British Minister of State Jeremy Browne is visiting Vietnam from April 5-7 to strengthen the Vietnam-UK bilateral relationship in the fields of foreign policy, education, trade and investment.
"We want British businessmen to look at Vietnam as a good place to invest to create jobs and prosperity. In Vietnam, there are a lot of hard working people and we want them to have a higher standard of living," Browne said at a cocktail reception at Ho Chi Minh City-based Caravelle hotel on April 5.
He stressed Vietnam's potential during his speech and pointed to new and exciting opportunities between the two nations.
"Vietnam has ( Britain as ) an open, free-market gateway to European Union," he said.
Before Vietnam, Browne also visited Malaysia and he will fly to Singapore after two days in Hanoi.
Browne said the first time he visited Southeast Asia was 18 years ago. During this trip, he hopes to learn from the economies of the region.
"Last year, Vietnam was the Chairman of ASEAN. Vietnam begins to play a stronger role and exert stronger influence on the international stage," Andy Ziardis, Deputy Consul General of British Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City, told Thanh Nien Weekly at the reception.
"This week's visit from Browne demonstrates strong commitment to increasing cooperation between Britain and Vietnam."
To follow up on key issues coming out of the Lord Mayor's visit to Vietnam, from March 19"”24, Browne will meet with the British business community as well as the HCMC People's Committee during his time in the southern metro.
The minister will also lead the UK delegation at a bilateral foreign policy dialogue, hosted by Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Nguyen Quoc Cuong during his two days in Hanoi.
On April 6, at 2 pm, Browne will deliver a speech on the role of media at the Academy of Journalism and Communication in Hanoi.
While in the capital, Browne will sit down with Hoang Binh Quan, chairman of the External Relations Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam and Tran Dai Quang, Vice Minister of Public Security.
Another "important call" in Hanoi includes a meeting with the Vietnam Airlines' officials to discuss direct flights to London which have been planned for this year.
That same day, Browne is scheduled to meet Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pham Gia Khiem, to raise a number of trade issues. The pair will also discuss banking licenses, PPP projects and real estate investment.