Vietnam News Today (Feb. 24): Vietnam-UK Friendship Year 2023 Announced

Vietnam News Today (Feb. 24): Vietnam-UK friendship year 2023 announced; Vietnam’s trade value reaches US$72 bln by mid- February; More opportunities for Vietnamese goods to enter foreign supermarkets; UK gov't supports regional financial and business centre development in Vietnam.

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Vietnam News Today (Feb. 24) notable headlines

Vietnam-UK friendship year 2023 announced

Vietnam’s trade value reaches US$72 bln by mid- February

More opportunities for Vietnamese goods to enter foreign supermarkets

UK gov’t supports regional financial and business centre development in Vietnam

Vietnam nominated in 13 categories at 2023 World Travel Awards

Vietnamese coastal localities take long-term efforts to end IUU fishing

Hanoi tourism festival to connect heritage for development

Vietnam calls for end to hostilities, peaceful solutions to Ukraine issue

Vietnamese IT firms get support to go global

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Vietnam-UK friendship year 2023 announced

The Vietnam-UK Friendship Year 2023 was announced at a ceremony held on February 22 at the headquarters of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office of the UK to mark the 50th anniversary of both nations’ diplomatic ties.

The event featured the participation of more than 150 guests, including parliamentarians, government officials, and representatives from departments, localities, organizations, and businesses of the UK, as well as Vietnamese agencies, organizations, associations, and enterprises in the host country.

Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who co-chaired the function together with Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long, emphasized that bilateral ties are in the process of growing fruitfully. As a result, an array of celebration activities will be held by the two embassies in both London and Hanoi this year.

Reviewing developments in terms of the relations over the past 50 years, she said the UK has become a strategic partner of ASEAN with support from Vietnam.

The nation is striving to become one of the 30 biggest economies in the world, she said, noting that the UK would like to accompany the country on its journey. Indeed, it stands ready and wishes to be an important partner in Vietnam’s green transition.

The UK also expects to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this year as a way of contributing to strengthening its relations with Vietnam, Minister Trevelyan continued.

The official expressed her confidence in the close relationship between the British and Vietnamese peoples.

In a pre-recorded speech, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son stressed that bilateral ties have been consolidated and enhanced across various spheres. This ranges from politics to economics, national defence and security to education, as well as expanding to science-technology, digital transformation, climate change response, energy transition, green growth, and epidemic prevention and control.

The nation places importance on its relations with the UK, which it views as an important partner in Europe, whilst it remains resolved to work together with the UK side in enhancing the bilateral strategic partnership and coping with global challenges, for peace, co-operation, and further development, cited VOV.

For his part, Ambassador Long briefed participants on the celebration of the 50th anniversary with more than 50 events in trade, investment, education-training, culture, and tourism in London and in more than 10 localities across the UK.

Minister of State in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart pointed to the substantial potential that exists for both nations to cooperate in renewable energy, especially wind power.

Mark Garnier, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Vietnam, said significant strides have been made in trade and investment ties between the two countries over recent times, with there being ample room for further collaboration.

As of November, 2022, the UK was one of the 15 biggest foreign investors in the Vietnamese market with 500 projects worth US$4.19 billion, up 5.3% on-year.

Last year’s two-way trade hit US$6.83 billion, a rise of 3.4% from 2021, with Vietnamese exports to the UK valued at US$6.06 billion, marking annual growth of 5.2%.

Vietnam’s trade value reaches US$72 bln by mid- February

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, from the beginning of this year to February 15, the country’s total trade value topped US$72 billion, with export turnover standing at US$37 billion and a trade surplus of nearly US$1.7 billion.

Notably, in the first half of February alone, the country’s export turnover reached US$13.44 billion.

Vietnam’s trade value reaches 72 bln USD by mid- February (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam’s trade value reaches US$72 bln by mid- February (Photo: VNA)

Phones and components; computers, electronic products and components; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts; and textile and garment were the four groups of exports which enjoyed a turnover of “billion dollars” in the reviewed period.

In the meantime, import turnover was US$12.38 billion. Two groups of imports of the “billion dollars” group were computers, electronic products and components; machinery, equipment, tools and spare parts, according to VNA.

In 2022, the country’s total trade value reached a record high of US$730.2 billion.

More opportunities for Vietnamese goods to enter foreign supermarkets

There are plenty of opportunities for local goods, especially agricultural products, to enter foreign distribution channels, with Vietnamese firms advised to focus on advantageous products, according to industry insiders.

Ta Hoang Linh, director of the Europe – Americas Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, pointed out that the awareness of the business community, relevant ministries, and localities about the role of foreign distribution channels has been raised, with this being considered an effective way to promote local products and brands.

With more than 60 trade offices based in countries worldwide, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to support relevant agencies and localities in providing strategic guidance relating to market access and connecting Vietnamese businesses to foreign distribution systems.

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

However, Linh stressed the need to fully tap into advantageous products, select potential markets and focus on several leading enterprises as a means of penetrating more deeply into the foreign distribution system moving forward.

Most notably, Vietnamese goods, especially agricultural products, have hit the shelves of large supermarkets in France, Australia, Japan, and Thailand over the past year, with popular items including lychee, dragon fruit, banana, and fish sauce, reported VOV.

Shiotani Yuichiro, general director of AEON TOPVALU Vietnam, revealed that AEON mainly imported fresh bananas from the Philippines in the past, but it has started importing bananas from the Vietnamese market since 2022, particularly as the taste of Vietnamese bananas are considered to be better than other countries.

The AEON representative pointed out that aside from quality and price, Vietnamese export companies have set up a circular and sustainable production model, with the amount of waste hitting zero, which has become the selection criteria for foreign importers at present.

Sharing this perspective, Aly Ansari, senior director in charge of supply sources under the US’ Walmart Group, pointed that Walmart has always focused on competitive factors in terms of quality, price, and sustainable value.

UK gov’t supports regional financial and business centre development in Vietnam

The UK government has appointed TheCityUK to support Vietnam’s goal of developing a regional financial and business centre in Ho Chi Minh City, British Embassy in Hanoi announced on February 22.

In partnership with the UK Government, TheCityUK will provide technical support to help create a business and regulatory environment in Vietnam that is attractive to global investors and to further strengthen bilateral ties between the UK and Vietnam.

This project will see TheCityUK working alongside the UK Government to bring together regulators and firms across the industry in both the UK and Vietnam to share best practice and develop recommendations that will support Vietnam’s long-term sustainable growth and attract UK and international investors.

The collaboration underlines the deep partnership between the two countries which are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations, cited VNA.

TheCityUK has been appointed to support Vietnam’s goal of developing a regional financial and business centre in Ho Chi Minh City. ( Photo: British Embassy in Hanoi)
TheCityUK has been appointed to support Vietnam’s goal of developing a regional financial and business centre in Ho Chi Minh City. ( Photo: British Embassy in Hanoi)

Miles Celic, TheCityUK’s Chief Executive Officer, said that Vietnam is a hugely exciting country with a compelling story for growth and prosperity. Given the country’s rapid development and increased demand for sophisticated financial products, there is great potential for British firms and other international investors to enter the market.

Ensuring robust regulatory, policy and legal frameworks and an open business environment will be essential to its success.

“As one of the world’s leading international financial centres, the UK is well placed to support Vietnam’s ambitions and provide technical expertise. There will also be mutual benefits gained through the sharing expertise in key areas such as green finance, innovation and digital transformation and the net-zero transition,” he said.

Iain Frew, British Ambassador to Vietnam, said that supporting the development of Ho Chi Minh City as a regional financial and business centre is another example of the strong bilateral relations between the UK and Vietnam.

Vietnam is a high-growth, dynamic market and by working collaboratively on this important project and sharing UK expertise on a sector where it has clear global market strength, we hope to align our mutual policy priorities and support long-term sustainable growth across the country.

Nguyen Hoang Long, Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, said that establishing a regional financial and business centre in Ho Chi Minh City is a key part of the Vietnamese government’s Economic and Social Development Strategy.

“Vietnam has a dynamic economy, good global links and a clear vision on how to become a high-income country by 2045. This, coupled with support from the UK Government and its world-renowned financial and related professional services industry, makes us confident that Vietnam will be an attractive proposition to international investors,” he said.

Vietnam nominated in 13 categories at 2023 World Travel Awards

Vietnam has made the shortlist in 13 categories at the prestigious World Travel Awards (WTA) 2023.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is calling for votes for the country in the 2023 World Travel Awards.

The voting, at www.worldtravelawards.com, for the Asian and Oceania regions has been opened and will last through July 23, the VNAT said on February 22.

Among the 13 categories Vietnam has been nominated for, the VNAT is a nominee for the Asia’s Leading Tourist Board title.

Vietnam is also nominated for the awards of Asia’s Leading Heritage Destination, Asia’s Leading Nature Destination, Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination, Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, Asia’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination, and Asia’s Leading Youth Travel Destination.

Besides, Ho Chi Minh City has its name in the list of nominees for the Asia’s Leading Business Travel Destination award, the Hanoi Department of Tourism and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism for Asia’s Leading City Tourist Board, and Hanoi for Asia’s Leading City Break Destination.

Hoi An of Quang Nam province and Hue of Thua Thien – Hue province are candidates for the Asia’s Leading Cultural City Destination title, cited NDO.

Photo: WTA
Photo: WTA

Meanwhile, Ha Giang province is among the nominees for the Asia’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination award, and Moc Chau of Son La province for Asia’s Leading Regional Nature Destination.

The VNAT said votes from the community and travellers will create a chance for Vietnam’s tourism to continue to be honoured at the World Travel Awards, dubbed “the Oscars of tourism”, and further popularise the country as a hospitable destination for visitors from far and wide.

Over the last five years, Vietnam has been honoured as Asia’s Leading Heritage Destination thrice and Asia’s Leading Destination for four times. The VNAT was voted Asia’s Leading Tourist Board thrice. The country has also won many other titles of the annual awards.

In 2022, Vietnam won 16 awards in global categories and 48 others in Asian categories.

Rosie Nguyen