05:34 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 23/04/2019

Vietnam Today

Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific to visit Vietnam

Released at: 17:00, 12/04/2019

Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific to visit Vietnam

Ms. Natalie Black at the Cyber Security Indonesia Conference 2019. Photo: Cybersecurityindo.com

Innovation and technology the main themes of Ms. Natalie Black's visit.

by Le Diem

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Ms. Natalie Black, will visit Vietnam from April 16 to 18.

Ms. Black’s role demonstrates the importance the UK attaches to growing trade and investment in ASEAN in general and in Vietnam in particular. She will hold discussions with senior policy makers to promote free trade and improvements in the business environment and will also engage businesses and academia from the UK and Vietnam to help identify and drive forward trade and investment between the two countries. Ms. Black has a passion for technology, innovation and education, and promoting increased collaboration in these areas will be a core theme of all her engagements.

In Hanoi, in addition to meetings with government, business, and academia, she will address students and others at the Hanoi University of Science and Technology and then join a panel discussion on “Human resources development in the context of the 4th industrial revolution”. Ms. Black will explain the UK’s digital transformation over the past decade, how technology can fuel individual careers and the Vietnam’s future growth, and why the UK and Vietnam are ideal partners.

Over events in Hanoi include Ms. Black meeting the Director of the National Cancer Hospital (K Hospital) and the Country President of Astra Zeneca, which is an example of the UK investing in research and development (R&D) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Vietnam.

Innovation and technology will also be the main themes of her visit to Ho Chi Minh City. She will meet with Tiki, an e-commerce corporation, the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA), and other leading tech entrepreneurs. She will also meet with the FPT - Greenwich University to observe a joint UK - Vietnam degree program and explore and promote greater collaboration in transnational education. She will also spend time with active business working groups, such as the British Advisory Committee (BAC), the British Business Community (BBC), the British Business Working Group Vietnam (BBGV), and the UK-Vietnam Climate Business Group (UK-Vietnam CBG).

“I am very excited about my first visit to Vietnam, arguably one of the most dynamic economies in the world,” Ms. Black said. “I look forward to learning more about the opportunities in Vietnam and meeting the people and businesses that are working ever more closely to deepen the relationship between our two countries.”

Ms. Black is Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, covering Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australasia. She was appointed to the role in 2018 and this is her first official visit to Vietnam. She was previously Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit, where she championed the UK’s tech sector and developed a modern industrial strategy. Prior to that she was the Director of the UK’s Internet Harms Unit, where she coordinated efforts to tackle the challenges of the internet, including terrorist use and online safety. Her first role in the UK Civil Service was Deputy Director and then Director of the Office of Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office, where she oversaw the National Cyber Security Strategy and the National Cyber Security Program. Ms. Black is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Fulbright scholar.

Bilateral trade between the UK and Vietnam increased from £4.7 billion ($6.1 billion) to nearly £5.2 billion ($6.8 billion) between 2016 and 2017, in both goods and services. UK exports to Vietnam increased by £579 billion ($757 billion) in 2017 to £629 ($822 billion) in 2018, or 9 per cent. Bilateral trade went up 5 per cent. Key exports are pharmaceuticals and machinery and equipment. The UK is the third-largest EU goods exporter to Vietnam and the third-largest EU investor.

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