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UK, Vietnam look to deepen defence co-operation

The United Kingdom and Vietnam are aiming to expand defence industry co-operation as part of a wider effort to strengthen strategic ties.

Collaboration would be framed by existing bilateral defence agreements and enhanced through a new defence co-operation memorandum of understanding (MOU) being developed by the two countries.

The UK also hopes that joint industrial work would be underpinned by defence exports to the Southeast Asian country.

A spokesperson from UK Defence and Security Exports (UKDSE) – a part of the UK government's Department for International Trade (DIT) – told Janes that the UK is “keen to offer innovative solutions to Vietnam as it modernises its armed forces”, and that UK companies are “keen to explore industrial collaboration and long-term partnerships” in the country.

The spokesperson added, “Through high-level engagement, defence co-operation, and UK company support, the UK will continue to work to deepen and strengthen our defence industry collaboration with Vietnam.”

In late July UK Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace visited Vietnam in which he outlined a similar intention.

In a speech at the Vietnam Diplomatic Academy in Hanoi, he revealed the development of the defence co-operation MOU and a UK intention to continue to deepen defence engagement with the country.

“We have a long-standing strategic partnership and are developing the defence co-operation memorandum of understanding, but I believe the United Kingdom and Vietnam can still go further; whether on maritime security, peace keeping operations, staff talks, capability developments, shared training, or combined exercises,” he said.

The UK and Vietnam announced a strategic partnership in 2010. The accord, which established several defence forums and working groups between the two countries, was refreshed by the two countries in September 2020.

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