Vietnam Seeks to Strengthen Ties with UK Local Governments

Vietnam has been making strides to strengthen its foreign relations and boost exports. Today (May 20), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with leaders of Japan-Vietnam Friendship Associations and members of the Vietnamese community in Japan, and is working towards signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel to further enhance exports. Additionally, the Prime Minister is striving to strengthen ties with localities in the United Kingdom. Moreover, this comes on the heels of Vietnam's impressive showing at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games.


Vietnam News Today: Notable Headlines for May 20

Vietnam has seen a number of noteworthy headlines on May 20, ranging from the unveiling of the country’s new Prime Minister to the decision to postpone the upcoming National Assembly election. Here are some of the most notable headlines from the day:

  • Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh Unveiled: Vietnam’s new Prime Minister, Pham Minh Chinh, has been officially unveiled by the National Assembly.
  • National Assembly Election Postponed: The National Assembly election, originally scheduled for May 22, has been postponed until the end of August this year.
  • Vietnamese Economy Remains Strong: Despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Vietnam’s economy remains strong, with the country’s GDP growing by 7.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Vaccination Drive Gains Momentum: Vietnam’s vaccination drive is gathering momentum, with more than 10 million people having received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • New Law to Protect Domestic Workers: The Vietnamese government has passed a law to protect the rights of domestic workers, ensuring they are treated with respect and fairness.

Vietnam and Israel are accelerating negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) to promote their exports and further strengthen their economic ties. The two countries have held several rounds of talks since the agreement was first proposed in 2009, and are now aiming to finalize the deal in the coming months.

The agreement would eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade between the two countries, allowing them to increase and diversify their exports to each other. It would also create more investment opportunities and provide a more favorable environment for businesses in both countries. The agreement would be mutually beneficial, as it would open up markets for each country’s goods and services, as well as provide access to new technologies.

Vietnam and Israel have already signed several bilateral agreements that have helped to boost their trade and investment ties. The proposed FTA would be the latest step in furthering this cooperation. It is expected that the agreement will have a positive impact on both countries’ economies, by creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, and improving their overall competitiveness in the international market.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, President of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association (VJFA), and Mr. Iwao Nakamura, President of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association (JVFA), met on December 6th to discuss the strengthening of the friendly relations between the two countries.

Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, President of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Association (VJFA), and Mr. Iwao Nakamura, President of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Association (JVFA), met on December 6th to discuss the strengthening of the friendly relations between the two countries. Leaders of the Japan-Vietnam friendship associations convened in order to promote better understanding between the two nations and to foster even closer ties.

Vietnam is taking steps to strengthen ties with the United Kingdom’s localities in a variety of ways. This comes as Vietnam seeks to boost its relations with the UK and enhance their bilateral cooperation.

In response to this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam has recently concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Local Government Association (LGA). This MoU outlines the principles of cooperation between Vietnam and the UK’s local authorities, and will enable the two countries to collaborate in various fields such as economic development, trade, investment, education, and culture.

Vietnam also seeks to further strengthen its ties with the UK’s localities by signing additional MoUs with other local government associations. This will allow the two countries to explore more opportunities for collaboration and exchange.

Moreover, Vietnam has recently established a new diplomatic mission in London, which is dedicated to promoting bilateral ties with the UK’s localities. The mission will provide support and advice on issues such as trade, investment, and cultural exchange.

By taking these steps, Vietnam hopes to further strengthen its ties with the United Kingdom’s localities, and to enhance its bilateral cooperation. This will help to create a more dynamic and mutually beneficial partnership between both countries.

Prime Minister Shinzō Abe recently held a meeting with the Vietnamese community in Japan to discuss the important role they play in Japan’s economy.

The meeting, which was held on October 10th, saw the prime minister emphasize the importance of the Vietnamese community in Japan’s success. He noted that the Japanese government recognizes and appreciates the contribution of the Vietnamese people in the country’s economy and society.

Mr Abe said that the Vietnamese community has been an integral part of Japan’s economic growth and development, and that the government is committed to creating an environment that is conducive to their continued success. He also pledged to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

The Japanese prime minister also expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese people for their hard work and dedication. He said that the Vietnamese community in Japan is a major asset, and that the government will continue to work to ensure their rights and interests are protected.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe thanked the Vietnamese community for their contributions to Japan and affirmed his commitment to further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

SEA Games 32 saw Vietnam achieve impressive results, with the country winning an impressive 98 gold medals, 81 silver medals, and 106 bronze medals. This put them in second place on the overall medal tally, behind the host country, the Philippines. Vietnam’s impressive haul was made up of gold medals in sports such as athletics, aquatics, badminton, basketball, and cycling, among many others. Vietnam also made history by becoming the first country to win a medal in all six categories of the sport of esports at SEA Games 32. They also won their first-ever gold medal in beach volleyball. Overall, Vietnam’s performance was a remarkable success and a testament to the hard work and dedication of their athletes.

The year 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam. To commemorate this milestone event, ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ will be held in cities across Vietnam, showcasing Australia’s culture, cuisine, and tourism. The event will provide an opportunity to explore the strong and vibrant relationship between the two countries and celebrate the many ways in which they have worked together over the past five decades.

Organized by the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ will feature a series of activities, events, and initiatives that will give Vietnamese people a chance to experience Australia’s unique culture. From food and wine tastings to cultural events, art exhibitions, and sports tournaments, ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn more about Australia’s diverse culture and the deep connections between the two countries.

In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam, ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ will also offer a platform for business and investment opportunities between the two countries. Through this event, Australian businesses will be able to tap into the Vietnamese market and build relationships with potential partners, while Vietnamese businesses will have the opportunity to learn more about the Australian market and explore potential business and trade opportunities.

The ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ marks the 50th anniversary of Australia-Vietnam diplomatic relations and celebrates the strong and vibrant relationship between the two countries. The event will provide an opportunity to experience Australia’s culture, cuisine, and tourism. There will be a series of activities, events, and initiatives that will give Vietnamese people a chance to explore and understand the unique culture of the country. In addition, ‘Taste of Australia 2023’ will also offer a platform for business and investment opportunities between the two countries, allowing Australian businesses to tap into the Vietnamese market and Vietnamese businesses to learn more about the Australian market and explore potential business and trade opportunities.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in Hiroshima, Japan on Sunday to attend the expanded Group of Seven (G7) Summit and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Justin Trudeau arrived in Hiroshima, Japan on Sunday to begin his visit to attend the expanded Group of Seven (G7) Summit and meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Prime Minister’s trip to the country marks the first time a Canadian Prime Minister has attended the Summit, which will bring together leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada.

While in Hiroshima, Trudeau will take part in several events, including a ceremony to commemorate the atomic bomb that was dropped on the city in 1945. During his visit, Trudeau will also meet with leaders of the G7, including Prime Minister Abe, and discuss topics such as global economic growth and stability, international security, and sustainable development.

Trudeau’s visit to Japan is an important opportunity for both countries to strengthen their bilateral relationship and to work together on matters of global significance. As the Prime Minister embarks on his trip, he looks forward to building on the strong partnership between Canada and Japan.

Today marks the 129th birth anniversary of Vietnam’s beloved leader, President Ho Chi Minh. On this day, the people of Vietnam remember and honor the great leader who brought the country independence and freedom.

President Ho Chi Minh, affectionately known as “Uncle Ho,” was born on May 19, 1890, in the village of Kim Lien, Nghe An province, Vietnam. He dedicated his life to the struggle for Vietnamese independence and freedom from French colonial rule.

Under President Ho Chi Minh’s leadership, Vietnam eventually achieved its independence in 1945. He also served as the nation’s first president from 1945 until his death in 1969.

Today, President Ho Chi Minh’s legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people. His name is revered and his ideals are still celebrated throughout the country. On this special day, people in Vietnam remember his courage, leadership, and dedication to the cause of national liberation.

Vietnam has joined other Asian nations to bolster cultural connectivity with the Netherlands.

The move is an effort to promote mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and collaboration between countries in the region. Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a platform for cooperation in cultural projects.

The agreement emphasizes the need to develop cultural ties between Vietnam and the Netherlands, and to foster cultural exchange and understanding between the two countries. It also highlights the importance of collaboration and partnership in the advancement of culture and the promotion of values such as mutual respect, equality, and peace.

The two countries have already begun collaborating on cultural projects, such as the “Cultural Festival of Vietnam-Netherlands 2017” which will take place in October. The festival will showcase the cultures of both nations and encourage cultural dialogue between them.

This agreement is a positive step forward in Vietnam’s efforts to further strengthen cultural connectivity with other nations in Asia and around the world.

At the event (Photo:
At the event (Photo:

Vietnam, Israel speed up signing of FTA to boost exports

Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien and Israeli Ambassador to Vietnam Yaron Mayer convened for a meeting on May 19 to discuss the legal review of documents for the proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, as well as other related procedures in preparation for the signing. The meeting provided both sides with an update on the progress of the agreement.

Minister Dien affirmed that Vietnam and Israel will continue to collaborate diligently in order to implement the trade deal swiftly and deliver tangible advantages to the business communities in both countries.

With regard to other bilateral trade issues, Minister Dien suggested that the two countries continue to strengthen their cooperation in accelerating trade and investment promotion, sending businesses to attend trade events, and actively building a mechanism for sharing information on policies and technical regulations in order to facilitate import and export activities in the future. He also emphasized the need to create a favorable environment for businesses from both countries to access each other’s markets. Furthermore, he suggested that the two sides should work together to strengthen their capacity for trade dispute resolution.

Furthermore, the Vietnamese Minister emphasized the need to strengthen cooperation in the fields of high-tech equipment, biotechnology, agricultural product processing, food, and to expand cooperation in potential areas for mutual benefit, as reported by VOV.

Minister Dien called for Israeli businesses to invest more in a range of industrial production projects, including high-tech, biotechnology and information technology, consumer and food industry, industrial environment treatment, start-ups, innovation, vocational training, and technology transfer.

PM receives leaders of Japan-Vietnam friendship associations

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh received leaders of the Hiroshima–Vietnam Peace and Friendship Association, the Hiroshima–Vietnam Association, and the Japan–Vietnam Friendship Association of Hiroshima Prefecture on May 19th as part of his three-day trip to attend the expanded Summit of the Group of Seven (G7) and working visit to Japan.

PM Chinh expressed his hope that associations could continue to make contributions to promoting cooperation between Vietnam and Japan in general, and with Hiroshima in particular, in order to create a more stable, effective, and fruitful relationship in the future. He conveyed this message through the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives representatives of the Japan - Vietnam Friendship Association of Hiroshima prefecture on May 19. (Photo: VNA)
PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives representatives of the Japan – Vietnam Friendship Association of Hiroshima prefecture on May 19. (Photo: VNA)

The associations should urge enterprises from Hiroshima prefecture to invest and intensify business operations in Vietnam, he said.

They were also encouraged to promote people-to-people exchanges and cultural connections between Vietnam and Japan, and to support Vietnamese expatriates in the south-central region of Japan in order that they may further strengthen the important bond between the two countries.

Akagi Tatsuo, Vice President of the Hiroshima-Vietnam Peace and Friendship Association, declared that Vietnam is Japan’s most important partner in Asia. He stated that the two countries share a strong bond, which has been further reinforced by the common goals and interests they share. He highlighted that the two nations have made considerable progress in promoting peace and friendship in the region. He concluded by expressing his hope for a more fruitful and prosperous future between the two countries.

He affirmed that the friendship associations will actively implement activities following the Prime Minister’s orientations and recommendations, thus making more contributions to the Vietnam-Japan relations.

Vietnam strives to boost relations with UK localities

The Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, Nguyen Hoang Long, recently embarked on a working visit to the capitals of England and Wales – Manchester and Cardiff – to strengthen cooperation between Vietnam and the UK’s localities. During his trip, Long focused on activities such as business, trade, investment, and education. He hoped to further the two countries’ mutual growth in these fields.

The memorable visit took place on May 16-17 as part of the Vietnam-UK Friendship Year programme, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In Manchester, the Vietnamese Embassy, in collaboration with KPMG Group, the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and the UK-ASEAN Business Council, organised the Vietnam and ASEAN Business and Trade Conference. This event was attended by over 50 British businesses, all of whom were interested in the Vietnamese market and already invested or doing business in Vietnam. The attendees of the conference were able to gain a deeper understanding of the investment opportunities, as well as the challenges and risks associated with the Vietnamese market. Furthermore, they received advice on how to build and maintain relationships with Vietnamese counterparts. Overall, this conference was a great success, providing invaluable insights to the attendees.

Ambassador Long briefed participants on the booming Vietnamese market, which boasts a stable political and social background, a population of 100 million people with a golden population structure, and a dynamic, rapidly, and sustainably developing economy.

He said that British businesses have a unique advantage in the Vietnamese market due to their well-known and popular brands. He encouraged them to visit Vietnam in order to gain a deeper understanding of this market and develop effective investment and business cooperation strategies.

Participants at a recent business forum praised the Vietnamese market for its openness, dynamism, and attractive business and investment environment. Many of them expressed a keen interest in Vietnam, expressing their intention to soon carry out or expand their investments in the market, according to Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

Delegates to Vietnam and ASEAN Business and Trade Conference (Photo: VNA)
Delegates to Vietnam and ASEAN Business and Trade Conference (Photo: VNA)

In Cardiff City, on May 17, Ambassador Long attended the Meeting Vietnam-Wales event and worked with First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles. During the event, Ambassador Long delivered a speech at a special working session of the Welsh Parliament, offering insight into the outlook of cooperation between Vietnam and Wales.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the significant cooperation results that were achieved in recent times and discussed potential directions and plans for the future.

The Wales side praised Vietnam’s sustainable socio-economic achievements over the past times and expressed their optimism for bilateral cooperation, especially in the fields of education, culture, tourism, and people-to-people diplomacy. With regard to education, Wales considers Vietnam a strategic partner and pledges to promote and support cooperative activities between the two countries to further expand the involvement of universities and educational institutions from both sides.

Mark Drakeford proposed that the Vietnamese Embassy should take the initiative to organize seminars in order to foster mutual understanding between the two nations. Through these seminars, both countries will be able to gain a better understanding of each other, which could lead to greater collaboration and cooperation in the future. By increasing communication and engaging in dialogue, these seminars could be an effective way to bridge the gap between the two nations and build a stronger relationship.

Long proposed Wales appoint an esteemed agency to take charge of cooperating with Vietnam, and the two sides study and aggressively accelerate the signing of a local-level agreement to create a foundation for promoting cooperation in the long run and in a coordinated manner. The diplomat stressed the Vietnamese Embassy’s willingness to support this negotiation and signing process.

PM meets with Vietnamese community in Japan

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held a meeting with representatives of the Vietnamese community in Japan on May 19, shortly after arriving in Tokyo for the expanded summit of the Group of Seven (G7) and a working visit to Japan from May 19 to 21.

Ambassador Pham Quang Hieu informed the Prime Minister that the Vietnamese community in Japan is the second-largest foreign population in the country, and the second-largest Vietnamese community in the world, consisting of 476,000 individuals.

The vibrant community of approximately 250,000 workers and apprentices, 50,000 students, 60,000 engineers, and 50,000 residents is largely made up of young Vietnamese people who are living, working, and studying in the 47 cities and provinces of Japan.

They have benefited from favourable conditions provided by the host government for living, studying, and doing business, said the ambassador.

Representatives of the community expressed delight and showed their appreciation at the Prime Minister’s participation in the expanded G7 summit, which confirms Vietnam’s increasing importance in the global stage. They expressed their trust in the country’s bright future and the continuous strong growth it is experiencing.

They proposed a range of initiatives to improve the Vietnamese community in Japan, such as developing strategies to promote Vietnam’s image and enabling them to make more meaningful contributions to their homeland. Additionally, they suggested policies that would allow the Vietnamese in Japan to participate more actively in the projects, activities, and services related to Vietnam. By doing so, they hoped to foster closer ties between the two countries and promote mutual understanding.

Showing his delight at the growth of the Vietnamese community in Japan, PM Chinh underlined that the Party and State always take the overseas Vietnamese community as an important and inseparable part of the nation and an invaluable source of motivation for the nation’s development.

The Party and State work tirelessly to care for the community, underscoring the importance of their contributions to the Fatherland, he declared.

The Government leader emphasized the close relations between Vietnam and Japan, noting that in only two years since Japanese PM Fumio Kishida took office, the two PMs had met on six occasions to discuss ways to further deepen the extensive strategic partnership between the two countries, according to VNA.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets with Vietnamese community in Japan on May 19 (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets with Vietnamese community in Japan on May 19 (Photo: VNA)

Currently, Japan is the largest Official Development Assistance (ODA) provider of Vietnam, the third-biggest investor, the third-largest tourism market, and the fourth-biggest trade partner, he said, adding that the two sides have exchanged viewpoints and shown close coordination at multilateral forums. This is a great condition for the Vietnamese community in Japan to develop, he emphasized.

Briefing the community on Vietnam’s situation, Prime Minister Chinh said that over the past 35+ years of implementing the “Doi Moi” (renewal) cause, the country had achieved remarkable results. Vietnam’s economic scale had increased to 409 billion USD, with per capita income rising to 4,100 USD and export revenue hitting 371 billion USD by 2022.

Vietnam has made impressive progress in international trade, entering the list of 20 leading economies. The country has signed an impressive 100 bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, as well as more than 60 investment protection deals with partners. Additionally, the living conditions of locals have been greatly improved, with ensured security-defence and expanded external relations.

Taking note of the proposals of the community, PM Chinh expressed that the Government is eager for more ideas from the community and will incorporate them into policies and laws during the institution completion process.

He asked the embassy and representative agencies in Japan to take a better care of the community, and extended regards of Vietnamese Party, State and National Assembly leaders to them.

SEA Games 32: Vietnam’s impressive achievements

At the conclusion of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), Vietnamese athletes proudly took home a total of 355 medals—136 gold medals, 105 silver medals, and 114 bronze medals—cementing their first-place rank in the medal tally.

Vietnam not only topped Thailand, the second-highest medal winner, but also outdid it by 28 gold medals. In total, Vietnam amassed a greater number of gold medals than Thailand.

This result helped Vietnam top the Southeast Asian Games medal tally for the third time in history, after the Games in 2003 and 2022.

Notably, this was the first ever time that Vietnam ranked top of the list when the games were not held in their home country.

The sports that brought the highest number of gold medals for Vietnam were diving (14 gold medals), wrestling (13), athletics (12), vovinam (7), wushu (6), gymnastics (4), taekwondo (4), and fencing (4).

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

Runner Nguyen Thi Oanh won the highest number of gold medals from four individual women’s running events: 1,500m, 3,000m hurdles, 5,000m, and 10,000m.

The youngest athlete of the Vietnamese team who won a gold medal was golfer Le Khanh Hung, 15. This marked the first time that Vietnam had ever won a gold medal in golf. To further their success, Vietnam also won one silver medal for the team category and one bronze medal for the individual men’s category.

Vietnamese athletes broke 16 records at the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in swimming, weightlifting, and scuba diving, according to Vietnam News Network (VNN). In swimming, Pham Thanh Bao set a new Games record. Three weightlifting records were also set by Nguyen Quoc Toan in the 89kg category and Tran Minh Tri in the 67kg category. The records were for jerk, push, and general election. Finally, the scuba diving category also saw a new Games record set.

Notably, runner Nguyen Thi Huyen set a milestone by winning an impressive 13 gold medals at the SEA Games. The Vietnamese women’s football team also made history, winning its fourth gold medal in a row and its eighth at the SEA Games. This remarkable achievement further cements Vietnam’s standing as a formidable regional sporting powerhouse.

As many as 61 of 136 gold medals won by Vietnam are Olympic categories, accounting for 45%, including swimming (7), athletics (12), 3×3 basketball (1), boxing (2), cycling (1), fencing (4), football (1), golf (1), gymnastics (4), judo (7), table tennis (1), taekwondo (2), weightlifting (4), wrestling (13), and breakdancing (1).

Rosie Nguyen