31 Oct 2021 - Source: Vietnamplus - Hanoi (VNA) – The trip to the UK by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and visit this country will be a chance for Vietnam to show its responsible engagement in settling global climate change challenges and enhance the strategic partnership with the UK.

As Vietnam is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, the Party and State have always prioritised climate change response during socio-economic development.

The PM's participation in the COP26 is an occasion for the country to demonstrate its responsible, proactive, and active participation in settling global climate change challenges, while helping the international community understand its policy, determination, and efforts, as well as the difficulties and challenges facing the country in response to the phenomenon.

This is also a rare chance amid the COVID-19 pandemic for leaders of countries to increase bilateral activities. Within the COP26 framework, PM Chinh is set to have meetings with leaders of some countries, international organisations, and important partners.

The Government leader of Vietnam will also pay a working visit to the UK.

The two countries set up a strategic partnership in 2010 and have cooperated closely and effectively with each other when Vietnam served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2008 - 2009 and 2020 - 2021.

Vietnam ranks 38th among the 241 trade partners of and 25th among the 233 countries exporting to the UK, which in turn is the third largest European trade partner of the Southeast Asian nation.

The two sides officially signed the UK - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), developed basing on the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), in London on December 29, 2020. This deal is hoped to create a comprehensive, long-term, and stable framework for bilateral economic and trade ties.

They have also worked closely with each other in various areas, including defence - security, human trafficking combat, democracy and human rights issues, development cooperation, education - training, and science - technology.

Regarding COVID-19 response, the British Government presented 415,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Vietnam. The Vietnamese Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Vaccine JSC signed a contract with the AstraZeneca group to purchase 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in November 2020. Nearly 15 million vaccine doses under this contract had arrived in Vietnam as of September 27.

On August 21, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son sent letters to British Foreign and Development Secretary Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, asking for the provision of as-many-as-possible continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines for Vietnam.

The UK is also expected to recognise the COVID-19 vaccination certificate of Vietnam in the time ahead.