UK and Vietnam sign many agreements during Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (right) greet Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on the second day of the COP26 Summit, November 1, 2021

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has had a busy first day of his trip to Glasgow, Scotland to attend the summit against climate change, COP26.

With the first day mainly devoted to ceremonies, on October 31, the Vietnamese leader attended and witnessed the signing of a series of Vietnam-UK cooperation agreements.

On the second day, the Vietnamese leader was welcomed by PM Boris Johnson and the Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres. As planned, he will give a speech at the conference on the afternoon of November 1.

Accompanying the Vietnamese PM was the strong leadership of Vietnam, with eight ministers and many other high-ranking officials, and business leaders.

Present in the high-ranking delegation of Vietnam, including the ministers of Public Security, Foreign Affairs, Natural Resources and Environment, Planning and Investment, Industry and Trade, Justice, Information – Communication, and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Signing many agreements

On the first day of his arrival, Mr. Pham Minh Chinh met the Scottish Premier, Ms. Nicola Sturgeon.

At the meeting, it is known that he asked Scotland to support vaccines, medicines, and medical equipment necessary for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19, and promised to create favorable conditions for Scottish businesses in particular and British enterprises in general, to expand investment in Vietnam.

It is reported that a total of 26 agreements were signed during the trip, in the fields of environmental protection, education and training, technology transfer in land management, and production technology for Covid-19 prevention drugs, with a total value of billions of dollars.

Among the companies signing this time, it is worth noting that there are two private airlines, Vietjet and Bamboo Airways, and Sovico Group specializing in services, financial products, banking, aviation, real estate, and technology industry, EMG Education, and Vingroup.

Vietjet signed a contract with Rolls-Royce for the supply of wide-body aircraft engines and services with a $400 million contract, while Sovico signed a £155 million education grant with Oxford University.

Bamboo Airways “opened goods” with a special flight carrying a number of Vietnamese leaders, including Minister of Public Security To Lam, to the UK, although the official route connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to London will only start starting at the end of this year.

From Vietnam, British Ambassador Gareth on November 1, 2021, posted on his personal Facebook: “Welcome Mr. Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to the UK! Glad to see 26 agreements signed with a total value of billions of USD on trade, agriculture, energy, health care, environmental protection… and very pleased that the British side can continue to support Vietnam with medical equipment to prevent COVID-19.”

The problem of illegal immigrants from Vietnam to the UK

Combating human trafficking, illegal immigration, and dialogue on human rights (despite many differences) are among the areas of active cooperation between the two countries.

According to the UKinVietnam page of the British Embassy in Hanoi on November 1, Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security To Lam had a meeting with the UK’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

Welcoming the Vietnamese incumbent during a visit to London, Ms. Patel “emphasized that the joint efforts of the two sides are proof that the two governments can join hands to tackle and prevent serious and organized crime. Minister To Lam emphasized that Vietnam and the UK need to cooperate more closely and innovate more to fight crime threats in the two countries.

The same source said that the UK Border Protection Agency also donated equipment worth 10,000 pounds to the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security to support Vietnam’s international cooperation activities in the field of transnational crime prevention.

Cooperation in the field of security, especially in the fight against human trafficking, has been going on between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the UK Home Office for many years.

However, this is still an issue that still needs a lot of effort from the authorities on both sides.

At the end of 2019, the case of 39 Vietnamese immigrants who died in a refrigerated truck in the UK shocked the whole world and is still a painful story in the UK.

Recently, at the end of October, BBC 2 in the UK broadcast a documentary about this tragedy.

In addition to the business activities of many alumni and entrepreneurs at a new age of integration and encouraging success, the story of the Vietnamese or British community also has a dark side.

British newspapers regularly report on police raids on cannabis cultivation and trafficking and drug trafficking and claim that the perpetrators are often “young Vietnamese men” and “sometimes even child slaves.”

September 2021: a group of ‘new boat people’ entered Dover from European countries such as France, Belgium. The British newspaper, The Independent reported that in August there were “at least dozens of people from Vietnam” who went to Britain from France by entering the flow of Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis, and Africans.

The continued flow of people from Vietnam into the UK by sea two years after the Essex death, and more recently into the same groups of Afghan, Sri Lankan, and African migrants, has become an issue that has fueled tensions between Britain and France.

These things prompted British Home Secretary Priti Patel to answer before Parliament in October and continue to raise a tough stance to “prevent dangerous waves of crossing” to the UK after Brexit.


According to the UKinVietnam page of the British Embassy in Hanoi on November 1, Vietnam’s Minister of Public Security To Lam had a meeting with the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel.

For Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his political life in the next two years is also partly dependent on the “success of Brexit” which is understood as regaining autonomy for Britain (from the EU) in controlling the flow of people from Africa and Asia, including Vietnamese.

Therefore, the British side will certainly be tough on all countries that are deemed not doing enough to help the Conservative government meet their immigration election pledges.

The problem some British newspapers have raised is that many countries are too lenient in allowing illicit money and people to move across their borders, contributing to international migration.

The phenomenon that local officials, police, and visa agencies in northern Iraq and Belarus, either because of inexperience or because of corruption or political motives, abet illegal migrants to Western Europe is now recognized by the authorities. The special committee in the UK, in conjunction with Germany, France, and Poland to study and gradually unravel. (Translated)


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