September 15, 2014
This week I was privileged, in my capacity as the Vice Chairman of the Vietnam-UK Network, to host a farewell luncheon for HE Ambassador Minh at the Royal Society, London. Senior business figures from companies representing over 35,000 employees in Vietnam, attended to celebrate the Ambassador’s term. Also present was HRH The Duke of York; guest of Honour alongside Ambassador Minh and also a supporter of furthering Vietnam-UK business relations.
Trade has more than doubled between the UK and Vietnam during Ambassador Minh’s time in post – largely due to his immense efforts in promoting business links across the UK. His legacy is a solid foundation for even further business opportunities between our two countries underpinned, as the Duke of York emphasised, by the tremendous political stability within Vietnam and friendliness and resourcefulness of her people.
Looking forward, we discussed what is needed to increase trade even further. The Duke of York highlighted a key priority as bringing SME’s together to approach targeted opportunities using the skills and talents of complimentary, even competitive, British businesses. It was refreshing to hear broad agreement across the room on this approach as I have seen it effective in action and the Vietnam-UK Network is building a strategy on this basis.
The next few years look to be exciting as the UK (hopefully including Scotland) attempts to outsell Italy, Germany and France in Vietnam. We need to be creative, resourceful and work hard, as this target is within reach. Now more than ever, organisations like the