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From the British Ambassador

BRITISH AMBASSADOR'S MESSAGE ON THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND VIETNAM


British Ambassador to Vietnam, Warwick Morris

2003 is a special year for the UK and Vietnam.  It marks the 30th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the two countries, 30 years of friendship, of partnership and of bridge-building.  The relationship has come a long way from the difficult days of the early 1970s, when politics dominated.  Now it is multi-faceted.  The British Embassy in Hanoi and our Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City are kept very busy on a range of Government-to-Government issues.  The British Council is furthering links in education, culture, English language and other training, has offices in both cities and is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of its activities here.  The UKís Department for International Development has a well-established office in Hanoi which is being strengthened this year.  Its expenditure on development programmes in Vietnam is increasing to around USD 40 million in 2003.  Across the board the two governments now have a very good and broad-based relationship, enhanced by high-level visits and regular dialogue.

But UK-Vietnam relations today go much further than Government-to-Government business.  Trade between the two countries is growing, especially Vietnamís exports to the UK, and the UK is a major investor in Vietnam and an increasingly important provider of financial and other services.  Many of our non-government organisations are also doing great work in partnership with the Vietnamese authorities.  These include Oxfam GB, Save the Children, Action Aid, VSO, Fauna and Flora International, Birdlife, GAP, Frontier and others.

As Vietnam plays more and more of an international role, it finds itself increasingly working with partners like the UK, not just bilaterally but in its dealings with the European Union, at the UN, through the WTO, on issues ranging from the environment to counter-terrorism and through various regional and international fora.  And many young Vietnamese are now choosing the UK as an exciting place to study.  In the other direction a growing number of British tourists are discovering the delights of Vietnam and its people. 

We in the British Embassy and the British Consulate General are proud to play our part in the development of this relationship, and are delighted to see it going from strength to strength.  I congratulate everyone who has contributed, and is contributing, to this exciting and growing partnership.

Warwick Morris

British Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

 

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