President Vo Van Thuong taking oath of office (source: VNA)
Vietnam’s President Vo Van Thuong will visit the United Kingdom from May 4 to 6, 2023, to attend the coronation of King Charles III. The fact that the United Kingdom is hosting this historic occasion 70 years after Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1952 makes the visit noteworthy. The visit of President Vo Van Thuong also serves as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the United Kingdom.
Vietnam and the UK established a strategic partnership in 2010 and have maintained regular high-level diplomatic activities. The two countries have a strategic dialogue mechanism, particularly an annual ministerial-level Strategic Dialogue. In addition, they are actively planning a variety of memorable activities to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties.
A free trade agreement (UKVFTA) between Vietnam and the UK is already in effect economically, and it is anticipated to create beneficial conditions for the growth of their bilateral economic and trade relations. The UK is now the 15th-largest foreign investor in Vietnam, and the two countries bilateral trade turnover in 2022 was $6.9 billion. Assisting the UK in concluding talks to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam has played a significant role.
In terms of national defence and security, the two nations’ connection has also grown more profound, and they have signed numerous memoranda of understanding to strengthen their collaboration. To combat international crimes, they have enhanced military communication and cooperation.
During his visit, President Thuong will meet with the Vietnamese community in the United Kingdom. Representatives from the Vietnamese Intellectual Society (VIS) will also have the opportunity to meet with the president to exchange ideas and discuss their goals for strengthening the Vietnamese intellectual community and promoting Vietnam-UK relations.
President Vo Van Thuong’s visit to the UK highlights the critical relationship between Vietnam and the UK in terms of diplomacy, economy, trade, defence, and security. Both nations will have the chance to deepen their bilateral ties and advance collaboration in a variety of fields during the visit.