini.

Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, vice president of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, underscored the importance of the Indo-Pacific region, home to three-quarters of the world’s largest economies, 60% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), and nine of the world’s largest seaports. It is for this reason that about 15 countries which have now launched Indo-Pacific strategies and aim to be involved in shaping the future of the most important region in the world and forming new global rules, he said.

If Italy desires to intensify its engagement with the Indo-Pacific region, ASEAN will be an important partner due to the bloc currently being the only international organization accepted by all countries in the Pacific, he stressed.

At the seminar, delegates discussed a range of issues raised through five speeches, represented by Dr. Son and four Italian speakers, all of which seek to gain a greater understanding about new developments in the Indo-Pacific region, Italy’s role and involvement, as well as the potential fields for future people-to-people diplomatic ties.

Senior tourism – a potential market segment in Vietnam

Senior tourism is described as a potential market segment in Vietnam, especially for domestic tours.

According to surveys of domestic tourists in 2019 by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, elderly tourists account for a relatively low proportion in the structure of domestic tourists. Those aged 55-65 accounted for 4.53% and those over 65, about 1.44%. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, elderly people aged 60 and more currently account for 12.8% of the country’s population.

The figures show that the potential for senior tourism development is still very large. Moreover, this segment does not depend much on the season factor, and has a high “loyalty”. Once elderly tourists are satisfied with the services they are provided with, they will become regular customers.

Therefore, with suitable products and strategies, tourism businesses can have a relatively stable number of customers of this age group.

Over the past time, many travel agencies have tailored tours for the elderly, focusing mainly on a few types of tourism such as resort, spiritual, medical, cultural, or historical tourism.

Recently, there are more and more new forms of tourism to serve the elderly such as “slow” tourism – spending time experiencing a place longer, staying longer, and more time for rest; and healthcare tourism, combining relaxation with meditation, yoga, massage, traditional medicine therapy with medical workers’ supervision, VNA reported.

Illustrative photo (Photo: thanhnien.vn)
Illustrative photo (Photo: thanhnien.vn)

Most elderly people are often reluctant to travel abroad because of language barriers, health problems, and busy schedules. Therefore, domestic tourism is considered more attractive with resorts in coastal areas of Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Con Dao, Vung Tau, Mui Ne, Quy Nhon, and Da Nang; and places with a mild and cool climate like Da Lat, Sa Pa or those with healthy activities like hot mineral/mud bathing, and physiotherapy.

According to a study by a team from the Institute for Tourism Development Research, the group of tourists aged 60-69 tends to travel more and more. The elderly usually prefer destinations that are not too crowded, thematic tours, and packages, with travel schedules suitable for health and economic conditions, besides full and clear information about the travel schedule. They prioritize traveling with family and want to go to safe destinations, have high service quality, warm climates, and good accessibility.

The researchers noted that when building products and organizing tours for the elderly, travel companies should recommend tourists take a health check before departing, prepare enough medicine, and follow medical guidelines to ensure a safe journey.

Tour providers are recommended to design appropriate travel schedules with much time for rest and proper information about weather, language, and culture.

In addition, tour guides should be equipped with knowledge about the psychology of the elderly and medical treatment to solve arising problems.

The tourism and health sectors should work together to develop coordination programs to integrate tourism activities with healthcare therapy for the elderly to enhance the value of their tourism experiences.

Hanoi tops list of favorite places in Asia for solo travelers


The Vietnamese capital has been ranked first in the list of top trending destinations for solo travelers throughout Asia, as compiled by adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide.

By analyzing Google search data over the last two years, Explore’s research has determined the cities that are seeing the biggest uplift in terms of online searches compared to the previous year.

According to website traveldailynews.asia, Explore’s study unveils the locations surging in popularity among those itching to see the world on their own. As a result, the study reveals Asia’s top 10 destinations that are the most popular for solo traveling, as well as the emerging hot spots for solo travel worldwide.

“Independent travelers are particularly showing a real desire to explore Asia. The world’s top five trending solo cities are all located in Asia, and all show an increase in online solo travel searches of over 500%,” reported the website.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

It revealed that the study puts Hanoi as the most up and coming solo travel destination throughout the world, with a rise in interest of just under 950%.

“Aesthetically pleasing and filled with ancient architecture, Hanoi presents itself as a place that is rich in culture. Solo travelers have many activities to enjoy, from browsing food markets and visiting historic temples, to simply taking in the colorful streets,” traveldailynews.asia noted.

Hanoi was followed by Bangkok in second with over 800% more interest, along with the Taiwanese city of Taipei in third with just under 700% more online interest.

Other places named in the list were Seoul, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Singapore, Sydney, Guangzhou, Zurich, Melbourne, Nice, and Manila.

Rosie Nguyen